Women who leave their boyfriends to marry someone their parents chose are often viewed in a bad light. But if a man does the same, he is spared of the hatred. Why?

If you have seen the popular Malayalam movies ‘Maheshinte prathikaram’ or the recent ‘Minnal Murali’ you have noticed how the hero had a love interest in the beginning and she leaves him to marry some other guy her parents chose. And you may have noticed how these women are depicted in a bad light in these movies. This is a popular trope in South Indian movies. Not just in the movies, this is the way in real life too. In Malayalam, we even have a mildly derogatory term for females who leave their boyfriends to marry someone else.

In India, when two people date, the male partner always must fear that she will leave him in the end and marry someone her parents chose. And women leaving like this are even damned as ‘cheaters’ who betrayed the trust of the male partner. But if a man does the same, and leaves his girlfriend there is no foul name given to him. In fact, this topic is not ever discussed, and movies do not show this.

Men like to say that ‘all women are cheaters’. They will choose someone wealthier, someone their parents choose in the end. This is a tricky subject. Biologically, women are conditioned to choose a partner who will give them a better life, who will give their children a better life. In the animal kingdom, female animals choose the strongest male, the one who has better attributes. This is nature’s rule.

But these better attributes are not the only aspect for Indian women to leave their boyfriends. Daughters are often emotionally manipulated by their parents to leave their relationships and marry someone they choose. And women tend to choose not to hurt their parents and bend to their will.  

But the problem comes when they are bad mouthed. And if one woman does something like this, the entire women race is damned as ‘cheaters’. But when one man leaves his girlfriend to marry someone else, his entire race is not cursed, and he is given sympathy. This is because women are considered lesser than men. This whole thing comes from the thought that ‘how dare a mere woman leave a man’.

We have often seen the horrible outcomes of men not handling rejections from women. The numerous acid attacks and other violence against women who ‘dared’ to reject them is an example. In the situation where a woman leaves her boyfriend too, the woman is considered the villain, exactly because she ‘dared’ to reject him.

Also, in society, a woman who has a romantic relationship with more than one partner is seen as a morally bad character. Whereas a man can have any number of partners. So if a woman leaves her boyfriend and marries someone else, she is also considered ‘characterless’ as she can switch her partner so easily. Whereas if a man does the same, there is no moral compass there.

People view women as beings who do not have the choice to decide who they want to spend their life with and how they want to spend their life. Parents marry their daughter off to strangers also thinking that she will be just fine with whoever her parents chose for her. And the boyfriends assume that their girlfriend will just come and live with him, and his financial background and family background should not matter to her. She should be adjusting no matter what.

But women have every right to choose whom to marry and how to spend the rest of their life. It is her life. If she felt that she would get a happy and secure life with the guy she is dating, she surely would not choose to leave him and marry someone else.  

Also, romantic relationships should be built on real feelings and mutual respect. The ones without those are bound to fail anyway. And if your girlfriend chose to marry someone else, then instead of blaming her, just see and acknowledge the reasons why it would not have worked out with you. And kindly stop stamping the entire female race as ‘cheaters’. 

-Staff Reporter

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