An Indian Woman Stands Upto Marriage

In India marriage is a big event, and the institution of marriage comes with its own package of oppressions related to caste, race, religion, culture, tradition, and language. It is also differently oppressive for females and males. Looking at it from a woman’s perspective and discharging have been quite useful for me.

In my family it’s expected that females should compromise about and adjust to everything, particularly marriage. Women generally get married when they are twenty, and also become mothers soon. I am thirty-one and single. In the last few years every day, at least once, someone would ask me when I was getting married. As I had been working on not compromising and not giving up on my dreams, I could say, “Whenever I wish.”

In one of my sessions I had told my Co-Counselor that I would not get married because I felt isolated; or because my younger sister’s marriage was pending, my parents were worried, or it was said by doctors that after age thirty getting pregnant would be difficult; or because people didn’t respect a single woman as much as a married woman. I had decided that my marriage was my choice and that I would get married only when I wanted to.

Recently I saw an advertisement in which a heroine says the same things that I had told my counselor. I felt very supported. We women are there for each other, we understand each other, we are allies to each other. It’s not all about marriage; it’s about us young women being able to think about our marriages, our bodies, and our lives. We are in charge, complete charge, of our lives and the entire universe.

Marriage proposals have been coming, and I am going on discharging2 on marriage and sexism. Standing up for myself and trusting my thinking have been a powerful way of fighting the oppression.

I am glad that I am able to tell my mother and other older women that I am a smart young woman, I will be fine, and I can take care of myself irrespective of whether I get married now or later. Though they are worried, because of internalized women’s oppression, I am consistently spreading rays of hope about my future, to myself and to them.

No limits for women! Cheers to all females, and all of our male allies!

S.J. Shashikala (Shashi)
Bangalore, India


1 "Stands up to" means bravely confronts. 
2 "Going on discharging" means continuing to discharge.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00