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Woman of today

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- NILISHA TULADHAR

Jul 27, 2018-

My friend was getting married in a few months. It was an arranged marriage, something I had not heard about for a couple of years. I could feel the excitement in her voice when she told me about the preparations that were going on in her house. “I was confused in the beginning.

My parents accepted the proposal after they held several rounds of discussions with me. When I finally went to meet the guy, I was overwhelmed to find such a humble person. I am happy that my parents chose for me.” There was a sparkle in her eyes when she said these words. My friend was a socially active person. She spent her time in a social service organisation and usually scored the highest grades in class. She was ready to help anyone and had a large circle of friends. But just a few weeks before the marriage, her happiness turned into psychological torment.

Unfounded rumours spread about my friend’s not being a good girl. Relatives called her parents asking them about her extroversion, and they accused her of having many male friends. Her parents were sensible people, and they tried to explain to them that it was not a big issue for girls to have male friends. “We’ve seen her with boys. I saw her give a file to a boy once. Haven’t you seen her pictures on social media? She is calling it social work. She is very outgoing.”

These accusations forced her family to keep silent. Can’t a girl expect to live a free life? She is compelled to remain within the boundaries created by society. Was it wrong that she wanted to move forward in her activities? Maybe she did not want to limit her existence to preparing meals and washing clothes enclosed within the four walls of her house. Social attitudes said that it was unethical for a young girl to assume that the world would treat her as being equal to the men around her. Or was it the prevailing education system influenced by Western philosophies that placed the concept of feminism in a youthful mind while in reality her society followed the opposite practice?

So why did these nonsensical criticisms emerged when she was getting married? Why did people become concerned about her all of a sudden? Where was the appreciation and encouragement when she struggled to earn a good name through her hard work? She came into the spotlight only because she was getting married. She had to pass the so-called agnipariksha to be accepted, just because her ideas were a bit more advanced than traditional thought. Stereotypical patriarchal beliefs forced her to accept that a girl needs to be quiet, and so they gave birth to another female subordinate.

Published: 27-07-2018 07:59

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