The Weaker Sex

I was browsing through some fashion blogs yesterday and i came across a post about a famous Bollywood star’s wife. She had recently separated from the man and was launching a store.  I had read an article about her store before in a popular fashion magazine and liked it and she looked happy and upbeat and i thought to myself she looks strong and positive despite going through a very public split, kudos. But when i clicked and went to the post what i  found inside shocked me to my core.

To get everyone up to speed the couple had separated after 17 years of marriage and 2 kids and they have made a statement that, ‘Sometimes two people just don’t work out” asked for privacy and understanding from friends and fans. Perfectly acceptable since a marriage is a couples business and whatever reasons they stay or separate is their own. What i didn’t expect to see was this woman getting lynched for it.

The further i read the comments the madder i got because it became more than about this lady in particular. I don’t care why their marriage ended and people can have thousands of reason but what got my goat was the way it was heaped on the woman to be the one who was appointed the custodian to see to it that it works!.

I do not take marriage lightly and fully understand that it takes a hell of a lot to make it work, but it is also a two way street. It’s not the duty of only the WOMAN to make sure it lasts NO MATTER WHAT. It’s the responsibility of both the man and the wife.  A woman is more than just a wife and a mother, she has the right to chose her own happiness.  Her life as an individual does not stop when she becomes a mother.

I have quoted the outrage that was hurled at this unsuspecting woman to highlight my point and trust me this is NOT fiction. These are  actual extracts from readers.

“then why did they tried to show how madly in love and how perfect they are in each of every interview ?I mean that’s non of our business of course how happy or miserable they are but please don’t fake these things!! it made me not believe any movie star. well, after all they say “acting on-screen, acting off-screen!”

“Well whatever is the reason i feel they loved each other and its sad that a woman’s love wasn’t so deep as the man, she left him at a time when he just battled through a brain surgery at least on medical grounds she should have shown some sympathy for him. I dont understand why people here are calling her efforts as great i feel they all are themselves very selfish ppl who have no respect for relationships especially when somebody who u once loved is medically unwell. How can u leave then? She made an abrupt choice marriages are for keeps and also when u can bear the superstar tag or the so called philandering though there is no evidence …”

‘For God’s sake he was also the father of ur children she separated those little ones from their dad, this aint done after 13 yrs.”

“Why leave him one out how on earth will u find a new husband a new father to those kids is there a guarantee? Will u get a next person who u knows that well when u were just 19 he knew her all her life. Will u be able to create those beautiful years of youth with another man  i wonder. then why did u spoiled it?”

“when people leave a marriage is there a guarantee that the next spouse will be better than the first one i dont think so as no one is perfect u cant even get a perfect maid or a driver after the previous one has left the job then why not get old with the same partner with whom u took oaths to have a life time relationship with kids”

That one actually made me crack up.

 “Just because your husband is busy working does not give her the liberty to indulge herself”

She should have realized this before marrying him.”

WHAT THE FUCK?? I MEAN SERIOUSLY???  The woman is supposed to KNOW it will work out or not? She REALIZED??? A man CAN muddle around? A  woman should know better?

“I am puzzled.. Does it take that long for a two people to realize they are not compatible?? Seriously both need clinical help!! Since they are affluent in life maybe it’s the easier way to walk out!! The same would be unusual in a normal working class family!!”

No you fucking c**t it does not take that long.. the first fuck on your suhaag raat tells you all you need to know about how the rest of your life is going to pan out. You gather your shit and split before sunrise.

In my day marraige was for keeps..if it was broken you fixed it and started riding it again. You didnt throw it into the garbage scrap and ‘move on‘. there should be a limit to selfishness as in a marriage you compromise with each other. This is coming from somone who has been married for over a decade and didnt walk out because it wasnt meant to be and we didnt work out. I stayed because no matter what, it HAD to be and we HAD to make it work.”

Great marriage is a Horse! and she has been ridding it so hard she is saddle sore and is pissed at anyone who dares to go on a… say for example a cart.

“after 2 kids u thought u were not compatible! i am lady and i have a 2 years old daughter …. i wud work it out with my husband till every bit and i know he would too… we may not be the best looking couple or the perfect couple.. we fight mourn argue every other day .. but for gods sake ur not compatible after living together for 14+ years !”

I know a couple who have been together for fifty years the man was gay and the day he died she was the most relieved. And NO they were not compatible, they loathed each other but always smiled in public. Imagine that! Such brazenness .. they deceived me!!

“its strange to see and imagine her love existed for just 17yrs for him its sad. After making a commitment for a lifetime her love for him suddenly died down at a time when he was all weak “

Note to self: Never leave a man if he suddenly gets ill after you had decided to separate and announce it.  Why? because it’s not done.. You wait for another 10 years till he is well.

“Its strange a woman said i wanna end my marriage had no love for him at all though the man himself is unconditionally in love with her.yes he must have made mistakes but why leave a guy at his most vulnerable stage why cant maintain this relation its not always neccesary to have love in a marriage even friendship or pretending to be friends for the sake of kids could have helped.”

This one deserves a standing ovation. This is the crux of the problem. Pretend to be in love, pretend to be happy, pretend for your friends, pretend for your family , PRETEND FOR YOUR KIDS! Newsflash, kids are pretty smart and they know when there is tension and unease, it’s like an illness it lingers in the atmosphere and like a cancer it eats into you. If you are unhappy its better to face the truth, even it it’s painful to deal with its better and healthier than this PRETENSE.

“Thirteen years and two kids later…some people just don’t work out. Nigggaaa plz. Couldn’t you have realized it any sooner? :-)” – 

No she couldn’t  didn’t have a crystal ball! shucks!

“I think when kids are involved as parents i feel u it should be a social and moral responsibility as a couple to survive ur marriage just keep going in that relationship”

“hmmmm after 13 years and two kids .. she decided it is not working???? you decide first if its working or not and then bring kids to this world … only an affair is the thing which can force me to leave my husband and nothing else!

“not working out” is a foolish comment from a mom of two! you make things happens! you work on marriage. specially when kids are involved . leaving is easy, working out is hard .. and she took the easy way out. unless one of them was / is having affair.. thats totally different issue.”

“hey’ve been together so long! I know that they may have grown different but still they must have realized it way before the second kid!!! so why did they continue their marriage?”

Fuck me!

What i mean is don’t fuck me .. i  have felt something which might lead me to divorce you 10 years later. If we have sex now i might conceive and if i do this might become a problem i for any reason we decide to divorce… See we shouldn’t have sex today .. . I am sorry i just cant make this decision right now. Put your snake back in your shorts.

“Plz kindly remove the <surname> tag u have literally spoiled ur superstar husband’s image and status ppl around me are saying poor guy his wife left him, its sad he is dumped, his wife ran away with another man all because of this woman”

Okay this one really scared me, now they are demanding she give him back the surname because heck she left him! He is handsome, rich and and makes the ladies swoon and open up like 7Eleven so HOW DARE SHE KEEP THE NAME! Give it back Bitch! Did i mention he is the most handsome man on earth… oh right i did.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAND the icing on the cake…

“She had everything and she threw it away.”

That’s right, she had a handsome man who told the world he loved her. He is rich and famous and gave her everything. Beautiful house jewelry and two kids. What more could she need… seriously?

Through this insufferable regressive-ness there was a faint pulse of the few who dared. Threadbare …trying to shout over the din to be heard.  Faint but still beating… a beacon of hope.

“I have a lot of respect for her. Whatever her reasons were for the separation is her business and her business ONLY! It is great to see a highly scrutinized woman in India be strong enough to leave a marriage that made her unhappy and go on with her life without caring about the opinions of others. She carries herself with such confidence and class!”

“Gud she decided to live her life her own way. Her responsibility towards her kids is separate from her own happiness.”

“I’m reading the comments below and I have to say I’m shocked. Some of these opinions on marriages and wife’s duty to make it work, etc are exactly what wrong with not only society in India, but across the Indian diaspora all over the world. Can we please progress as a society? The shocking thing is , most of you women believe these things because they’ve been hardwired and programmed into your brains by parents, society , in laws, etc . Makes me ill.”

“Why is everyone so judgmental? We live in an incredibly sexist society- if a woman chooses to leave because she finds the relationships isn’t working work for her, people slander and assault her motivations and integrity. Why not think- yes she tried for a long time and after trying for 13 years she realized that some things won’t change and decided to move on. More power to her for making a decision that makes her happy in the long run. And even more power to her for being independent and creating opportunities for herself. More women should strive to be self- reliant, not just a doormat with no unique identity of their own. Plus who are you to judge and accuse her of failing to make the marriage work”

“So now you are condemning her for sticking out for a decade!! Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!!”

“What’s with this “BLAME THE VICTIM MENTALITY’ your harbouring? Maybe she tried and tried and decided that it just wasn’t worth it anymore. Who are you to judge???? If your upbringing has taught you to put up with infidelities and lack of respect in a marriage , please apply it in ur own life. You might be in awe of his looks, money or star status but please understand that fortunately there are several women out there who have the guts to say no to BS behaviour no matter what the trade-off.

The last comment made me raise my head a little and think. It’s the trade off that was being hammered all though that post to that lady. That’s what was bothering me the most ( apart from the fact these are not rural village women who were giving these comments but urban educated women.. but that’s a separate topic altogether). We are boxed in, we are expected to have a limited vision. Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a honors degree, bag a rich handsome man, settle down, have kids, be a good daughter in law, make him happy and there… you have everything you could possible hope for. What more could you possibly want?

He does not love you as much?… You don’t love him as much?… you are unhappy? SO WHAT? Are you going to give up your home, kids, husband for that? What are you going to do with this so called liberation and happiness don’t you know single women are miserable trying to snatch a wealthy man just like the one you have? So what if he beats you… he was probably stressed at work? He wants you to do what in bed?… okay so why can’t you try it… you will learn to like it after a while… stop complaining. You marriage is not working.?? THEN TRY FUCKING HARDER dammit!

IT’S YOUR FUCKING DUTY!.

What is this inherent weakness in women to judge fellow women? The pride with which they wear the shackles around their necks and brandish it around like a weapon to suppress other women is downright frightening. I think we are labeled the weaker sex, because we just can’t stand it. We cant stand to celebrate the strength it takes to stand under the sun, and say yes i am flawed but i am free. I am free to live my life on my terms. It’s easier to stay inside the box that we have been given and PRETEND to be free.

Strength, integrity, self-worth, happiness, independence, is unbecoming.

Plus it won’t get you a man.

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17 thoughts on “The Weaker Sex

  1. Well said, in this world it’s always the woman who has to sacrifice. If she decides to leave she is bad n if the man decides to leave that also is something to do with the woman. We say we live in 21st century but The mentality of the society is still of 16th century.

    Every woman has a right to be happy whether within the marriage or outside it.

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  2. Chani,

    I was reading this whole post with thoughts framing in my mind…but when I read these lines “Strength, integrity, self-worth, happiness, independence, is unbecoming. Plus it won’t get you a man” it came to a screeching halt…wow! You hit a nail there…For the past one hour I was giving my mom a lecture on the same…when she explained her sorrows on me not getting married…I was asking her don’t you feel happy that I am able to live on my own? don’t you feel at peace knowing that I am happy and enjoying my life? don’t you feel proud of me for having strength and capability to live my life on my own? Why are you not feeling great about any of these things? You should be encouraging me more right? but why you end up always demoralizing me when I am struggling to gather courage and fight for my happiness? She reluctantly agreed that I am right but blamed in on her generation gap and the crushing pressure from society…well all this argument started because we had a guest at home, a couple whose intentions were good but ended up destroying my mom’s peace by stating that since Ahi has broadened her horizons and started thinking on wider perspective, it is difficult to get a guy for her…you should ask her to compromise and get married…etc…OH my! I hate this society!Why they have to poke their nose in all matters? in others personal lives?

    In this situation, the woman, the bollywood wife had her own reasons for the split. We have no right to tell her to live like this live like that..its her life, her decisions, her happiness..the least we can do is respect her. She is trying to built her life again..and believe me it isnt an easy job…instead of dictating society demands and rules on her, respect as a human being. She is smart business woman, a great mom so if she had taken this step, then she would have thought it through. I have seen her interviews many times, since they are a couple whom I adore and each time they love shone through…I for one certainly dont think it was an act…again its own belief, what we want to think…everyone has their own rights to think, form opinions but we dont have the right to impose on others to think the same..that’s wrong.

    Chani, thanks for sharing this one..it was a true face of society blabbering….which one we all experience…and I totally hate the fact that society always demands the woman to make it work…its her duty…those are bullshits…both people involved in a relationship are equally in this to make it work..that’s what I believe.

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    1. We don’t know what her troubles were, what her reasons were, must have been difficult because she has to consider the children plus the crazy media and some inconsiderate fans, yes to us outsiders it seems like she had the world, but as they say money can’t always buy you happiness and love

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  3. Loads of applause!!!! I felt da same really. … and I was like what the hell? They had issues in past coz the actor was famous for having affairs with co-star specially one who wasn’t Indian. Now if she was moving on not being affected by the fact that she had two children from him forgetting the fact in da process it was her body which lost blood which undergo all da pain n which affected her skin. have u ever seen her face how old does she look. Look at Gauri for instance she looks younger than her. Anyways

    Coming back to the main topic. Actually its da women herself who demean other women doing it. B it their own case the rules must b different. Then it would be POOR ME DDVIL HE…. People have different rules for their own problems. They see faults in others but in same scenario their views turn a 360 degree change. Anyways the more shocking was indeed tht the whole blame was dumped on the girl. The guy said he still loves her but can we guarantee his heart nope. I am sorry but I was never his fan. IDK y. Anyways I agree wid u but I hope that we the women change from being judmental.

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  4. Well our society still needs to mature. A strong, free spirited woman is something many can’t digest. Home, hearth, sacrifices, harmony, responsibility all still relates to the woman. Sigh. I really don’t know why they poke nose into somebody’s private life or give unsolicited and biased advice.

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  5. Was really not shocked to read this update …
    all that you have written is so so true …
    They say the worst enemy of a woman is a woman herself !
    It is so sad that whatever she does or doesn’t do she is anyways
    going to be condemned …

    I know of an instance of a couple who were married for nearly 13 years and they were the Ram-Sita of the family … everyone was just given their example for everything … and how they found the girl just perfect for their beloved son because she was a daughter in law who hardly ever uttered a word and was totally dependent on her husband … there couldn’t have been a better girl for their family … that the family was united because of her … and so on …

    But destiny has different rules of operating … fate was pretty unkind to that girl … just five days before their 13th anniversary the man passed away leaving her all broken and coping with the loss became a struggle … she had to hear so much from her in laws … taunts about being given less jewellery at the wedding … that he should have been the one to be alive instead took the cake … after trying to stay afloat in such a terrible atmosphere when it reached the limit the girl had an overdose of sleeping pills … the girls parents came and took her back with them after seven or eight months … 😦 there went all what the poor girl had sacrificed all those years for this ungrateful family … she is in touch with the husbands family but is treated like as outsider all the time … the family just gave her and her kids a few lakhs of rupees to just about sustain her … thank God for her parents support she and her two daughters are able to lead a dignified life …

    It’s really sad to see that times have really not changed much in our society …

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  6. Chained, isn’t she?

    Hear her whimpers, seek her unshed tears as she silently bears the emotional and physical scars just because she is deemed to be the weaker one. Nevermind the womb which carries the so-called “stronger loins” , ignore the Goddesses but do kneel and ask for the son, Because what world would be with a woman without a man. Like the word “man” plastered with her ,she is rendered to be the one whose whole essence must be labelled, shredded and bifurcated to serve the other. Suffocate her enough that she forgets the feel of her own breath. Daughter, Wife,Mother and Grandmother – cage her , make her feel guilty dare she think beyond them. Let her be a doctor , an engineer or a writer- but she must always be known for the wife she was , the Mother she was meant to be and the daughter she was born as.

    Strip her soul so that the world would always have the inferior one to blame , beat her up to compensate for the world debauchery , abuse her for failing when it is the society which has fumbled.

    Call the crowd, burst the fire-crackers , drink that wine , dance till the nines- finally the wo(man) has relented. The day has come when she will herself lynch her own for daring to seek herself. She has finally understood her purpose – i.e. to serve. She will sneer and snicker at her own who is daring to wear the skirt a little higher or at the one striving to find herself. “She must be the wife for the husband , she HAS to be the mother and kill herself if that will serve the need. Put the rebels down – how dare they challenge the nature-The world of Adam.

    Chain her with the labels – because she is not meant to seek her identity. Isolate her because that is where she belongs. There are no women issues – doesn’t she realizes that she is the issue.

    Serve them in the bed, smile till you cry, walk a step behind . Follow the ritual again and now.

    Like a tutored kid she has taken to moral police her own . She is schooled to never be the one who is inappropriate. She is the dignity, the “izzat” , passed around to serve the purpose.

    Take a moment, Ask – “Who are you”. He will smirk and declare – I am The man. She will smile , hesitatingly and say – Wife or a mother.

    She really has no idea who she really is. She has stopped seeking herself.

    She is broad-minded if she dates or talks sex, she has to be the Cinderella to her Prince Charming – to experience love.

    Dare she fail her role , she is marked for being the dirtier, selfish one. Ostracized by her own. What right has she to be selfish and think for her own. Ofcourse she is responsible if he chooses his selfishness too – she just was incapable of satisfying/performing . Failed one, the woman.

    Pittle Pattle, the ramble goes on. I state at these muddled thoughts and try to make a sense in the chaos where my gender has lost its soul. There is hope flickering someone ,perhaps it is within me or you. Asking to be heard , begging to be let out and fighting to survive before it is defeated by the labels.

    Go on and ask yourself – “Who are you”? the answer shall be the hope!

    Chani – Thank you for sharing this . We conveniently go around ignoring the circle and the abuse. Stand like mute spectators as a woman is lynched for being herself- this acts like a mirror, showing us who have we become.

    I apologize for the hasty and confusing voices. I face a blank pain when it comes to penning the tale of woman.

    Love around and a big hug to everyone fighting for the individuality.

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  7. Silence and toleration (along with being emotional)- Considered to be virtues (weakness) of a woman gives strength to the other people to keep on doing anything, disregarding the person who is giving that strength.

    My admiration for the lady for her courage to face a judgmental society. Wish more women have the courage to break their silence and take decisions for themselves.

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  8. Single mother? What did she do to make her husband leave her?

    Husband had an affair? What didn’t she give him at home as was her duty to do?

    Domestic violence? She must have done something to deserve it. I wonder what she said/did/thought to enrage her husband like that?

    Rape victim? Well, have you SEEN how she dresses? If that’s not ASKING for it, I don’t know what is.

    “The pride with which they wear the shackles around their necks and brandish it around like a weapon to suppress other women is downright frightening.”

    And this is what it all comes down to.

    I saw no judgement in those comments, only resentment, and fear. These are the women who are raised to believe they have no worth unless a man gives it to them, and the burden for ensuring that rests on their shoulders probably before they even learn to walk. First they must ensure their fathers do, then their husbands, and in that order. They are subjugated and they take it with pride, but that pride is false. Sadly they have nothing else to cover their inability or fear to stand up against it, so when a woman who fights/demands/takes/embraces freedom comes along, they resent it.

    By doing that, she is in their minds basically spitting on the dictates of a “society” they’ve succumbed to, she doesn’t follow the “strong moral code” they were/are forced to worship and never question. She becomes the enemy because she shows them their losses, how their sacrifices are a one way street which gets them no fulfilment, and most of all she shows them where they have failed themselves by not being the women they know they can be but refuse to be.

    Their inability and fear to stand against these dictates can be excused, maybe even understood. But, when they in turn become dictators like they show they’re doing above, by demeaning other women with far more courage than they know they won’t build in themselves, then they cannot be excused. But, more than that, they shouldn’t be tolerated by the rest of us.

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  9. Superbly put.
    When the announcement of this star separation was made it was very cleverly worded to say that SHE had left HIM after 17 years (or whatever) of marriage. It had struck me then that it was not a joint statement, but came from the MAN and his publicist. There were appropriate pictures of him attending events solo after the “shattering” breakup that he was bearing stoically and appeals to give them their privacy. The wife was quiet through all of this.

    This was a smart move on the actor’s part because it immediately made him the injured party, particularly in the eyes of the millions of adoring fans several of whom are probably the authors of the posts mentioned above. I’m betting most of them are unmarried teenagers who are only worried about how their poor hero must be managing without his wife and kids. Poor baby.

    So what if he was having a little affair or two on the side? It comes with the territory, doesn’t it? That’s what men do, don’t they? Or at least that’s how it happens on TV or in the movies and eventually they work things out and live happily ever after, don’t they? Why the hell did she have to move out and create such a public spectacle about it? Surely she could have borne another 10 years or so of living with that kind of humiliation? Surely it’s the wife’s “duty” to ensure that her husband doesn’t stray!

    There’s a sense of “how dare she?” among most of them even as some of them secretly envy her the courage to walk out of the marriage, wishing they had the strength to do the same. I don’t deny that her family’s wealth and support would have a major role to play in it. There are many who stay in a bad marriage only because they literally have nowhere else to go because their parents either cannot or will not take them back for a variety of reasons, poverty and societal repercussions being the biggest.

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  10. It is truly sad how women are perceived. What’s even sadder is that most of the time, women are doing harm to each other. We are so quick to pass judgement and criticize. Rather than support each other, we tend to find faults and exploit them.

    I guess it’s easier road to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have read your work for a long time… And l am a fan… A silent one. The only reason I am commenting today is probably because of an awkward conversation I had over coffee. I filed for divorce few months ago and no one can understand why… Well, some can after I explain my reasons. For the longest time, I didn’t offer any explanation.

    Your post hit home… I ended the marriage because I wasn’t happy and I couldn’t trade off my present for a future that might or might not exist for me and my daughter.

    I am rambling but mostly I just want to say you should keep writing. Your words are very valuable and they stay with people for a long time.

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