If not the real pressure, you definitely have come across a joke or two about how you should get married when you’re 25 or so. While we have come a rather long way from child marriages, the idea of women being married at tender ages is still deeply rooted in our minds, even if we come from “progressive” families.
These young women tried to break it down to the last reason as to why we’re still stuck with the idea of early twenties being the “appropriate” age for a girl to get hitched in India.
“Marrying a younger daughter off is more affordable”
Sanya, a post-grad student from Delhi blames the financial expectations of the other family, which is only a decent way of saying ‘dowry’, to be the reason behind the societal pressure of getting married by 25. From what she collects, “The money that goes into a girl’s marriage in our country is directly proportional to how old she is. Younger the girl, lesser the expenses.” She also stresses on the saddening fact that it’s highly likely for a woman’s education and achievements to go ignored, if she’s in her 30’s and unmarried.
Mother knows best
Associate at a global consulting firm, Meera believes that the elders’ delusion of knowing everything is the cause behind the issue. She says, “The parents do not wish to deter from what worked from them. Only because getting married at 24 to a stranger worked out for them, does not necessarily mean it will work out for us.” She argues that it’s high time the orthodox section of the society got rid of its unwillingness to evolve with time.
“Log kya kahenge”
Ankita, a budding interior designer says that it’s the fear of the society that makes families pressurize their kids to get married at a ‘socially acceptable age’. “If you’re a girl, they’ll assume all wrong things about you, if you’re a boy, they’ll doubt your professional success. The society does not discriminate on the basis of gender when it comes to saying mean things. What else will a parent do, if not push their daughter/son to ‘settle’.”, she explains.
“More rishtaas just mean more options”
Shreshtha, an employee at a global investment management firm is optimistic and believes that you can, in fact, convince your family to see things from your perspective and respect your priorities. She also suggests that meeting people your family wants you to meet is a way of keeping your options open. “You never know! You might just meet the love of your life.”, she says.
“Because being a friend and a mom together, to the kids should be the ultimate goal”
A student at the University of Mumbai, Megha chose to analyse the issue practically. She says that a healthy woman translates to a healthy family, which is probably the reason why women are suggested to get married around 25. She explains, “If you want to be able to play with your kids, be their buddy when they grow up, it seems like a valid argument to start in your twenties. But you have all the right to ignore the logic if you have other priorities.”