We have made some women very distressed with our “rishta-looking” practices. While it doesn’t particularly affect us until it’s our sister or daughter, women are facing much emotional torture because of it. I talk to so many women and they report so much abuse on various forums but things don’t seem to be changing. But then I thought may be we don’t see ourselves as the offenders.
So I came up with a quick list to identify the potential offender to an unmarried girl. STOP yourself if you find yourself doing the following. (List isn’t comprehensive of course).
1. Eyeing a girl up and down at a party.
2. Starting to talk about a girl by using physical descriptors (short, tall, round, skinny, dark, light, loud, quiet, snobbish, meek).
3. Becoming inquisitive as to what a girl’s relationship status is.
4. Stalking a girl you like for your brother/son on social media.
5. Trying to solicit information from a girl instead of talking to her parents. (Unless your son is being grilled without a preamble by the girl’s parents, don’t do this).
6. Making a mental image of a girl you would like to have. (Unless you have a factory where girls are made, this isn’t helpful. You can’t just order a girl).
7. Thinking about which one of any two girls can bring in more stuff for your home.
8. Analyzing which girl will withstand your temper or your daughters’ temper without fighting back. (Don’t look inherently for a meek girl).
9. Keeping the guy in question out of these conversations. (Involving him early will weed out many of your specifications, you’ll see).
10. Not bringing the men of the family in general into these conversations. (Men can bring a healthy perspective to arranged marriages also and can sometimes make us see the light).
Ten points on what NOT TO DO at a girl’s house when you go to see her.
1. Going at dinnertime or lunch time. (You can have the same conversation over a cup of tea and a light spread).
2. Taking more than necessary people with you for the visit.
3. Being sneaky and asking the girl to walk so you can check her walk, or asking her to laugh so you can count her teeth or asking her to speak so you can see if she can. (Just talk to her. That’s where you learn the things that your guy has to live with).
4. Again, eyeing her up and down.
5. Asking questions about who owns the house, how much electricity charges they pay. (Don’t ask stupid questions. They won’t change your management. If you are so interested in wealthy girls then go to girls who are wealthy beyond the shadow of a doubt).
6. Asking the parents personal questions about the girl face to face. (Has she had an affair, an engagement, a nikah, a shadi before this? Mr. Bell created the phone to have potentially embarrassing conversations that shouldn’t be overheard by the girl in question. Please use it for all questions that could make someone queasy).
7. Asking what the girl’s brother does. (I know he would be perfect for your daughter but that’s not what you’re there for, right? Don’t try to get into exchange marriages unless you know each other so well).
8. Picking faults with the food served
9. Asking the girl about what she can do around the house. ( We all learn. There is nothing in household work that she’ll need to go to school for after she gets married. She’ll get there if she wants to).
10. Going to visit again and again with new sets of family members.
We have all been part of a bad system for too long. Don’t do this anymore. It’s causing our women to short change themselves. We all should be cognizant of the effect that we have on each other.