Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy Why are Indian women expected to be ‘homely’?

17 replies, 18 voices Last updated by Samriti Sharma 4 months ago
  • DISHA SAPKALE
    Participant
    @42disha
    #31730
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Homely has different connotations to different persons. But perhaps the popular one is a few or all of the following – that the girl shouldn’t be “too” beautiful, should know how to do the household chores, should be able to take care of old parents (of the boy, of course!) with love, shouldn’t be too fashionable/modern, doesn’t talk/mingle freely with other men she comes across, doesn’t perhaps have too many desires(!), doesn’t make too many demands on her husband, doesn’t of course drink/smoke, brings up children in a proper Indian way. Having said that please note that not all men think alike. And of late many of them do want their wives to take up a career (reasons doesn’t matter!). And also understand that career opportunities for women are very less compared to men and women comprise just 15% of the urban corporate workforce. They can have a career mostly in capital cities. But when we talk about matrimonial sites they have representation from all over India of which the city folk are very minor percentage. Obviously the women living in small towns/ villages can’t hope to have a meaningful career in their chosen domain and the men folk from those small towns/villages also aren’t open to girls having a career for traditional reasons. Majority of them don’t find the “need” for a girl to have a career too. Homely means someone who will make a house into home and take care of every member of house by giving unconditional love.
    Will have her own career plans but knows how to balance between home and work. Will knows her limits and will always think about family before taking any actions or getting into any activity. Will always make sure because of her activities her family is not disturbed. Hence the clamour for “homely” women.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
    Participant
    @shaktawat9
    #31748
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Why are Indian women expected to be ‘homely’?
    In India, a considerably large part of the population lies below the poverty line. Due to minimal exposure, advancement and development, people are still into old-school thoughts- the thoughts that gave criteria for a woman to be judged on whether she is ‘ideal’ or not. It is merely a very sexist idea and nothing else. Otherwise it could have been ‘homely men’ rather than ‘homely women.’ Now, what this term ‘ideal’ here is referring to, is still somewhat undecipherable. Although, heard and said, Indian people belonging to the typically backward mindset say that Indian women should be ‘homely,’ meaning devoted to the household, focused on family planning, because, while getting married, every boy’s family looks for the same qualities in a girl. We can say that girls or women are somehow objectified by the Indian society.
    Why should women spoil their own independent lives and become a source of somebody’s house help or family? Why should women spend all their lives into becoming something they’re actually not, in order to impress someone else’s family? Why is marriage considered to be a woman’s only supposed aim or goal in life? This is the soul reason behind why Indian women are expected to be ‘homely.’ On one hand women spend their entire lives in proving to the world, how they can be independent and do wonders so that others do not have to go through the same kind of unnamed torture. On the other hand, household mothers and mother in laws are making all these efforts null and void.
    In other words, being ‘homely’ means remaining quiet about all the ill ways in which the society treats one and never speaking up against any such thing. It means one should just give up our life and never live on our own terms, rather just live according the rules and laws the ‘society’ has laid down for one. In my opinion, every woman has the right to do what she wants, live how she wants, and just be whoever she wants to be- a homemaker, an army officer, a doctor, or merely a woman. The laws in the constitution provide for the same. Nowhere is it written, that one must always live according to the stereotypes that are in the society. And what’s even better, is that women of this generation are ready to break all barriers and stereotypes and live up to their own expectations.
    A woman myself,
    Shubhangini Shaktawat

    Dharani Sri
    Participant
    @u19mae026
    #31791
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Indian women are mostly expected to be homely. Because there is an old-fashioned myth in every culture that is kitchen is the only space for women. Although it is old fashioned many of the people still follow this nasty myth. Because of this many parents teach their daughter to do all the home chores. Every woman is insisted to be homely since their childhood. this leads women to believe that if they hunker down and do good works, they will be appreciated. But this is not going to work. Woman who understands this and raise her voice against these non-sense myths. If she opens up her mouth and talk about her dream, she needs to hear words like “when you step out of that box, things get difficult”. This is on one side. The other side is the groom always expect a homely girl. What homely girl in this case refers to? A homely girl is the one who spend her whole day in doing home chores, satisfying their in-laws and more and more but she should not go out explore her passion. This is what homely girl refers to, right? Can`t a working woman be a good wife? There are many examples in the society where a working and successful woman have also contributed much to her family and raised her children well. The society is not updated and still the groom and their in-laws expect a homely woman because she is the one who obeys their orders without any obsession and she is the one who works like a slave all day long forgetting dreams.
    The society says a woman perfect if and only if she is decent in her dressing, doesn’t raise her voice and do all the chores and work like a slave. This is why Indian women are expected to be homely.

    Anika
    Participant
    @anika
    #31825
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Homely means simple or unsophisticated. Which means, society wants women to be simple and not too fashionable in their tastes. They do not want them to be opinionated (especially if they have an opinion which is different from the opinions their spouse or in-laws have!), they cannot be modern, they have to know how to do housework well and respect elders. Basically, they want a woman who is quiet and who does things when asked.
    When you see marriage advertisements in the newspapers you usually notice some characteristics that some people might want for their future daughter-in-law: fair, good looking, 25 years of age, homely. They do not want their daughter-in-law to be assertive or ‘loud’. They want a perfect daughter-in-law who respects everyone and is quiet. It isn’t the same with men! How come men are allowed to have personalities but women can’t?
    This is the treatment society gives women. All of them claim to be allies and tell us that they will help us but do nothing about this. Society expects women to be simple and anything other than that is disrespectful.
    Think of all the confident and assertive women who have been villanized by the media and society for speaking up and urging others too as well. They’ve been mocked and trolled for having valid opinions.
    We need to talk about society’s double standards. When a man does anything, no one says anything. But when a woman does the exact same thing, she is mocked, insulted and scolded.
    If we didn’t reduce women to the expectation of how women should act and actually respected them, the world would be better to and for women. Marriages would be smoother and the mental health of women would improve.

    038 deepika Singh
    Participant
    @038-deepika
    #34557
    Helpful
    Up
    1
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    President Obama made a headline in the year 2014 with what he said: “Just Say No to Stay-at-home Moms”. With what Obama said, what do you think of women working outside and managing the responsibilities of their family at the same time? Most women working outside are ridiculed for not doing their part as a mother or a wife. The prime factor behind this is the socio- cultural ideologies of our society. Our society expects women to do all the house chores and look after their family. They are more likely to be married even before they turn eighteen. And as women enter a workplace they are already entering an unequal landscape that has been traditionally believed to be ruled by men. There is prejudice treatment against them at the time of hiring. They are judged on the basis of their marital status. They are even paid much less than men despite being on the same position and doing the same kind of job. Pay raise or training opportunities are some other issues faced by women at work. Problems like sexual harassment have become so common at workplaces that often women tend to ignore such treatments and do not report it due to the lack of support. They are often denied promotions being labelled as ‘women’- inefficient than men. All these practices preaches the idea of a woman limited to being a mere ‘housewife’ serving her family.
    Women are capable of working, earing, looking after their family, children and managing their household and I believe that the decision of working outside or staying at home should be left in their hands. If women have the passion for being housewives, they should go for it, if not then they should be able to choose what they want for themselves.

    Aditi Sahu
    Participant
    @aditi
    #34567
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Our society puts millions of unrealistic expectations upon women. A beautiful woman but who doesn’t have self-confidence because that could intimidate men. A smart woman but not smart enough to state her opinions. And an educated woman but not so much that she has a job, as she should be “homely”. Why exactly are Indian women expected to be homely?

    Because from the time immemorial, women have been expected to be the sole caretaker in the family, by being “homely”, they can take care of their children and the house in a better way. After all, hasn’t society always treated women like nothing but a butler? The Indian society feels threatened whenever a woman gets out of her suffocating shell and decides to do something for herself. And that is why they have put her under the burden of so many expectations, that she rarely gets time to do something for herself. All she does is for others, her children, her husband, her in-laws. She doesn’t have a life of her own. She is stuck in a “homely” persona that the society has created for her.

    Afshan Iqbal
    Participant
    @afshan
    #34570
    Helpful
    Up
    1
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    Indian women are expected to be homely. As we see, the times have changed and it’s not just a man’s world anymore. Women are making an impact in every field and they are leading in every way. There is no place where we find women any less than men. Even though the world is moving towards change, still some people are finding it hard to accept that women are equal to men. Women were always supposed to work at home and the fact that women are working outside homes is still not digested by society. There is still a household that believes in the predominant patriarchal norms. Women are expected to work at home and take care of the family while a man is supposed to be the breadwinner. When will this end? Nobody has the answer to this. There’s a lot of awareness about equality and gender neutrality but then on the ground, it’s a fact that women are still considered only for household work and the ones who are shackling the stereotypes are judged for it. When a woman is seen doing a job, the one question that pops up in everyone’s mind is “How will she manage?”. People start assuming that a working woman won’t be able to manage her personal and professional life and will be bad in either of them. People start judging her and make a prior conception that she is a bad wife/mother/daughter-in-law/employee etc. Women also may face career problems because of stereotypes that they are more family-oriented and less committed to their careers. This needs to stop as soon as possible. We need to understand that women are capable enough to be the best in their work-life. Women have the ability to wear many hats while balancing careers, households, and other jobs so discriminate against them for their gender. Stop judging women and let them decide what they want.

    Samriti Sharma
    Participant
    @samriti
    #34653
    Helpful
    Up
    0
    Down
    Not Helpful
    ::

    House and Family like why do we want women’s lives to be confined in these two things only. In every household in India when a girl enters her teenage she’s taught various household work just with the same intention of helping her to understand her basic duty.
    Her career choices can be kept on hold but not her responsibility towards home. She is bound towards these things in certain unexplained manner as the mother’s usually state the expectations of being homely for a girl to be normal. There was a time when women were provided education but instead of this were forced to sit back home and quit their rewarding careers. One reason for the same was that men have always been considered the bread earner of the family and women have been expected to look after home and children. Our society has been sticking on to these particular rules for over years now and this can also be considered as the reason for backwardness of our Indian Nation. We’ve been adopting various modern lifestyle but when it comes to mindset we as a society have been unsuccessful to cope up with the changing times.

Viewing 8 posts - 11 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.