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Women - Do we have an identity for ourselves?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by lovinglife, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. lovinglife

    lovinglife New IL'ite

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    Why do many women feel like we are born JUST to satisfy our husbands??

    Dont we have an identity of our own? Do we always have to be.........

    Someone's daughter?

    Someone's wife?

    Someone's mother??

    Can we ever get out of this mentality?

    When can we realize that in order to be a good daughter, a nice wife and a great mother, we first have to LOVE ourselves and know who and what we are.

    Without knowing who we are and what makes US happy, I don't think there is much we can offer to those whom we love or for those who depend on us!!
     
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  2. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: Women

    Hi Indu,
    It is not only we are just born to satisfy our husbands, but its his whole family.

    When I was getting married, I was asked Do you know cooking, do you know to do roti, what time do you get up everyday morning.
    MY SIL asked me "Do you prepare fresh food and give me when I come to see my brother??" bonkbonk

    Always I keep fighting for my own identity ..
    After my kids were born, they had put restrictions:
    1.I am not suppose to select a name for my kid.
    2. I am not suppose to talk to my kid in my lang (mine is kannada and my husband's is Tamil)
    3. I am not suppose to worship my GOD and just follow their GOD (bcos I am Hindu and they are Christians.

    For for family sake I just did all these things for many days... but still they were unhappy with me and still find mistakes out me...

    I had completely lost my Identity

    Later I started standing up for my own rights.
    if I don't do anything above, am I a free nanny to my kid???

    Now I don't care for anybody. I do whatever I want.
    I have reached a saturation point that I would do anything for my health and happiness.

    ~Punitha





     
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  3. lovinglife

    lovinglife New IL'ite

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    Re: Women

    Dear Puni;

    I am so proud of you!!

    It is so true in Indian culture......you not only have to consider your husbands needs, but the wishes and needs of his entire family, irrespective of how outrageous they are!!!! Men tend to forget that when they get married, you take the good things from his side, good things from your side and then form a family of your OWN and you TWO set the ground rules for how you will conduct going forward.

    The getting married "into" the groom's family is taken literally and they expect you to give up everything that you are, to gel into his family.

    What a load of rubbish and BS!!!!!

    One of my colleagues, an American male always says this about his wife....
    "A happy wife is a happy life!!" :iagree

    ........not that all American men are nice and great, there are a ton of them who are wife beaters and abusers too, but if many Indian men started following this policy, a lot of women would be much more happier wives!!
     
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  4. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: Women

    Hi Indu,
    I forgot to mention that...
    While my brother's marriage was fixed, my husband's sister asked me that wheather the bride knows to cook.
    I gave a good back reply that " We are bringing a wife to my brother not a COOK".

    MY MIL and my husband's sis couldn't face me later.

    ~Punitha
     
  5. SunitaGN

    SunitaGN New IL'ite

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    Re: Women

    I am pasting this from my earlier reply - as this is a better place.

    Indu... yes I have thought the same many times. I believe in 50% of the cases it is just a narrow-minded thinking that sets in due to lack of education (education here is different from literacy and a string of degrees next to your name), and very old culture (which is no longer relevant today, but followed in some families out of a sad habit). Girls are taught to be submissive, tolerant and quiet. You and I think the way we do because of the circumstances we were brought up in, what we learnt from our own parents, families etc. Let's face it, our personalities are a cause of all these things - so before we blame women for being as submissive they are, we must allow for the reasons for their mental make up.

    The other 50% of the cases, it is a genuine maternal instinct that women have. I am surprised at how many women I know who are by no means otherwise weak, unintelligent or lack self-esteem, but when it comes to their husbands a strange kind of a maternal instinct kicks in and they just become submissive. The best examples of this are one couple in my relatives who are my grandparents by relation. Now this lady is almost 70 - never been to school in her life, has a multitude of skills at home and outside, well-respected and stately woman. She has 4 children with her husband who has her running to his tunes. I refuse to believe she gives into him because she is weak, she does so because she really loves him and believes that she being submissive to him makes him happy so in turn it makes her happy. So I think, fine, happiness is what all want so what's wrong in doing what she does. Again, this does not seem to be a generation issue either. I have seen a couple of my friends who are properly educated and work in the nice modern corporate world but display the same behaviour! They will wear what their husband like (which they themselves may or may not like), skip an hour of sleep in the morning so that they'll have time enough to prepare fresh breakfast for their husbands, risking getting stuck in the traffic so they can pick up his shirt from the laundry, not asking him to accompany her to parties to her friend's place - the friend she knows he doesnt really like etc. I think these women are pretty liberated otherwise, but they CHOOSE to be submissive to their lovers. It's a kind of instinct that comes only with true love. At that time, there is no special place for ego. You see, there is a difference between ego and self-respect. By being the way they are, this last 50% or so women are NOT losing their self-respect - only their ego. They don't really care what others make of them.

    Because after all, these women are not stupid. When they are giving something... they are getting back the worth! That may be not be visible, but they know it. So ultimately, as long as one is happy within, to each his own.

    Thanks [​IMG]

    Sunita
     
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  6. Ria2006

    Ria2006 Silver IL'ite

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    Re: Women

    I dont know If I am exception, but in my family I dont see women trying to please their husbands too much. Ours is very strong women community. No one undergoes any piece of submission just for heck of it.
    My paternal grandmother, My maternal grand mother, My own mom, Mausi, mamis , bua. I dont see them suffering like that. I dont think we are exceptional family.I think its just how you are brought up , and what values you have chosen as an adult.
    So as a result, in my current generation, My elder sis , my bhabhi , my SIL, her SILs, . I dont see them wallowing in submission and acting all dumb in front of the husband. All I can see is strong women living lives on their conditions and making a home out of it too.

    I think handling man is very tactical skill. If we dont learn it we suffer. Usually it starts with the choosing the right guy and training him right then on.

    I can never think our family anybody gives a notion that they are living for their husband and all that standard Indian picture.

    My mother never drew a bright picture of submissive women for us. She always told us, standing for ourselves is only thing she will ever teach us. And in colony whoever were extra-suffering wives, My mom always said, they are 50% responsible for their piece f suffering. More your endure more you get.

    - for me , I define my existence more than my family and their satisfaction, I do things I want to do. I utilise my intellect, I use my resource, I do my own charity . I plan for my career. So I dont know why people lose out on standing for themselves.
     
  7. Mahajanpragati

    Mahajanpragati Platinum IL'ite

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    dear friends,
    well,i agree with sunitaGN's views.it is not that all women r sudmissive or weak that they tend to demands of family members.it is because biologically we r made that way.being true to our nature does not make us less of human being.
    also ,i find it strange people saying that because one is less educated or not working that is why one is catering to demands of family if she was working or more educated she would have been not this submissive.
    but education does not mean that we stop being considerate to needs of our families rather it makes us more aware.because we r educated we may understand that MIL is behaving negative way as she is suffering from menopause or hubby is cranky as he had lots of backlog to clear at office.
    i do agree if family takes us just to be unpaid maids then we should protest or if we r being physically or mentally abused then we should not take this lying down thinking that it is a women's destiny to suffer.
    we should always try to keep ourself happy.if we do not feel like cooking we should tell our family members well in advance rather then sulk & feel that they will understand themself.
    puni i really liked ur response of getting a wife & not cook for ur brother.that is what is needed.if we want respect for ourself we need to give respect to others.
     
  8. Jayalakshmiraj

    Jayalakshmiraj New IL'ite

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    This is one question which has plagued women at some point in their lives. We keep hearing about women who feel they have lost their identity or those who are always being shadowed by their fears of this or that.. Women who cannot not break free, swallow their pride and pehchan and lose themselves in kitchens , poojas, families, daily chores.

    What I would like to find out is whether there are women who have broken free , did not feel guilt and got out of this identity crisis.

    There are people who have broken free and asserted their identity and made a life for themselves. But in the middle strata of society the "identitiy " for a woman is still "high brow!"

    Are there women who , without alienating the family, without hurting their near and dears, have asserted their identity. ( I am not discussing the so called "hen pecking" wives) .

    Why can't a woman have her own identity without causing great disturbances in the family? why don't we accept it?

    Or am I living in the old generation ? Is the present generation at an advantage? .
     
  9. kanaka

    kanaka Bronze IL'ite

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    Yes Sunita you said it. I wanted to say the same thing. Sometimes we with a string of alphabets attached to our namee as qualification end up becoming a knave infront of those old ladies who we consider uneducated. They have the knack to rule the family without being bossy. They know to act without huring the male ego specially. Gaining identity is in our hands. To be smart is not easy. It comes a bit out of experience and observing other people. Tell you we can never be assertive by being adamant. Sure call a spade a spade. Talk straight. Things will fall in its own place. Only give signals that Iam mean business but kind and also sincere to my husband's family. Affection will come later. I too learnt this a bit late.
    kanaka
     
  10. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Nice thread. Induskr, Puni, Ria – nice thoughts. Sunita and Kanaka - very true perspectives.

    Most of us women ponder over this identity crisis for years before we figure out what we really mean as an “identity” for ourselves. It seems like it means different things for different people on the surface but it all boils down to the same root – self esteem, being secure in our own natural “skin” and being self assured.

    Over the years I have sort of sketched my definition of identity. Identity for me = a woman should be what “she really wants to be in every sphere of life – be it at work, home, relations, hobbies, activities, anything really”. For me that is the ultimate goal and that’s what is my identity. If I can free myself from all the societal pressures, norms and think and act using my own mind, I would call myself liberated. I think by doing so I will automatically build an identity of my own.

    I do not think there is any great need to fight or argue with anyone about how we should be “allowed” to do this or that. We as women are just as smart (or dumb!) than anyone else of our gender or the opposite gender. So just as others apply their mind so should we.

    I think the main change that needs to be brought about in the attitude of women is that they need think that THEY THEMSELVES are responsible for their well being and happiness in life in every way (be it with hubby, kids, extended family, job, whatever else). Usually we hear people/elders say “I hope you get a good hubby so you can lead a happy life. Or I hope you get good in-laws so that you are happy, or that I hope you have wonderful kids so that they make you proud and make your life happy”. The underlying message in all of these sentences is that your happiness depends on the other person. FALSE.

    We should own up and take charge of our life, it is our responsibility to make ourselves happy. Once we take it upon ourselves to make our life happy and fulfilling then we will start defining what that “happy and fulfilling” means to us. For some of us it may mean carving an excellent career graph, for some others it may mean leading a peaceful life with our hubby and his folks, for some it may mean rearing kids.

    For me (and probably for most of us here) it means doing a little bit of all of the things mentioned above and be able to enjoy it all (for most part).

    I think the key in building an identity of our own is to take charge of our life and do the things we want to do without any hesitation or fear and with a lot of confidence, élan and grace. The sky is the limit for us!
     

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