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  • Category: General

    Why doesn't society accept women being single?

    On this women's day, I would like to discuss why Indian society discriminates against single women? In our society, heterosexual marriage and motherhood are strongly idealized and considered as the 'ideal' family model. The overturning of this fundamental assumption in patriarchy by women is deeply questioned by male dominance. Women who live by choice or by circumstance outside a man's control and support are usually alienated in society. Research shows that women are much less likely to feel the need for a partner and be happy in their single life. They are also more relieved by the lack of unequal responsibilities in a heterosexual relationship or mothering. Even though women are financially independent and have supportive parents, the social prejudices are against their singlehood. As a society, it is better for everyone to accept and allow everyone to make their own choice instead of being tied down to institutions that make them so anxious and unhappy.
  • #753549
    I congratulate the author for raising an issue that many spinsters of India have been facing for decades. Indian women have become independent and are holding higher positions in companies. They are also honored by the elite members of the society and acknowledged by the people. However, where ever they go, the single women are being questioned about remaining unmarried. Not only that they are advised to get married and settle down in life as early as possible. No wonder, unmarried women get extremely annoyed and vexed to face people who are deliberately judging them. What is wrong with not being married? Are men being questioned similarly? The parents of single women are also advised to find a bridegroom for their daughter of marriageable age as soon as possible and sometimes they also send some details of eligible bachelors as alliances.

  • #753564
    Very good thought provoking thread from the author and on this day when International women's day was celebrated this thread would make others to ponder over on the issue raised by the author. Basically it is understood that men and women are made for each other and that culminates in the marriage, whether arranged or love affair and later growing to a family of their own. And this is the reality to which everyone is accustomed and there is no second thought. But living as the single woman cannot be allowed in the society amid relatives and well wishers in tow who wanted to give the best life and would not allow to live single. The society has many wrong doers and the law also does not permit a woman to live single without male support. Therefore it is imperative that a woman should have the male support and not necessarily with marriage agreement.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #753565
    True. If a lady is unmarried and working, many people may question her why she is not getting married? But the intentions may not be bad also. Just to know the reasons also they may question. Even the question will be asked to unmarried eligible boys also if people know that he is unmarried. But it is easy to identify an unmarried girl but not a boy. Our society is tuned in that way and the people here can't come out of the hard beliefs they have.
    But I still say that there is a lot of improvement. Ladies are becoming independent and giving a tough competition to gents also.
    People will have their own way of doing things. They have their own thoughts. People have no times to observe what is going around. This is more so in cities and in cities, ladies can also manage alone all the issues. But in villages, the situations may be different.

    always confident

  • #753569
    "the law also does not permit a woman to live single without male support. Therefore it is imperative that a woman should have the male support and not necessarily with marriage agreement."

    What rubbish!! Which law, K Mohan? It is the typical attitude by a chauvinistic male that it is "imperative" that a woman must have male support. Really? What absurdity.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #753570
    "the law also does not permit a woman to live single without male support. Therefore it is imperative that a woman should have the male support and not necessarily with marriage agreement."----------------Even Saudi Arabia is changing this law.
    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

  • #753571
    Celebrating Women's Day is fruitless if we don't change our mindset. Further, should we acknowledge women's role in society only one day?
    “Khamosh rahoon toh mushkil hain, keh doon toh shikayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But if I speak, they complain.) --------- Saba Afghani

  • #753578
    Women will become totally independent and strong only if they stop bothering about what others think of them. Why should a woman worry when someone asks her about being single? What prevents her from saying that she has not married because she does not want to? Why is she reluctant to say openly that having children or otherwise is a personal choice? So many questions can be asked but that is not the point.

    I personally feel that the thought process of people around us have undergone massive changes over a period of time. If the single women were looked down upon or looked at with suspicion, it is no longer so now. We get to see so many women who have not gotten married or are staying single after getting divorced from their husbands. We cannot close the mouth of the whole society. When you are doing something that is not a norm in society, you must, I feel, be ready to face such questions too. But why should such questions worry you? It is your life and it is your choice. It does not actually matter unless you being single have some negative effect on society. And, let us accept the fact, as Dr Rao has said, that even men who remain unmarried also face the same question. We need not consider such questions as an intrusion into our privacy or something like that. Society has been used to certain norms and traditions and it would not be prudent to expect them to change their ways overnight. The difference in thought process will be found among urban and rural populations, the rich and the poor, orthodox and unconventional, educated and not so literate and so on.

    Whatever is said, I think that if a person participating in a hundred-meter race decides to stop in between or to run beyond the finishing line or to walk across the 100 meters, he/ she should be ready to answer questions also because he/ she has done something which the organisers were not expecting and is against the set norms and practices. If you have your answers ready, you need not bother about the questions at all.

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753585
    Well, for that matter I would say society is only a collection of individuals that has certain invisible boundaries but has no direct relationship with the law of the land. Society cannot question someone, it's the individual who can question another individual. The way in which people used to think before has changed a lot and nowadays, not everyone is going to question a woman staying single. As long as someone is not doing anything illegal I don't think one should care about what others say. When it's the choice of an individual it's a personal choice and if one questions the choice a suitable reply has to be kept ready depending on the situation and people asking such questions.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #753603
    Since time immortal as per the tradition and conventions in the society women were supposed to live as a dependent member in the family and were required to take care of children and household. With the advent of time and modernization women started to get education and were doing jobs also and in that process became more and less financially independent and were able to take their own decisions even while living in the joint family. The things have far more improved in the matter and today women are able to live separately without the support of the family.
    Still, because of the old mindset people and society do not see the single women or women living alone as a feasible proposition. This mindset in our country will remain there for some more time and finally when the modernization will be complete in the width and length of the country then this will be accepted as a normal thing as it is accepted in many developed western countries.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #753645
    I was quite amused to note the point by the author in her response to the thread Role of women in social development wherein she says that every woman needs strong support or morale boost to achieve their goals. Isn't this observation in contrast to the crux of this thread? I feel so.

    I was watching a television program recently in which the Mayor of Kozhikode (Calicut), a lady, categorically stated that women should stop giving excuses or demand concessions in the name of being a woman. While claiming gender equality, women should be able to take up any challenges just like men except in cases of pregnancy or other health problems.

    Staying single or opting out of motherhood/ fatherhood is indeed a personal choice but one, be it be man or woman, cannot live forever without the support of others like relatives, friends or neighbours (irrespective of their gender).

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753649
    I would like to clarify that there is no any contrast between what I posted in the above thread and the response which I posted on the Role of women in social development. I never mentioned that women don't need support or help from others . As a social being, every individual needs support from their family , friends , society,government and judiciary irrespective of their gender. What I disagree with is that, in order to live a life, it is obligatory that women needs men's support. As I mentioned above, everyone should accept the choice of others and then only a society will flourish healthier. Since we are living in a developing country, not everyone is privileged, so it is a necessity to give certain priorities to people who are suppressed by social biases like caste, class, race,gender etc.

  • #753670
    Rakhi, let us not succumb to misconceptions. Is it only men who ask you why you have not yet married or if married, why you have not yet gone for a child? I am sure that such questions are raised more by women than by men. And, as if to prove my point, I agree with what you said about the support one requires from society, including family, friends and the system and that is why I said that you cannot remain separated from society, and not just from men. As a member of society, we need to be justifiable and logical in our decisions so that people would have to think twice before putting up questions to us.
    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753675
    I am sorry to accept the view of the author. Not only women but also men, it is difficult to live single whether the society accepts or not. If a man without wife or a woman without husband is not considered as a living person in a common place and their own thoughts will kill them slowly. This can be understood only by experiencing and not by mere words. For news sake we can argue that the man or woman can live singly. The life of single person may be seems to be alright initially and challengeable but day by day the gut will get vanished.

  • #753680
    I agree that as a member of society, everyone should take accountability and give justification for certain things that will directly affect or influence the whole society, but why do we have to give answers or reasons for our personal choices? And I also agree that not all questions are asked by men, but everyone should educate themselves that being single or not having a child is a very personal decision of an individual. So, raising questions and interfering in their life is a trait of toxic community.

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