Defective Marriages and an Idiotic Fixation with It
#1
MESSAGE 2 MODERATOR: Please do not shift this article under “Say No to Arranged Marriage”. You can deal with a topic in many ways. And unless you put it in a separate thread how can the reader know about it. It’d be illogical if you put all marriage-related articles under “Say No to Arranged Marriage”. I say this because you’d done this to my previous article.

I have a simple suggestion: Why don’t you create a master thread called Marriage and put all marriage-related articles in it?

Please remove this message to you, before approving the article.
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The whole of Indian society suffers from an Idiotic Fixation with marriage!

In India, almost all get married…or “have to” get married. And those who do not are frowned upon by society.

Why the marriage fixation?

Is marriage a ticket to heaven?
Is marriage a magic formula to brighten one’s future?
Is this marriage a solution to all our ills?

It is a fixation that has resulted in a false prestige and respectability being attached to the marital institution.

The fixation is so much that if you’re unmarried at 35, even strangers will immediately ask the question, “Why are you not married?” Believe me this can happen on the first contact itself! No one has a right to ask such personal question! It’s indecent! It’s impolite!

The only exception can be in the case of people whom you are close to. Even in this case no one has a right to ask that question more than a few times.

I am going to “dissect” the FARCE & IDIOCY behind this “marriage fixation” in India, below. So keep reading on…

Marriage for All the Wrong Reasons

The marriage culture in India is totally flawed! People here get married for all the wrong reasons! And what are those:

From the man’s point of view:
• To get a maidservant…oops…wife to help his aging mother in doing household chores
• To preserve the family name through offsprings

From the woman’s point of view:
• To live up to society’s expectation (men too marry for the same reason)
• If delayed she will go past the “use by date” and there will be nobody to marry her

To tell you the truth, these are PRIMITIVE reasons to marry!

The human body has evolved. The human mind & culture has also evolved. But some aspects of our culture are slow in evolving to a more matured state. The marital institution is one of them.

Polluted Arranged Marriage Culture

The arranged marriage culture is a highly polluted one! Let’s look at the reasons:

1. The perverse dowry custom (through which men prostituting themselves in the marriage market)
2. Putting undue pressure on boys/girls to get married
3. Forcing son/daughter to marry someone of their parents choice
4. Heinous dowry-related killings
5. Sticking to a rotten husband/wife for the rest of the life
6. Oppressive atmosphere for the wife (forcing her to committing suicide)

These are the kind of perversities that we regularly see in arranged marriage culture!

Incredible Indian Hypocrisy

The arranged marriage culture has these two perversities - the Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market.

But we have the great Indian society singing praises of the HOLY institution of marriage! And to maintain the sanctity of marriage they talk about how you should NOT do this and that…or else you will be condemned as immoral.

Can you believe that? It’s just like a characterless person calling himself classy! It’s also like an ugly person who calls himself handsome!

This is an incredible case of SELF-DENIAL and also HYPOCRISY of the filthiest kind!

What kind of brainsickness is this?

“Retarded” Marriage Culture!

Our marriage culture lacks MATURITY and INTELLIGENCE!

There is little or no matured-thinking regarding very important aspects related to marriage. These are:
• How to make the right choice of one’s life-partner?
• How to make the marital life an extremely fulfilling and successful one?
• How to deal with differences and incompatibilities between the couple?
• How to efficiently and intelligently bring up one’s children, so that they grow up into matured & well-mannered citizens?

How many Indian families discuss these issues, esp. in a free and open and informed manner? Hardly any!

In this society, ANYONE can get married! Even if you’re a Moron, Half-Mad, Characterless, Corrupt, Crude or Uncouth, rest assured, you can easily get married!

In this retarded society, performing the ritual of marriage is MORE IMPORTANT than the above 4 aspects of marriage.

Finally

If we had a truly matured marital culture, then perhaps I’d not have objected to this marriage fixation as much. But keeping in view all the deficiencies, stupidities and perversities in all the Indian marriages, the “marriage fixation” is not only baffling – but also sickening!
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#2
I should gently point out here that the tone of your dialogue is filled with dissatisfaction and a hint of outrage. It employs strong words: retarded, moronic, farcical, idiotic and so forth. The tone of a rationalist is to be neutral and calm. It is our duty to calmly lay out our points and not give our debaters added ammunition in the form of anger.

Quote: To get a maidservant…oops…wife to help his aging mother in doing household chores
While many women are caught in a bad marital institution and find themselves to be doing menial tasks around the home, it is insulting to make an accusation that some men marry only to take a "maidservant".
I would seriously suggest that you edit this post and make the points speak for themselves, without the outrage.
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."
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#3
Acknowledging at the very outset that this is an area where ongoing social critique is much-needed, here are a few asides related to the OP.

- To mention in the same breath and treat as comparable evils both 'the Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market' seems to set up a false equivalence as if the current state of affairs is somehow equally oppressive towards both genders. That there is a gender divide which cannot be omitted from the discussion, is evident in the absence of 'groom burning' reports or instances of men having to quit their jobs to join their spouses after their wedding.

- To say that marital practices must change because the 'human body has evolved' is fraught with the risk of promoting a kind of anatomical determinism. 'Bodily attributes' such as gender or age have for long enough been the sole determinants of 'marriageability', to the neglect of other considerations such as shared purpose, to negotiate this contract. Also, in what sense has the human body evolved since our grandparents' time? It is true that the declining age of puberty and increase in average childbearing age in part due to medical advances may have a bearing on marital choices, though none of these can be considered objectively binding or the basis for value judgments.

- The need for responsible marital decisions is a topic where discussions cannot be limited to 'arranged' marriages alone. If the criteria for arranged marriages such as endogamy seem arbitrarily enforced and inadequately reflective of individual choice, it remains also to be said that the shallowness of matching criteria in some dating sites seems no less arbitrary. Cultural factors imposing lookist biases and skewed life priorities influence partner-seeking choices even in unorthodox settings, and these cultural factors demand a wider cultural critique not limited simply to institutions such as arranged marriages.

In a sense, the progressive umbrage against traditional institutions of match-making is largely because those are marriages of convenience rather than marriages founded on compatibility. However, even in non-traditional settings, partnering choices may be more influenced by 'convenience' factors such as monetary success rather than compatibility factors such as matched temperaments. A bent of consumerism that is so pervasive in society, influences any attempt at long-term relationships even in a dating setting. If there's a marriage market and an arranged marriage industry, there's a degree of hard-sell even in dating settings. A disdain for crassness and consumerism of the kind that is evident in these lines, 'Identical to the association of merchants which is formed for mutual benefit and support, one is attracted towards the institutions of marriage and family; where pomp and pride are merry and joyous.' incidentally by a 15th-century Bhakti poet, maybe shared even by a contemporary progressive who is bemused by the consumerist and ostentatious manner in which marital commitments are transacted, irrespective of the manner in which they are originally occasioned.

In sum, the tricky tradeoffs between convenience and compatibility which many real-life commitments necessitate, are a challenge that will stay with us even if arranged marriages are phased out, and hence are a topic deserving of a fuller discourse.

PS: There seems to be no compelling reason why these posts don't belong here.
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#4
Quote:it is insulting to make an accusation that some men marry only to take a "maidservant".

nick87, the FACT is in traditional Indian society many married women live like “glorified maidservants”. And when I say “many”, this may not necessarily mean “majority”. And when I say “traditional Indian society “, it includes all classes of people, from top to bottom. I’ve used the word “maidservants” in that context and not as a form of abuse at all.

You must understand one thing: In India many marriages are NOT based on “compatibility” between a man & women – but, from the man’s point of view, to bring in a lady to look after the household and the elderly parents of the man & to serve food. Arranged marriages are basically “marriages of convenience” where many women stay as “glorified maidservants”. And that’s the FACT! But to what degree and at what levels of society, can be open to debate.

Does this mean married lady should not look after the household or the parents-in-law (in old age)? I am not suggesting this!

The main thing here is the mentality and value-system of the all the people involved.

Quote:the tone of your dialogue is filled with dissatisfaction and a hint of outrage. It employs strong words: retarded, moronic, farcical, idiotic and so forth.

nick87, that’s true! I feel strongly about a lot of things. And I use the appropriate words to express myself. So what’s wrong with expressing OUTRAGE?

I am a person who calls a spade a spade – and not a “toothpick”. Besides I am NOT picking on a specific individual to do so. It’s against the society at large. Your complaint against me would have been proper had I picked a specific individual. As long as the words are not “abusive”, why should anyone have any problem?

Quote:“The tone of a rationalist is to be neutral and calm.”

“Neutral”????? Like a neutral judge? I am not sure I agree with you.

Of course, I’ve read the comments of many rationalists here who have replied in a calm manner. That’s good! But why should that preclude someone from expressing strong sense of dissatisfaction (in a general manner) – without being “abusive”?


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#5
(14-Jul-2012, 05:20 AM)arvindiyer Wrote: To mention in the same breath and treat as comparable evils both 'the Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market' seems to set up a false equivalence as if the current state of affairs is somehow equally oppressive towards both genders.

Arvindiyer, I do not get this at all?!!!! What “false equivalence”? In what way it (whatever you’ve in mind) is “equally oppressive “? Can u pls explain this again?
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#6
(14-Jul-2012, 07:06 PM)Raz2802 Wrote:
(14-Jul-2012, 05:20 AM)arvindiyer Wrote: To mention in the same breath and treat as comparable evils both 'the Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market' seems to set up a false equivalence as if the current state of affairs is somehow equally oppressive towards both genders.

Arvindiyer, I do not get this at all?!!!! What “false equivalence”? In what way it (whatever you’ve in mind) is “equally oppressive “? Can u pls explain this again?

The OP had this to say:
Quote:The arranged marriage culture has these two perversities - the Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market.

That seemed to imply that men suffer almost as much as women in the oppressive traditional setup. To suggest so would run the risk of ignoring the underpinnings of the institution in patriarchy and thus lead to flawed diagnoses and remedies being suggested for the problem. It is ignoring the patriarchal basis of the problem that leads to misunderstandings regarding legislative/judicial action to address gender marginalization in marital settings, such as those corrected here. Misunderstandings like those need to be urgently addressed in a society where patriarchal influences over the law are still evident.

Perhaps a benefit of the doubt can still apply to the OP, considering that two issues were simply listed and not exactly compared or found equal. However, being hyped as marriageable, which is the lot of 'eligible bachelors' seems nowhere close to the indignity of being commoditized and having your worth measured in terms of the amount of your dowry, and this is a distinction worth bearing in mind for reasons explained above.


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#7
Arvindiyer, actually “Dowry System and men Prostituting themselves in the marriage market” are interlinked. Although the way I’ve stated it gives the impression they are two different things. The fact is the Dowry practice means “men Prostituting themselves”!

In the ugly practice of dowry the question of men suffering simply cannot arise. For the simple reason that men enjoy all the benefits offered to then under the patriarchal society. They also enjoy prostituting themselves through the Dowry system.

Of course, men too suffer under the patriarchal or traditional mindset but in cases when they want to do something different.



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