Some of the personal experiences of my loved ones – my mother, my elder sister, my friends, and my colleagues, made me put my thoughts in this post.
Dear Indian Daughter-in-law,
Being a school topper, a college gold medalist, a high-performing employee, you worked really hard to create a life of respect and dignity for yourself. After all, any living being deserves respect, so why shouldn’t you!
But sadly, even after watching many women being devoid of respect after marriage, you always believed that will never be your reality. You dreamt of being respected for your achievements and at least, being treated like a human. But time proves you wrong. Like many of us.
Where Is Your Sanskaar?
Rather than being celebrated for your education and achievement, you were labeled as uncultured. Every time you refused to follow any tradition blindly, you were labeled as a rebel. Every time you fought for your dignity, you were reminded of how you had no sanskaar. Every time you refused to bow down to regressive thought-process, you were reminded of ‘respect for culture’; ‘respect for elders’.
While you fight this battle for yourself all alone, your husband rarely supports you. He gangs up with his parents to make sure you are being controlled and your spirit is broken to please your in-laws.
From A Free-Spirited Woman To An Object To Be Controlled
After marriage, you are seen as an object that needs to be controlled; an object whose rightful owner is her husband or in-laws.
Every aspect of your life is controlled : From deciding when and for how long you should visit your parents, to insulting you for doing things your way, to deciding what you should wear. There are also unsolicited advice passed on your lipstick, perfume, career! But, when you refuse to give them control over you, when you refuse to be anyone but free-spirited, you are being blamed for bringing disharmony in the family.
While you wonder what you did wrong to bear such treatment; why you don’t deserve respect and dignity that you always hoped for; I have news for you – Our society hates its daughter-in-law. And, it hates educated strong and independent daughter-in-law even more!
You are paying the price for being educated, progressive and intelligent!
You are paying the price for not being a robot, whose remote control is in someone else’s hand!
You are paying the price for using your brain and standing for yourself.
To all Daughters-in-law who has been shamed, blamed, and insulted for standing for themselves:
Please don’t let yourself be bullied and put down. There is nothing wrong with you. Unfortunately, you are blessed with a spineless husband who refuses to take a stand for you against his controlling parents. Don’t give up on yourself; Don’t let the toxic people suck your energy and light!
Remember, you agreed to marry your partner for love; not for taking sh*t or to be treated like sh*t!
**Disclaimer: There are many in-laws and husbands who are supportive and progressive. My article wasn’t an attempt to generalize, it is based on stories of many women around me.