In A Matrimonial Ad Reeking Of Male Entitlement, A Divorced Man Doesn’t Want To Marry Female Divorcees
The furtherance of heteronormative ideas through socio-cultural discourses is a phenomenon widely witnessed in Indian matrimony. If you want a quick glance into the gender scripts in our culture, take a look at the norms that plague the Indian matrimonial ads, often putting women at an undue disadvantage. Ideal spousal expectations in our country are laden with gender stereotypes and in what seems like an exchange of assets, the business-like deal is done. A man’s financial stability in exchange for stereotypical physical attractiveness, submissiveness, and governess-esque skills from a woman, to be specific.
So when such ridiculous yet thought-provoking matrimonial ads surface, we can’t help but be amused with an undertone of anger. These perfectly demonstrate the gender roles expectations in a marriage – women are supposed to be weak, submissive, “pure” and of nurturing nature. Women who don’t fit in these boxes are stigmatized. You go for an arranged meeting, and once you are left alone with the guy, he is more interested in finding out “kya aap virgin hai?” than what your hobbies are.
Of course, these traditional expectations are changing and the patriarchal culture of matrimony in India is slowly being perforated by liberalism. But then again, the demographic that has been enlightened isn’t a colossal one as such. Every now and then, we come across matrimonial ads that go viral because they are so ridiculously lacking equality, while doused in double-standards. The delusion and a stubborn sense of male entitlement in these are amusingly sad or sadly amusing.
Today, while scrolling through the plethora of memes on social media, I came across an ad that could win an award for delusion, and entitlement, and some more delusion. The ad was for a “well groomed” 32-year-old Iyer boy with “very good family background, bonding & good upbringing”. Don’t worry, this ad will speak for how good these things really are.
Apparently, Iyer boy is a divorcee but has no issues, you know. He is paavan and obviously, the woman he married was the reincarnation of Putana, out to kill an infant with her maleficent nursing. And he must not make that mistake again, so his parents must find him a life partner. His paavan heart doesn’t know the evil that can befall him if he marries a bad woman again.
So making sure his assets are laid out in clear terms, the matrimonial ad states “boy” is involved in family business and earns well. Iyer boy is a foreign return too with an MBA degree in hand, which he did from the UK. Any women wanting to throw themselves at his feet yet? He also has an engineering degree. How about now? Nope? None? The family must be astonished with this outcome. PS: the ad clearly states he is handsome, in case you’d like to change your mind. *nudges annoyingly*
Okay, but what about his hobbies, likes, dislikes, nature, personality? How dare you ask such a question? What do you mean what about his personality? He has a bloody MBA from the UK. No more questions. Keh diya na bas keh diya.
They have some criteria laid down for the potential bride too. Her educational qualification does not matter but she “can be a graduate”. However, she “must like the joint family culture & be a good homemaker.” No compromise on this otherwise she becomes a bride with no value. The ad also mentions his caste, sub caste or whatever I couldn’t get a grasp over and then nicely puts “sub sect no bar”. Why? Woh kyu chhod diya? Mention zilla also na. Already this man’s matrimonial ad seems less likely to receive quality applicants and look at his demands. What kind of male entitlement is this?
And while you are trying hard not to cringe on these beautifully crafted lines of a stereotypical matrimonial ad, the cherry on the shit cake is yet to be put. “Divorcees kindly excuse,” the matrimonial ad concludes. A divorcee with no issues wants an untouched, nurturing, gharelu woman who has never been married. How can a divorcee discriminate against a divorcee? This sounds so similar to matrimonial ads in which a dusky, old, fat guy seeks a young, slim, fair woman.
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Netizens were riled up and amused at the same time, understandably so. A user wrote, “They basically need an educated maid.” Another user pointed out how they missed the other ways of exhibiting the typical male entitlement in matrimonial ads. “Oh cmon! They didnt write fair, tall, slim/slender girl. See how open minded they are,” they commented. Another user added, “Virgin likhna bhul gaye.”
Another person added how they have seen worse things in these ads, “This is nothing. I’ve seen ads where divorcees with kids want someone with no kids, because ‘they’re not looking after anyone else’s kids’”
Another matrimonial ad that made people go nuts stated the groom was looking for a patriotic wife. “Want any very fair, beautiful, very loyal, very trustworthy, loving, caring, brave, powerful, rich bride,” the ad reads. It further adds, “Extremely patriotic to India with a keen desire to increase India’s military and sports capabilities.” There’s more to come. “An extremist but compassionate, an expert in child raising and an excellent cook, Indian Hindu Brahmin girl from Jharkhand or Bihar. Sampurna kundli milan aand 36 gunas matching must,” the matrimonial ad further read.
Anything else sir? Would you like us to add an alarm clock, calendar and sync the data with your Google account? Dumbfucks! Are these men aware of their delusional entitlement? Do they understand it is hypocritical to expect of a spouse what they are not? Or be professionally accomplished and feel like a heera? Matrimonial ads reek of patriarchy and male entitlement like nobody’s business.
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According to research into these ridiculous matrimonial ads, most men tend to mention their financial status and most women tend to mention their skin colour and body type, especially if it falls under the ideal beauty standards. “The findings suggest that in contemporary Indian familial relations as reflected in matrimonial advertising, a deep gender divide exists where the socially expected roles are very different for husbands as compared to wives. Apparently, a social understanding and unstated consensus exists for what the ideal woman/man should be. In other words, this study found strong support for gender polarization in the characteristics of a desirable, ideal, life partner,” the report reads.