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September 26, 2017

State Of The Union: First Among Equals

Text by Saumya Sinha. Illustration by Swati Sinha

A feminist marriage personifies courage, says Junior Writer at Verve, Saumya Sinha as she breaks the wheel of irrelevant traditions along with her partner

What is it like when two feminists marry each other? Complaints and concerns are not defined by one’s gender; archaic ideas of femininity and masculinity are questioned every day at the dinner table and surnames don’t change because “Hey, that’s what everyone does”.

On most days, my husband is a work-from-home man while I am one of the billion nine-to-five office goers. He takes care of the laundry while I hit the hardware stores, swapping roles at will.

Growing up in a traditional middle-class family all concerns are validated and all counter-arguments subjugated by the one million-bucks question: ‘What will people think”.  Being the silent, sometimes-rebellious observer of unpopular opinions in my tradition-bound family, my existentialist views often put me against the current as I saw equality as the only way of living, right or wrong. Marriage too, brought with it a new set of supremacy at all levels beginning with why the woman shouldn’t be the only bread winner.

And while I love being associated with my new identity as a Mrs., it can never be a roadblock in my journey as a woman and more importantly as a person. My husband and I are as ardently committed to each other as to equality; the enthusiasm towards the freedom to express and the duty to respect is an undying one at home. Though the occasional questions from close, well-meaning as well as far-flung, relatives about when I’m going to put my reproductive organs to use won’t budge, the sexist undertone in “You don’t cook, how will you feed your husband his favourite delicacy?” is a clichéd remark I am still learning to ignore. Apparently fine-dining and the good old house cooks don’t seem like the most befitting solutions.

That said, I’m no Carrie Bradshaw. I’m not always out shopping for labels I love – the Julia Child version of me is just not the most dominant part of my personality. So, with radically wonderful in-laws of mine, it becomes much easier to press the mute button on all advices prosaic.

A feminist marriage personifies courage, so being the breadwinner is neither the task of an individual or both; it all boils down to what a couple chooses to – or chooses not to – do. So even though we’ve been married for 10 months, our anti-essentialist guide has been in the making for 7 years now, challenging stereotypes, two feminist moves at a time.

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