Ideal Son-in-Law: How Indian Society Stereotypes an Ideal Son-in-Law?
Finding the right men to marry can be difficult, especially in a society like India where marriage is more of a family affair than that of a couple’s choice. But still, finding the right match can be difficult. Especially when it is an arranged marriage, finding the best fit for the daughter, and an ideal son-in-law for the family is not less than a challenge. Well, finding someone compatible, understanding, and loving can be really tough. But what’s tougher than that is ensuring that the guy is rich, has a big house, a lot of ‘sanskaras’, luxuries, machoism, and of course, masculinity. Well, this is how Indian Society chooses the ideal fit for their daughters and stereotypes who is an ideal son-in-law.
We asked men about what were the things they were asked by their in-laws before they were getting married
“You are a freelancer, are you independent enough to bear the expenses of being in a marriage”
“Well, the fact matters that it could be a good question in case of an arranged marriage but my wife and I were in a relationship before meeting her parents. And well, Jahanvi was earning and independent herself. And I, even as a freelancer, managed to earn pretty fine for good survival. This question came to me with the absurdity of not just what I am expected to be, but also that even after having an independent daughter, this question existed.” – Raghav
“My wife, after our marriage used to reaffirm to her parents that she is happy by saying, ‘Papa Ghar bhale hi Chhota hai, par kami kisi chiz ki nhi hai, I am happy here”
“We had an arranged marriage. I clearly remember when for the first time, my wife’s parents came to visit us. I used to live in a small quarter in Kanpur. I never felt so conscious about my house ever than that day. Not that my house was not maintained, but it was small. I am happy that we are happily married today but I am pretty sure, I was judged on the basis of my house and it would have been hard for my in-laws to take a final call for the wedding.” – Sanjay
“I have always been very conscious of the fact that I am a bit skinny. And I am diabetic too. But less did I know that this would ever be a parameter for me not being able to get married. I was recently rejected and honestly, I don’t know the exact reasons but deep inside I am aware of it. I can’t forget the expression I received when I told them about my disorder. I earn well, I am independent but can I really have control of what disease I have.” – Ajay Tripathi
Well, Indian society has long been doing so. Families are always on a hunt for their ideal son-in-law. He is known to be someone who is an epitome of a protector for their daughters, a ‘man enough’ person, and yes, someone who could meet the idealist standards of being just like the girl’s father.
The idea that “Marry the man who could protect you as your father did” has gotten a lot worse than good. Not only it polices how a son-in-law should be, but also it suggests that a daughter is not independent enough, strong enough, worthy enough to be able to take care of herself.
Of course, it is important to be financially independent to be able to survive. It is important for the women to decide if she wishes to live with that man or not. It is important for a son-in-law to not be toxic or abusive. It is important for him to not be immoral and regressive. It is important for him to have good values. It is important for him to match the daughter’s choices. But how important it is to have him a good shape, a lavish house, a big car, a strong physique, a chiselled jawline, and of course, an absolute mental strongness to hold on to be a protector for the daughter. But sadly, Indian society needs an ideal son-in-law who is shaped and perfected with some of the worst stereotypes one can ever have for men.
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