My dad told me last night that I shouldn't get married. Sounds like FINALLY my parents have realised that it's ok to not get married and have kids before you can blink, right?!! But no, what he meant was, I shouldn't get married. Ever. Because I'm too idealistic. I ask for too much. A marriage is all about compromise and I won't be able to do that. Thus making both, myself and my partner unhappy. So, I shouldn't get married at all.
The whole discussion began from where, you know? From my PhD topic. Can you believe it?!! I was telling them about how I want to do post-feminism and popular fiction etc. And my dad said that he thinks all the feminist type people are a bit too much. I totally lost it and of course, I retaliated. *rant alert* Of course they are a bit too much. They have to be. Because of people like you. And people who think like you. If and when I marry someone, I intend to always be treated as an equal. Does that mean I'm asking for too much from my partner?
I will not dissolve my entire personality and go to live in his house, with his parents and adapt to their way of life. He doesn't have to do that. Why should I? I want to set up my own household, where both of us will together make new rules. [To my dad: Us making new rules WILL involve making compromises for me as well as him. So, I'm not scared of compromising or adjusting. I just have a problem with it if I'll be the only one doing it or I'll be the one changing 75-80% of my way of life while he only has to make some extra room in his drawers. That is what I mean by equality.] I will expect my partner to share the household responsibilities. And mind you, I don't mean that he'll "help" me in household work. Because you help someone in THEIR work. If he lives in the house, it's his house as well. So, it's his duty as well to cook and clean. So, it's not "helping" me. It's doing his own fucking duty. If both of us work. If both of us earn money and stay out of the house to work, why would it be only me who cooks and cleans? My dad said: Relationships are not contracts. No, but they come quite close to being like contracts. I'm not going to make my partner sign an agreement about how he should cook on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and clean on the rest of the days or anything. But, if he expects me to do all the things all the time, he'll probably stop getting food until he realises I'm not the type. (Though, of course, these things will be pretty clear even before that stage comes. So, there'd be no question of that.) My dad totally told me off for thinking this way because things are not like that anymore. Doesn't he work and "help" mum in her household work? Of course he does. He makes tea for all of us and puts away the utensils and stuff. But, there are many times when we have a lot of relatives over at our place. And almost everyone knows how Indian system works. Guests are treated like royalty. So, they won't do anything. But, in out family, ALWAYS, all my aunts and female cousins will gather in the kitchen and start doing stuff along with my mum while the men all sit out and chat. So, the women will make food, serve the men first, then eat and then, clean the whole fucking thing up. While men sit, chat and eat. Why? What have the men done so much that they need to be treated like that? Have they just come back from ploughing 15 acres of farmland? Or from cutting down logs and logs of wood? Or have they all just had some kind of an accident? No. That's just how things work. And, my dad will never touch a thing in such situations. Because then, his (and my mum's) "reputation" will be ruined in front of all the family members and they'll gossip for years and years to come, all implicating that my mum is a bad, bad influence on my dad and she has totally wrapped him around her little finger. Coz you know, that's what women can do. Either be Virgin Marys or be the evil Komolikas. No grey shades allowed for them at all. And, believe it or not, this is 21st century Mumbai!
How can the "feminist types" not be too much? They have to be if they want to assert their individuality! But the moment they want to do that, they are told that they are too inflexible. They can't compromise and so, shouldn't get married at all! How about this father? I like my romance and sex. So, if I don't get married, I'll not just get it like I do now, but also flaunt it (because I don't like having a secret life that I have to hide from you to save your emotions and your precious "reputation"). Suits me. You tell me if it's alright with you.