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     Volume 10 |Issue 33 | August 26, 2011 |


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Making Them Believe in the Myth

Aasha Mehreen Amin

The latest talk in the international media is how Asian women are getting less and less enamoured by the idea of marriage. With greater education and employment, women in Asian societies are deciding to postpone marriage, sometimes indefinitely. The reasons are quite simple. After centuries of being told that they are inferior to their male counterparts, that their existence is defined by some pompous man, that they must blindly devote their entire lives to one man, his children and his parents no matter how lousy their behaviour towards her, women have finally snapped.

The disenchantment with tying the knot was bound to happen. Now women in many Asian societies have just opted for singlehood even if it means celibacy for life. The fact is they no longer buy the myths imposed by society, religion and tradition. Now they can earn their own keep, take care of their parents and even have the means to support a child if they choose to. To add to women's chagrin, research is finding that marriage can also cause major weight gain. Another reason not to marry.

All this is bad news for men. For many men in Asia, it is unthinkable for them to do chores their wives usually do - housework, child-raising and keeping up with family get togethers. They would feel utterly lost without their better-halves, except of course those poor fools married to women who have taken it upon themselves to take revenge on men on behalf of the entire womankind. These men are the rare few who are actually celebrating right now after reading about the latest trend.

For society too, it is not going to be very rosy if women don't marry. According to surveys men are more prone to crime when they are not married because it has something to do with marriage lowering testosterone levels. Children of course will be messed up by the absence of the family cocoon; then again there may not be too many children around in the future if this continues.

It goes without saying that something needs to be done. Men have to convince their women that it is worth it to share a bed, bathroom and closet space with a male despite the cacophonous snoring and wet towels on the floor. This will take quite a bit of work and men must be ready to do whatever it takes to get their women back on track. It is a matter of their very survival. A few pointers may elucidate the general drift of strategising.

They must really listen. When they (women that is) are talking to them about the complicated ramifications of family (as in in-laws) politics along with the duplicity of household staff they (the men) must give their full attention and not let their eyes wander to the television where a scintillating cricket match is underway. They must be sympathetic to every complaint they make and interject with "That's awful dear", "I know how you feel darling" and "they just don't know how amazing you are".

They must put away things. One of the major causes of divorce and now, the shunning of marriage altogether, is because of men's tendency to leave things about and not put them away. It may be a grungy sock, yesterday's bag of chips, last week's cigarette butts or the stack of old damp newspapers that will never be read; whatever the item is, seeing it lying there in the room with no intention of moving out of sight, is enough to turn most women ballistic. Hence the need to be diligent about folding clothes, cleaning dirt and throwing away garbage.

They must remember. Forgetting birthdays, anniversaries of their wives and their extended family is something women never really forgive even if they pretend it's not bothering them. Alarms, highlighted calendars and a reminder by a paid relative could be used.

They must appreciate. Compliments followed by gifts followed by volunteering to do certain difficult tasks - changing diapers, washing the dirty dishes or taking the petulant child for an outing while the wife watches her favourite TV show, giving up the TV remote control- can iron out many a wrinkle from the fabric of a rocky marriage.

The general advice to men who want women to marry is make it seem like winning a lottery, going on a fantastic ocean cruise or conquering Mount Everest. Once you have her wearing your ring just keep the delusion going by following the above.



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