“We are very progressive and modern. We treat our daughter-in-law like our daughter! We let her meet her parents! Last week, her mother was hospitalized, we let our daughter-in-law stay at her parents’ place for almost a week. We let her work too! We have never scolded her for wearing jeans and t-shirt! After all we are modern in-laws!” my mother-in-law tells her friend, as I was making tea and snacks for them after a hectic day at work!
But, this wasn’t the first time that my mother-in-law spoke about how “progressive” she is! How she is letting me live a life that a daughter-in-law can only dream of in our society! How she is better than the other regressive in-laws who tend to own their daughter-in-law.
While my in-laws’ friends and family may be quite impressed with the lies they tell them; the reality is completely different. Neither they treat me like their daughter, nor they are progressive.
How could they be progressive, if they think they have the ultimate right on my life decisions? How could they be progressive, if they think they need to give me permissions to wear clothes of my own choice? How could they treat me like their own daughter, if I have to seek permission to take care of my ailing parents?
The ugly reality of many modern households is the fact that they still believe that they hold the ultimate right to decide what kind of life their daughters-in-law will live! The ultimate thought that they give permission to their daughters-in-law, exposes how they perceive their daughter-in-law as nothing more than a bonded labor!
While the mere thought that I live a life better than many emotionally, physically and financially abused daughter-in-law gives superficial satisfaction to my in-laws, the reality is that I still live life on their terms. Even when my parents were sick, I was expected to seek permission to take care of my parents, who brought me into this life! Though I am allowed to work, I am expected to handover all my income to my mother-in-law! Even though I am allowed to work, I am not allowed to hire domestic help to share the load! I am still expected to work, earn income and then bear the burden of domestic chores!
How my in-laws still expect me to let them control my life shows the hypocrisy that they tend to wear the mask of progressive and modern people! But, this isn’t just my story! There are many people who promote themselves as progressive in front of the whole world, but within the four walls, they tend to chain their daughters-in-law with the same rudimentary thought process.
Many may fool you how in-laws have become more supportive of daughters-in-law, there are many like me who are victims of so-called modern in-laws. These in-laws may come wrapped in glossy gift paper, but inside they carry the same rudimentary thought-process that they own us; that daughters-in-law are their property and they have the ultimate right on their life decisions!