It has become a sad truth in our country that a single woman with a prospect of bright career is in need of a disastrous marriage. After they cross mid twenties social obloquy reach such a level that they are forced to make rash decisions which ultimately ruin their lives to the complete ignorance of the society at large who are fundamentally responsible for the outcome. I do not only refer to the domestic violence that often follows such failed marriages but the lifelong of mental torture, sacrifice, humiliation that these women have to endure all alone. And for what I ask you, all because we cannot tolerate the fact the girl of such age can still be single.
It is with utter sadness that I have seen so many of my female friends and acquaintances bowing down to such unjustified pressure and ending up marrying men who neither had the broadness of mind nor the strength of mental character to allow their wives to pursue their dreams. It is as if marriage is a kind of bondage, modern day slavery, a new art in subjugation of women. I was privy to the narrow-mindedness that these men could stoop to; some forced their wives to leave their job, successfully destroying their career, or ordering them to stop making social calls to their friends and in some cases not letting them visit their parents! Furthermore these men supposedly came from middle class educated background, so much for our Asian values and education. Some of these men gloated over the fact that they could force their wives to make enormous sacrifices; it is as if was a potent display of some sort of masculine prowess. In all honesty I believe they would have made even Marquis de Sade cringe. One has to be sufficiently senile and cowardly to feel good about themselves after committing such crimes and make no mistake reader crime they are. The psychological basis for their pusillanimous behaviour is their male egos which have been unduly buffeted by a patriarchal culture which belittles women contribution to the society. It is as if by simply being born male they have been given a god gifted right to be superior, how intellectually challenged and dense one has to be to subscribe to such archaic medieval notion.
Who do we blame for this apart from the ‘men’ who are too insecure to let their women folk independence? I say the society at the large, the relatives, the family, the whole culture, is to be blamed for this. We have promoted a culture where independence and freedom of thought are frowned upon, whereas timidity and lack of originality a boon. So the moment we see a single educated woman working with a stable job, we feel the urge to get her hitched, not bothering to figure out whether the person is ready or not. Once she is married we conveniently forget how she survives, whether she is indeed living a better life or is she suffering under an oppressive husband. God forbid if she ever discloses her pangs or sufferings to others, it is with utter disdain that most of us respond; instead of solace she is thrown further pangs and darts. Unfortunately other women who should have extended their hand find more joy and happiness in discussing how supposedly ill-equipped the lady is to deal with her husband. I have seen parents suggesting their married daughters to get back to their abusing husband, who thrashed her black and blue, after all what would the society say otherwise. It is as if the common lot of the women kind is to suffer and sacrifice with a smiling face.
I beseech these women don’t look to others for salvation, for you will not get it. Look to yourself, be independent and understand that you do not need a man to survive in this world. If you allow people to use you then they shall, for at the end of the day we are animals only that we have bigger brains, which is a reason for concern and not a comfort. Bangladeshi man can be bigoted sadistic crude and in fact most of the time they indeed are. While you may think that the social pressure is unbearable and things will improve the moment you marry, even if the person seems a bit dicey, then you are grossly mistaken. The society will forget you, and so will your family, you will be left alone to fend yourself and if you end up marrying the wrong guy, which in Bangladesh is probabilistically quite high, then you have a lifetime of misery awaiting you. I ask you, is it worth sacrificing your entire life, your dreams and aspiration so that people, who hardly care, are pleased.
If a man is dictatorial and orders you around then stay away from him, save your life, nothing good will come of it. We are born equal and no amount of social etiquettes, traditions and values can alter that. Women are not commodity to be played around and for men to understand this, women need to rise up and stand for their rights. As a man, this is my humble warning to the remaining free women of this country.