Dignity is for women

Wont take much of your time. One chhota sa post with two simple questions.

So Ash is going to marry Abhishek. However hard you try, you cant escape all the banter about whether Miss Rai should now quit films or not. I even saw a poll proclaim loudly that 41 percent of respondents felt Ash should ‘maintain’ the ‘dignity’ benchmarks established by Mrs Big B.

First one. Why is it that despite all the noise about equality, feminism and stuff, everyone (media?) talks only about Ash halting her movie career? Why shouldn’t Bachchan Jr be asked to consider the same!? Woman kissing around on big screen after entering wedlock is indignity, but the married man bumping hips and lips with good looking women is accepted.

Second. If movies indeed are undignified stuff for women to do on screen, especially post-marriage, why do they think it is okay for public to see the very same stuff on huge screens?

That second question may be a result of my own hatred for the cheapness I associate most our movies with. But tell me you modern Indians, is the first question a fair one to ask?

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46 Responses

  1. Definitely a fair question to ask. It would be interesting to find out how many of those poll respondents were men and how many were women.

  2. Dignity of a woman – Hmm. I cant believe that a woman of the stature of Aishwarya Rai married a tree to counter the negative effect of stars. Thats a good example for all the women in our country to follow.

  3. A very succinct post. I wouldn’t want to comment on it, though. I am disgusted with these polls and these double-standards.

  4. These polls are media crap,
    Toilet of India (TOI) leads the pack.
    Last time i switched on TV,
    I was shocked to see this question you see.
    Would you marry a fair girl or dark?
    Why do you ask – is what i thought.
    Then the poll results were shown,
    And results were to me quite unknown.
    50-50 was what they said,
    Shocking is this, what i said.
    B’coz last time i TOI checked,
    Everyone wanted a fair one to wed.

    So they question is a fair one to ask.
    As long as everyone wears a mask. ;-)

  5. Its true of this double standards.
    Out of mind, I was thinking of these questions for Abhi Jr.
    Will he cook good food for everyone in the family or not?

    Will he feel alone when her wife is shooting and he is watching Daily soaps at home, or writing down the recepies from Sanjeev Kapoor show to make and please her wife once she comes back.

    Will Ash allow him to meet his old friends like Karishma?

    Will she take her for shopping on the weekends?

    What kind of dresses will Abhi were after marriage, will she allow him to wear something revealing?

    Think of more

  6. Yes… finally after a year or so ( bollywood standards) abhishek will give birth to a boy …. So equality there right?

  7. When it comes to sceen, a man or a woman is an actor or actress. they do not represent Big B’s Bahu or Miss rai or Jr Bacchan or whatsoever. It is very obvious to us alos, who have a great different culture at home. I do a dual job of a youngest Bahu in a family, and simultaneously a most responsible person in the office.
    So why to indulge it with dignity of a woman either when it comes on screen. If one likes or it is needed , one should go ahead and do it. and I think everybody understands this.
    If Ash is needed to sing Romantic songs post marriage, which will be later sung by thousands Love couples to express themselves, Big B should not mind it.

  8. I think the social responsibility after marriages gets altered(increases)a lot . In Indian society, we are just not existing as somebody X, but are related to lot of people. Hence when referred , sometime we ought to represent a family. Whether you are a daughter, sister or girlfriend or what ever the other person gets affected who shares a relationship with the person X.

    Well, bahu in Indian family is a representation of a family & also represents maryaada. (Neverthless to mention Pre-marriage, all this for her dad’s family) It becomes automatically obvious that its her responsibility to carry herself with decency. I don’t want to define the term decency here, since its individualistic. (In Muslim family, not wearing a burka is indecent so the degree differs here).

    Well, Media looks for such news & makes it more sensational. I vote for females to be decent no matter they are married or not. same applies to guys too.

    Probably, this Q from SB is more for guys, still I couldnt resist :-)

    ps – These are my personal views

  9. @ Veena

    What makes you think that question is only for guys!!!

    SilkBoard has posed a question on the very essence of “family system” itself. Slowly we shall see the disintegration to the point of making this “value system” null and void at this rate.

    Havent we all heard these happen to the actor/acteress of the otherside of the world – they change their boys/galls like seasonal wardrobe. That is equality folks.

    Want to ask for more dignity – ask the western world while you paint the eastern world black.

  10. SB, I thought its all husband’s choice which overrules everything. Probably some girls do it with their will but some are expected to do that, what ever I said.
    So probably its more the MEN janta to comment ashTe :-)

    west-east, hmmmmmm… May be I am not the right person to comment here.
    Ask Pranav that six year H1B guy :-)

  11. @Veena,

    The crux of the matter is this — Silkboard asks why it is that Woman kissing around on big screen after entering wedlock is indignity, but the married man bumping hips and lips with good looking women is accepted.

    Dignity for women or for men is a different issue altogether. The issue here is why there is just talk of Ash ending her career.

    And I find it strange that you think this question is only for guys! Could you explain why?

  12. OI, thanks, but you didn’t answer that!

    Christopher – counter negative effects of a star? didn’t know what that is.

    Yaar ApunKD, bashing ToI is one thing. But when you hear everyone around you talk about this thing, you know why TOI carries these polls. They sell what sells. BTW, is that 50-50 verdict on fair/dark spouse true?

    Hey why_not, yeah! Why not ask questions like those? The bigger point is, why are women expected to sacrifice their careers like that. Somebody, I know about that 1 year truth-of-nature. But before that, and post that, why should only women turn home makers?

    Sheetal, that “dual” job you talk about is the thing I find unfair. I know a few families/couples where husb-wife both work. Similar job profiles for both, yet the ladies cook and men watch cricket/football on TV.

    Veena, the question was for ‘modern Indians’, the new set that sees women go out to work, and men talk of equality.

    Shruthi, yes exactly. Thanks for the support!

    I realize that the 1st qn above is actually a two-in-one. First part is about the type of job here, why is that (movies) seen as being worse for wife than husband. And the second one is what we ended up discussing – why should only women halt their careers for ‘family’ or whatever.

  13. One thing is for sure.We are sick of seeing Aishwarya on the screen. It is time for her to say good bye to movies. Many doors are open to her. She can use her fame to boost her fiance’s career.

  14. @Silkboard

    I realise now that I didn’t really answer. However, the reason I asked that question was because I’ve seen enough women also saying that Ash should quit.

    First queston: Yes, all the voices seem to be directed at Ash for quitting movies. Maybe thats because of a precedent that has been set, with Karishma, Juhi, Madhuri, Karishma, Jaya Bhaduri, Sridevi….the list goes on and on. Do I agree with it, not at all. However, whether we choose to say it out aloud or not, it is a male dominated society, and not just in India. Degrees differ. There are different standards for men and women. Sad reality.

    Second question: I don’t really know what to say to this. People also watch porn but they don’t want anyone in their friends/family to be associated with that, don’t they? So I don’t know what to say to that. You also say that “cheapness I associate most of our movies with”… but isn’t it the same world over? Clinton get impeached but fidelity in the [American] society is questionable in itself.

    One more observation about the first and the second question. Some of my friends had no qualms about their girlfriends attire while they were dating. But as soon as they get married, the girl can’t wear the same attire and has to wear “DECENT” stuff. What the hell is that about?

  15. Your title reminds me one movie dialogue.
    ” Aurat apni maryada mein rahe.. aur mard khule sand ki tarah ghume…”

  16. Oi:
    Dating and marriage, one involves two individuals and latter involves two families(usually). The latter even today puts pressure and it doesn’t take long for most 21st century open minded couple to change its ways.

    Silkboard:
    Answer 1: Did Jaya bachchan work in movies immediately after marriage? You think the bachchan family had anything to do with it? I think the question about Ash continuing her work in movies crops up considering the decision imposed on or chosen by the previous bahu of the bachchan parivar. The media needs to be on a story 24×7 these days and hence for their own sake assume that the bachchan family is stuck in their old ways.

    Answer 2: Nothing wrong in asking a question. :-)

    Indian mindset is shifting and a majority makeover takes time.

  17. @ Ajay

    You make a fair point, but you or I don’t know their reasons for a particular attire after marriage. It could very much be because of what you say, but then it could also be completely unrelated. I never asked them that.

  18. “BTW, is that 50-50 verdict on fair/dark spouse true?”
    Yes true.
    Goes on to say – people do lie on polls ( why – is a matter of another post from you :) ). After all this verdict is in stark contrast to what is published in matrimonial ads. Much of these polls are time pass banter and nothing more. Well just ask around the same question – and i guess you may get similar results.

    The biggest proof was the very scientific (with even error percentages mentioned) exit polls before last general elections – which pointed to a thumping victory for NDA. All of us know what happened.

    ah… but now we are digressing from the subject of this post. :)

  19. SB – I hope you know that Aishwarya is a manglik (and I am sure you know what that is) and to overcome that she first had to marry a tree before marrying Abhishek. As a manglik is supposed to bring bad luck to her husband…she first marries a tree and all the bad luck is dumped on the tree.
    I am a little out of topic…but the words “dignity” and “Aishwarya” made me think on those lines. Making a girl marrying a tree…I think its denigrating a woman. And a celebrity doing this….it really shows the double standards we have.

  20. Silkboard,
    You are questioning the basic roots of the family system. The why and the why… You dont need answers from your blog readers but need spiritual advice on that from a properly attained guru. Do you think all the great sages for many million years were fools to do that to woman? On single sight it looks like woman is getting bashed here but you need to think much more than that.

    Your questions otherwise remain like other questions ….

    Questioning is the basis of living…

  21. I didn’t think that people might get so curious about my comment. Honestly, there was no reasoning for such thought, just thought.
    May be you can ask yourself about what would you prefer in case if you wife wants to persue her such career, before even that, just ask yourself whether you want to marry an celebrity like Ash. Generally we awe at her to date or spend an evening but think hazaar times when its comes to marriage. Its all about preference.
    We need to still grow old to think modern, atleast I know my brother, my husband & some of my friends(who are boys) will not prefer to marry a girl with such career, leave the film actress, they can’t even think of marrying a customer facing lady like an air hostress!

    Dignity is now exchangeble with Vanity too, or superiority complex ( offlate people started acquring this attribute, may be it includs me 2).

    No Matter what, this topic has given rise to many such thoughts, one of them is
    http://whitephosphorous.wordpress.com/2007/01/16/bollywood-marriages/

  22. Why is the post talking about Ash ending her career. Why not any post for our south girl Rakshita(very famous in kananda offlate).
    She is marrying Prem – the village boy-turned-director & she said she is stoping acting in films but she would look after her husband’s production business, well she also said, I am not sacrificing the career & trying to be in touch with the industry being in production etc.,
    Another incendent, Upendra another south -indian- dangerously-famous-director married a bengaali girl Priyanka who was an heroine before wedding. Ravichandra -a puTTaNNA kaNagal award winner had priyanka in her movie. One song in that movie was shot very “bright” with a dirty lyrics in it. Sandalwood had controversies saying Upendra offered some money to Ravi to not release that movie etc., Upendra has directed many hit movies in kannada & he exposes girls like hell(infact he displays girls as if they are reasons for everything (which might be true in some cases:-)))…. Just a difference, it makes a lot to think about that ‘OWN’ thing !!

    SB, Now answer to your Q..

    1) Women in Indian families are sane! They have a special preference. If Mallika dances with skimpy stuff,people awe at her while John Abraham or other model does the same, nobody cares.. hence the difference :-)

    2) Not all career woman end their job after they get married, some may feel difficult to manage both hence they choose to quit. Guys may feel inferior to sit at home doing just cooking(They know this or not is a difference aspect)

    ps – Hope I am not sounding too rude here, if yes.. its not intended.

  23. Ayyo I forgot to add one more thing, if you ask me to answer the poll.. I would vote for Ash continue her acting career but she can be choosy when she selects her role. She looks better in movies like devdas etc., than this DhoomII.
    I still admire Suhasini(ManiRatnam’s wife), Dr. B. Sarojadevi inspite of being heroines they were so ‘DECENT’.. & they remained throughout.

  24. It’s always “expected” that women will do all the adjustments. It’s as simple as that.

    – Women will have to adjust to ways and means of their in-laws family. Men on the other hand will be treated “specially” in their in-laws place and everybody else adjusts to them.

    – When it comes to balancing career and home, women are expected to make the first sacrifice. I am not even saying when they get pregnant. Even otherwise, if a husband re-locates, it’s the “duty” of the wife also to somehow arrive at a compromise and relocate too.

    – After having children, and if the children are neglected, the mother takes the first brunt. Nobody questions if the father spent enough time with the children or not. But the mother “should-have” done it.

    That’s how our society is. Not only in the old-traditional-not-so-educated families. But even in the sofesticated/educated families too. The other difference in the later would be that atleast there will be some “discussions”, but still finally the onus of compromise is on the woman.

    What I said above might be a little off topic from the post, but I hope I conveyed what I wanted to say.

    Regarding Ash, who are we to decide? Let her decide after having discussions with her family members! Why should we bother?

    Disclaimer: There are always exceptions. Not all men are over-powering and dominating and at the same time, not all women are all-compromising. The above statements hold good “in-general” only.

  25. Shark, excellent one.. Totally flattered. You are just ready for the ‘Wonderful thing’ thats going to happen in feb 07 !! :-)

  26. @veena

    Shark is just saying the same thing silkboard said originally!!!

    What was so excellent about it?

    the question remains aint it?

  27. @ somebody, I was not really interested with the answer. The way Shark narrated it was good is what I said. May be I need more narration to understand it better, sb said it short :-)

  28. Dignity is a funny thing and the only thing that compromises it when you are coerced into taking a decision. In this case if anybody has compromised on dignity it’s the media which is going on about this issue as if they had this given to them the B family in so many words.

    There are many many artistes who have carried on bringing grace and elegance and even glamour to the silver screen after marriage- do names like Hema malini, Meena Kumari, Nutan, Dimple et al ring bells.There were dignified exits like Nargis, geeta Bali etc. But I guess these were decisions these strong and elegant women made for themselves and it was a good thing there wasnt any television to speak of then.

    Honestly if Ash quits its because she is a rotten actress- pity Jaya Bhaduri left or cut down drastically on cinema after marriage coz she was a fab actress.

    Well if society makes women compromise- if that at all- then we live in and make up a pretty horrid society.

    Just a string of unconnected thots- but my two kopeks to the treasury.

  29. Oh alright, this is turning into a discussion. Short on time consuming BSNL’s free Wifi at Chennai airport right now, but let me do some selective answers.

    Somebody, fair enough, I may be questioning the roots of family system as such. But the system sages left us may not be relevant in modern times. Women go out to work and earn now. And that is because life outside of home is not that hard now you know, it is not about hunting, farming and fishing anymore.

    Veena, if you ask me, I’d be more than willing to stay home, cook, attend to my son, and watch cricket on TV in the afternoons. My wife knows that, too bad she doesn’t read my blogs :). But your point about us not being that modern yet – is valid.

    Shark, exactly, the women are just ‘expected’ to do those things. Time to question, isn’t it?

    More comments soon. But the point I am going towards is this – Modern Indian women have too much workload – just as Sheetal said somewhere above.

  30. Point is modern or otherwise women have always had too much of a workload- ask Katyayani ( Ysagnavalkya’s wife)or the Bronte sisters or any farmers wife- BTW SB just beacuse the manual labour involved in a section of urbanites’ lives doesnt make modern life any easier- where do you guys get all your funny ideas from- in fact it’s just more complicated- the relative disuse of the amygdala and the enormous growth of the pre-frontal lobes of the brain testify to that- the point again is women have always had a greater propotion of the workload and now the poor souls have to bear up to the pressure of increased complexities as well- well are we still friends?:)

  31. Silkboard,
    OK..ok… you want a role reversal. Good

    Create a group of like minded husbands group, have a dharna, have some woman support too. Maybe you can champion the cause and this will be upliftment of the downtroden what ever….

    Have you heard of battered husbends helpline :-)

    The law is already strong enough to protect the fairer sex. If a woman goes to a policestation and gives a written complaint buddy you are IN the dock. If she puts the DOWERY word, you are in a BAILLESS situation including your family (family is mom,pop).

    A woman can have any number of illict relation ships, she is not punishable under any law but you can not that is BIGAMY.

    Why do you think such laws exists if its not all about farming, fishing,hunting eh?

  32. Woman have it tough? What a joke. Not true for the urban woman. She can indulge in illicit relationships no law against it, but she can file a case in police and have all you men arrested along with your fathers , mothers sisters.

    So, stop throwing up philosophy.

    If its hard, its hard for everyone these days.

    Somebody you have said right.

  33. Why do think people bring in rules, like the traffic rules to avoid the mishaps & control the illness & to bring in the peace.
    when you know politicians are bringing in such tough rules, what would be the degree of harassment an female must have undergone throughout those years.
    Well, everywhere there is an exception… But one thing is sure, the rules helped quite a lot of genuine people.
    Indian Judiciary agrees to the concept, Even though a culprit doesnt get punished, an innocent shouldnt be jailed(not an exact translation though).

    Well, nice to know that we have people who can baby sit & cook at home. Let me check it up back home… Its easy said than done may hold good here too :-)
    Mr. P aka SB, thats a valid effort, ask Mrs. P to read your blog & get enlightened. Please do it sir!

  34. @veena

    Agreed that my maids drunkard husbend beats his wife for money every night and they need to be protected.

    BUT, we are talking of urban ladies here. Excuse me they drive the swanky cars, shop till dropping dead, chat on exclusive mobile phones for hours…. they are the misicule part we are debating about.

    Are such ladies harassed? The recent cases of reverse harrasment are coming up. The law just does not listen to man under these draconian laws. Arguing that cruelty of other woman is the cause is as absurd as why people are not following trafic rules.

  35. @veena

    Agreed that my maids drunkard husbend beats his wife for money every night and they need to be protected.

    BUT, we are talking of urban ladies here. Excuse me they drive the swanky cars, shop till dropping dead, chat on exclusive mobile phones for hours…. they are the misicule part we are debating about.

    Are such ladies harassed? The recent cases of reverse harrasment are coming up. The law just does not listen to man under these draconian laws. Arguing that cruelty of other woman is the cause is as absurd as why people are not following trafic rules.

  36. A woman can have 10 secret affairs… when caught.. just walk into a police station, and say my husband asks for dowry, then police will arrest husband, husband mother, husband father, husband sister, and wife can start 11th affair.

    when man goes to police and say wife is having affair, police will tell him go because no law it is ok.

    veena ur name is like a girl but i dont know if you are boy, traffic rules are same for all. woman cannot say i will drive on right hand side because i am woman. same way law should be same.

  37. Harassment need not be physical, atleast those drunkard husband know how to convince his wife with a masala dosa,mysore pak the next morning but these intellects/modern spouse are really irritative. I don’t have really experiences luckily, but have witnessed some.
    Read through this one, which I liked & made him read too.
    http://thatskannada.oneindia.in/column/women/151206transperency.html

    He hardly reads any articles on web. Neverthelss to say, sometime we urban ladies too.. just bogged down to some selfish reason! Lucky that we don’t name it harassment ashTe.
    SB, sorry to hijack the blog post. I couldn’t help.

    Don’t take it personal level, are you the harassed husband ? if so, let me talk to your wives! Mohan & SB… Tell me the time & date.

  38. Click, I am lady, married lady…
    Rules are to govern the weaker section, it may be a lady, or physically challenged or some group of people. If they give an equality there, it will become like another IT excepmtion.
    I am neight far nor against such rules, its just there so instead of curbing, we can accept & start seeing the positive side of it.
    I felt so sad, when a lady sent a notice to the CEO of the company daring to say that his company gave dating allowance to employees due to which her spouse had an extra affiar.
    About having 10 secret affiars, it think its very rude to atleast take the number boss. I don’t think she even has the desire to do… forget about 10.

    ps – we are speaking about Indian woman here, not the west so all woman in my statements are referred are Indians. Atleast whom I know.. My mother, My MIL, My sis, My friends & my maid servant & the list grows!

  39. @ veena
    how can you comment on urban ladies which is restricted to whom you only know dear? We have not met them..maybe they are nice and good people – who knows!

    Its again absurd to say that “look at the positive side”, we have been seeing the positive side so much that everybody trampls on you.

    Dont need to take it personal and bring everybodys husband,wife…you or me did not make those draconian laws.

    The point is urban woman ARE PROTECTED FULL STOP.

  40. Urban woman like veena herself have actually hijacked the cause of poor woman.

    laws are meant for weaker woman – but they are always used by urban woman. a poor uneducated woman dont know about these laws.

    anycase this law is stupid. i dont need to see law based on what salary you earn. soon we will have laws that say if woman this law, if man that law, if height 3 feet another law, if more than 100 kg another law.

    renuka chowdhary made this law for woman vote bank. full stop. she cant think more than coming election like sister sonia gandhi

  41. Ok Done.. Let me stop here. FULLSTOP.
    Who is this SomeBody, the same somebody.. doesn’t sound so :-)
    Click, nice to know your views. one more FULL STOP.

    Silkboard(let me now use SB here), Nice post, once again.

    At the end Define – Dignity, & Dignity of Woman.

  42. Yes Veena, Click, and the two Somebody-s, we should stop this now. It was definitely an entertaining discussion. I did get my answer though. And I will be back with less-succinct and more-direct questions next time I hit a trigger on this feminism/equality stuff.

  43. sorry if this offends anyone but this is a whole lot of hogwash…wake up people, this is the real world…people in india seem to be hypocrites, hiding behind so called culture and tradition in their homes, and then flagrantly flaunting sexuality in the open. You know what, stick to something both ways. All these 101 prayers that have to be conducted before a girl gets married is ridiculous…people make their destiny, good and bad, by the choices they make, using the powerful gift bestowed to them, their mind. I didn’t grow up being a sheep following the rest of the crowd, which is why this outrages me. why denigrate yourself by marrying a tree/dog/goat/rat…its absurd…once again, I say, catch a wake up and live the real life.

  44. Suhani, that sure doesn’t offend me. Hogwash, double standards, hypocrites – all these words seem to fit.

    But tell me why are women like you not objecting to these public displays of hypocrisy. Like one tying the knot with a few trees. Like those absurd TV serials that project all sorts of images of women – from working yet expected to be ever-forgiving housewife-traditional when-at-home to jobless talk shops for ever. Those movies that depict the same girl dancing around semi naked before sitting at home in front of so called elders in a kilometer long saree.

    Consistency please. I am all lost on where Indian women are going. And I am fed up of hearing people quote Indira-as-PM for proof of raised status of women in India.

  45. DON’T READ THIS. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However, if you don’t post this comment to at least 3 videos, you will die within 2 days. Copy and paste this, to be saved

  46. So it seems Mrs Rai err Bachchan will continue with her career. Not bad at all.

    BTW, In an intvw this week, Big B said he doesn’t beleive in all that Mangalik stuff. So all that talk about our lady marrying off trees and all – was that just media gossip?

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