Reema had written this post on the issue of remarriage of widows, widowers, the attitude of Indian society toward both. I agree to every single thing that she has written.
This post though stems from a different situation – an extension to what she has penned in already. From what I have heard and faced over the recent past; I should say that the attitude extends to divorced men & women too. In this day of rising divorces & broken marriages, I don’t know how many go through all this!
It is so easy for people to accept a man take on another wife while it is blasphemy if a woman thinks of the same. There are some who say, if it happens it is alright but don’t go looking for a relationship. A relationship went south once…so take care or live for your kid, get a career. Suggestions to forget one’s needs or replace them (one supposedly would be too busy to notice and when you do, you would be too old and it would be too late. Worry about it now – then the response Why are you thinking of something so far away?!? ). A woman is not strong enough if she looks for a partner – get a grip! is what one hears. You will be fine! Though it is absolutely acceptable that the man “moves on”, dates, finds a partner proactively!!
I am just reminded of Revathi’s Marupadiyum (Shabana Azmi’s Arth in Hindi) where the woman chooses to be single. The dialogue sticks out in my head now : the heroine says the woman has grown up being a daughter of some man taking that name, then she takes on her husband’s name, then the mother of her kids.
So, when ever will the woman live for herself and not be penalised for it? Let a single woman be; if she wants it that way, let a woman not take her husband’s name; if she wants that….and if a divorcee (well in India you are that…not single again!) wants to live alone – so be it or if she looks for a relationship…why not?
Personal choices have no place! Being judged by society, being stamped as whatever – will these ever stop?There are times when I think single women (widows & divorcees) make that choice because of the attitudes she may have to face finally. It gets to you – the society….even if you don’t want to care, at some point it does overwhelm you to resign yourself to fate!
If this is the plight of women in a city where most of the population is educated. I don’t even want to think of those in villages where “tradition” has its place! Poor women stuck in marriages where abuse is the norm (physical, emotional, sexual….)
I doubt if these prejudices would ever end! At least I don’t think they will in my lifetime. I don’t even think I am being negative here. I feel that I am being practical – cynical yes, but pragmatic! Here is to hoping I am wrong!
Next time, some one wants to say “get a grip!” , “stay strong” – Stop!! The woman probably is doing it already!!