I came across this photo on facebook a couple of days back which was re-shared by one of my friends from the page of a legendary actor. The photo has got me seething ever since. And it got some 5 lakh plus likes, to add to my chagrin!
Now the part which says that she changes her name, changes her home, leaves her family could be true to some extent. There are families, even today, that endorse the regressive thought-process of girls being ‘paraya-dhan’, where girls are raised to think of the family they grow up in as merely a temporary set up before they leave for their ‘own’ family-by-law.
Having said that I would like to believe that mindsets are changing. More and more women are able to stand their own ground and decide whether to keep their surnames or adopt their husbands’ after marriage, based on their own choice and desire rather than what the society ‘demands’ of them. And its equally welcoming to see men evolve too and accept that their women have every right to choose and decide what they want for themselves.
As for changing home, leaving family, to speak for myself, I have never felt or been made to feel that I have had to ‘leave’ my family after marriage. Yes I did shift from one house to another, but I have been every bit a part of my parents’ house as I have been of my parents-in-law. Also the part which says that a woman moves in with her husband and builds a home with him after marriage, I believe the husband also comes forward and contributes equally to building that home with her.
But the one line that blows it for me is:
Gets pregnant for you, bears a child for you.
I have not found a more ridiculous thing to say than this. Again, I talk for myself and my husband when I clarify that I did NOT get pregnant for him or bear my child for him. It was a well thought out decision to bring our child into this world and we made that decision together, for our own sake and happiness.
When we got married we had decided that having kids would not be our primary focus for another 3-4 years. We needed time to get to know each other, secure our lives a bit better, stabilize our relationship before we could bring a child into our lives.
And when we did decide to take that important step onto the next phase, it’s not as if my husband came up to me, one fine day and blurted, ‘Hey listen will you do me a favour? Can you get pregnant for me and bear a child for me?’! Nor is it as if I went up to him either, asking, ‘Hey listen, will you do me a favour? Can you ‘make’ me pregnant so I can bear a child?’ 🙄
NO! It did not work like that in our case! And I’m sure it does not work like that in any couple’s case! Favour would be the last word befitting here. I was craving for a child just as much. I wanted to be a parent just as much. I wanted to get pregnant and bear our child! The decision was and is never about ‘your child’ or ‘my child’. It was ‘our’ child that we were talking about bringing into this world.
Yes I did go through some bodily changes when I was pregnant, I did get fat, I did go through fair amount of labour pains. But I did not, for a second, begrudge any of that on my husband, neither did I ever think that I was doing him a favour. I know for a fact that if the situation had reversed, my husband would have taken on all that just as well if he were carrying our baby.
I think ‘favour’ is a wrong word to be used to describe anything relating to a relationship as mutually equating as marriage. The onus of every little decision made, every little step taken, every little space give to nurture a marriage rests equally on both the man and the woman.The minute a couple in any marriage starts to think that he/she is doing a favour to the other, it loses its meaning. So merely terming it as thus would be belittling the very relationship I feel.