Ayesha Banu Commits suicide in her dowry case, will society still normalize dowry?

Worst Things People Say to Normalize Dowry

Another day, another story of women dying from suicide, and the alleged reason for the same being harassment and abuse from husband demanding dowry. The recent case of Ayesha Banu’s suicide, where she recorded an overwhelming two minutes video stating that she is committing suicide as she is done fighting against the person she loves. Ayesha’s father has said that he provided 1.5 lakh rupees to Aarif Khan (Ayesha’s Husband) as dowry on 26th January and a case of domestic violence was also logged against Aarif. While Ayesha has left us all, there are so many women, who have been facing hardships because of the patriarchy and the dowry system largely. And all of it comes down to people and society who normalize dowry and we wonder why do they do that.

Why is the dowry system? Why do people Normalize dowry?

A dowry is an attempt of giving parental property, assets, gifts, or money to the daughter (bride) and to her family after her marriage. This term is often veiled in the demands of cash and the good of the husband and inlaws, sugar-coated-in their goodwill for departing the bride with everything that she needs. Well, Indian parents have long been justifying dowry, as it has close relation with the patriarchy in society. The bride’s family is often insecure about their child’s future as the failure to give dowry has lead to problems like abuse and domestic violence on the bride post marriage. To save their daughter from any such circumstance, they choose to give dowry. And those who take it, simply take pride and pleasure and promote patriarchy with the fact that their son is worth the price.

Read more: International Women’s Day 2021: Celebrating the Spirit of Every Woman


Worst Things People Say to Normalize Dowry

1. Dowry is a tradition and it has to be there. It is a part of the culture.

A tradition formed in the backdrop of misogyny, patriarchy and discrimination, using such a tradition code in advocacy to normalize a system like a dowry is simply absurd. Any tradition which is not progressive deserves to be dismantled.

2. By giving daughter, dowry, parents ensure that their daughters get a fair share of their property

This is perhaps the most unjustified argument to support patriarchy. It is simply like to cover one problem, they are supporting the other. Women, not getting the share of their parent’s property is an issue, but in most of the cases, dowry is not given to the woman with this sentiment that she will get her fair share, but it is to ensure that she doesn’t get to face any harm post marriage.

3. Groom will serve the needs of the bride, all his life, so obviously, the bride should also serve and bring something

Well, patriarchy is structured in a way that it gives an upper hand to men. Men’s labour is often paid, and the money he earns is the primary income to ren the house often overshadowing the unpaid labour women serve as the homemakers. Marriage is a term of equality, and a woman, who is leaving her house for the husband is already making a sacrifice, asking her for more is simply a questionable thing.

4. Dowry is just gifts for their daughter, including things that she might need

Well, the hidden conversation behind these gifts often takes place between the groom and their family. The gifts are often of the choice of the groom and the family. So, how does that become a gift for the daughter?

So, these are a few worst arguments people give to normalize dowry. Anything, any culture or tradition, that is lined on the terms of patriarchy, discrimination, and misogyny should not be normalized and justified at any cost.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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