Monday, April 27, 2009

I elaborate.

The reason I think Thaalis and other forms of marriage-jewellery are unnecessary for women is not because I find tradition redundant or Indian customs stupid.

Basically, a thaali represents the fact that a woman is married, it announces to the world that she's taken, so don't try anything funny. But if you think about it, its not like a woman is ONLY someone's wife once she's married, she's still a friend, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter. None of these other relationships require anything like a sign on your forehead to show the world. They don't NEED badges, why this?

Also, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with my mom and Poongodi, our hired help. On a whim, I asked my mom why the wife had to proclaim her marital status to the world while the guy didn't really have anything that did the same?
Amma said it was a sign of security for a woman, and more than its actual place in the scriptures, it symbolizes that a woman is married and that she means something to someone.
I don't mean to sound vehemently feministic again, but why doesn't the Indian male do the same? A commitment bracelet or a wedding ring doesn't sound too bad does it?
Poongodi said that's how things were, 'onnum maaraadhu ma'.

Otherwise, I don't have anything against anything. :)

PS- Shyam, a friend of mine, blogs at http://avidthinkerprolificquestioner.blogspot.com/. He writes yamaaazing poetry and pretty darn awesome pieces of prose too. He wondered why I was against jewellery as a symbol of commitment and hence, this post. :)

8 people shouted back:

straight from the heart said...

first of all thanks for the sugary stuff.:D
to me the main thing that jewelery conveys is that the woman is someone else's wife and she is outta bounds mate.dont try anything stupid or the whole society will be pouncing on you.that makes a person respect that woman as a friend or a relative.there are no overtures to a woman who is already committed to another man.and that saves a woman unnecessary bother as well as giving the man a warning.this does not apply to any other relationship for obvious reasons.besides if you really love a man i dont think you would have a problem with wearing something as a token of that love,not as a chain of bondage or something.and yeah i guess we wouldnt mind wearing a bracelet to signify commitment.

R said...

I agree with you. I've never been a lover of jewelery. And I doubt if my preferences will change now after the ripe old age of 22. But I also agree on Poongodi's final line "Onnum maaraadhu ma". I'll accept the thaali as long as I am not expected to wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY.I'm fine with it as long as I can choose when to wear it and when not to.

I'd like to disagree with Shyam above. So do I have to wear a thaali for men to stay away?Will the society not pound at whoever when something stupid is done to me if I weren't a thaali wearing woman? What about spinsters then? And are we so vain that we need a piece of jewelery to safeguard us? And do you seriously think that a pervert is going to spare me from whatever he intends to do JUST BECAUSE I am wearing a thaali? Does it make a difference?

And what has REAL LOVE got to do with this piece of jewelery? Can I not prove my love for my man by just being with him through thick and thin and leading a compatible life with him and loving him in every way possible? Isn't that a better token of love than a piece of jewelery? I'm just asking :)

P.S: @crazylittlething-Sorry for hogging your comment space. Maybe I should have done a post on my own. Sorry :)

R said...

Hope you dont mind me blogrolling you.

Nautankey said...

Interesting.Is the case of sexual harassment on married women lesser? I don't think so.Married or unmarried the lechers/oglers are gonna continue.

And about men wearing a symbol,I had read that during days of yore men[in TN] also wore metti in their foot along with women,as you see women those days saw only the foot of the man. As time passed the metti ceremony for men vanished. Unable to get that link where I read it though

swattalk said...

Even to this day, in some communities, men are made to wear metti for their wedding. But they remove it two days after the wedding or so. maybe women should remove it too, from now. then again, it depends on the individual.

Asmita said...

In Bengali customs, a woman is expected to wear "loha", or iron on her hand as a symbol of marriage. My mother wears it too. I asked her why people wore it and apparently the origin of the tradition goes like this: Earlier, kings would invade other kingdoms and capture all the womenfolk of the defeated kingdom. The iron symbolises the shackles the women were bound in when they were dragged back to their new "masters" and forced to submit to them. :O!!!

perturbed perceiver said...

i couldnt agree more.if a woman needs to testify that she is married ,so does a man! but then there are many more customs(especially after marriage) that are related only to women! society needs to change a lot!!

arvindkunday said...

The thali is assumed to make some one who sees that gal to stay away from the giving an hint that the girl is married. Most girls dont
wear their thali outside their dress, making the argument purpose unusable .Even if I buy into this argument, but showing the sign
of commitment thing is something i completely dont buy into. R's argument is very true. While i would not mind to wear a metti or
bracelet to show a sign of commitment, i dont thing its completely necessary. Same is the case for girls. Eventhough i'm a ardent
supporter of feminism, i find some of the comments incomplete. Say for example, if woman is showing sense of committment so does man. We are not speaking about the mutual committment from other side here. All what we have to be worried is removing something that really does not seem to make any much sense, and those that were intentionally left into the society to treat the historically and surely
a stupid argument weaker sex(girls, which is not true) in a way that was not intented to be. Try to remove something that does not
make sense rather than to still keep them and asking the opposite camp to do that. This is when exactly the argument collapses and ego comes into picture. I dont see any good caring and loving husband who is gonna say that u gotta wear thali if u wanna live with me. Its solely a matter of personal choice and has gotta be. Its impossible to satisfy the society. If you start living by the society, you start losing ur identity. Do what you feel is right and do something that's right. And i firmly believe the argument is right :).

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