I was brought up on cheap romcoms and romance novels. My barbie had a husband and as a child, I dreamed of getting married and having children. When I hit puberty, all I wanted was to have a boyfriend and I indulged in my self-image like it was the only thing that mattered. The culture around me was dictating how I should behave and what my primary purpose in life should be. The billboards in my city would advertise the subtle powers of makeup, the stores would sell accessories deemed kinky that every vixen should possess and my friends and I fell prey to the nefarious powers of advertising.
It wasn't until I had my first boyfriend that I realized how utterly stupid I had been. As the years went by, I came to realize that I was sold a lie. I spent the bulk of my teenage and pre-adult years wondering what men thought about me, primping myself religiously lest a random guy should judge me and always trying to fit into the mold of society's idea of the perfect woman. Conversely, the men in my community had nothing to worry about. They were raised to think that the world owed them everything. In our Hindu community, being born male was considered the greatest blessing and parents would often pray with all their might to have a chance at having a son. A daughter was considered a burden, because everyone knew and tacitly agreed that theirs would be a life of suffering.
In patriarchal societies and cultures alike, the independent woman is a scarred one. The independent woman is evil, scary and anti-social. Whilst men get to experience life to the fullest, women are threatened with ostracization should they choose to live their life on their own terms. And god forbid they get married! Married women are mere shadows of the human beings they once were, their life rotates around their husband's and children's and they will never have a moment's respite from the endless routine of domestic life, which only they can shoulder. Statistics have shown that women are more likely to be depressed and suicidal in marriages whilst men thrive! It is so obvious that heterosexual marriages are just the reinforcement of patriarchal notions within the household.
In this day and age, I exhort my sisters in societies like mine to think twice before getting married. Last year, on new year's eve, a national radio station aired a segment on all the women who had been murdered by their spouses/boyfriends over the year. I was appalled but I was vindicated. These men, who go around tormenting and bullying women, do so because all their life they'd been told than they were superior to us. Society pretends to be aghast when these men commit such heinous crimes but it silently imposes a plethora of norms upon women so that they can please these animals!
In short, men in society like mine are animals and they never evolved because the culture never evolved. They are still primitive beings and they view women as an appendage to themselves, rather than as independent entities. They never evolved because they'd rather kill and bully than find solutions to their problems. They never evolved because they expect to be treated like babies in their marriages and they replaced their mother with their wife. I exhort my sisters to think about the consequences of being married to the embodiment of the patriarchy itself, society told us it was about love, but in reality, it's patriarchy within walls.