Marriage: The Social Responsibility

Sadia Rahman:

“Marriage is a social responsibility”

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We’ve all heard this more or less from childhood.

But now that I have grown up, I simply don’t get the idea. For example, in case of arranged marriage, a person whom I barely know or don’t know at all; what responsibility can I have towards him? Why on earth would someone agree to that just because the family or society wants? Out of nowhere why would a person be bound to love the other person no matter what? These questions work both ways for men and women.

But here is a fact no one can deny that women are the worst victims of this system. So I would like to raise questions from women’s point of view. Yes, women are victimized here. Everything would have gone all right if all women on earth had agreed to stay victims. The problem is that they don’t. We have seen our mothers’ lives. We have seen our aunts, we seen our sisters. We seen them suffering from existential crisis; “which one is MY home”?

We’ve seen them getting humiliated every now and then. We have seen our aunts getting tortured physically or verbally. At the end of the day, we’ve seen them crying and the next morning they would go back to playing the role of good and obedient wives for whom “Husband” and “in laws” are everything.

Are we here to carry on this legacy ? Are we going to make our daughters respect a person for half a century in spite of every day humiliation? Is that so or is it going to stop? Then, take a look at love marriages. People often say that love marriages turn out to be failures most of the times. Here is a question. What is the definition of success and failure? In our society, two people don’t get married, two families do. No matter the marriage is love or arranged, keeping balance of two families is the woman’s responsibility. In most cases, the bride has to perform that alone. But in case of love marriages, there is “expectation” that kills everything.

Don’t we have the right to expect? Can we not have expectations from the person we love? After marriage, two different families can expect from me but I cannot expect from the person I love! A family that never stayed together in sickness and in health but suddenly all the members expect an outsider is going to make that work. How ridiculous is that? Women are often patient and give their level best to make marriages work. However, it cannot be an obligation that at any cost, the marriage has to work. But the society have made it an obligation. An obligation that must be fulfilled without appreciation. If it does not work out, the accusing fingers only point at the woman and blame her for her shortcomings.

On the other hand, we don’t really encourage ours sons to express themselves openly. Are the parents raising their sons to hurt other’s feelings?

I’ve also heard ample of times how educated women tend to get divorced easily . Well, I guess there is some truth to it. After all, when you know your worth and what you’re capable of, you won’t bow down to unfair treatment.

In our society, getting married is a big deal; probably most important thing so far. But if marriage is a social responsibility then the entire society must act like in a fair manner. If it is a social responsibility, all parties should take equal responsibility instead of bestowing upon the women only. A person without dignity is just a lump. Standing for dignity is not anything revolutionary, but thinking it different is unusual for sure. So it’s a request to the society “Please be fair”.

Sadia Rahman is a final year student of English literature, Rajshahi University. Her passions include writing and debating. 
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