The social reality for any kind of marriage has changed in India, I think after year 2001 or so. (Maybe it coincided with large scale job creation for middle classes).
Now, a woman who earns 1/3rd income of husband and gets housework done through maids etc paid for by husband; still thinks she is in some way superior to husband. This is the effect of financial freedom (read parasitic freedom) and easy social environment for women in large cities at least.
Some women may actually be doing good work in managing both career and household, but the point I am making is not about contribution to family, but about respect for both spouses in marriage.
For example these days in urban areas, if a woman earns 5K per month, hubby earns 15K per month. The power equation is not same as if woman earned 0, and hubby earned 10K.
Taking another example, a woman earns 15K per month, hubby earns 45K per month. The power equation is not same as if woman earned 0, and hubby earned 30K.
In all such cases, woman has become more powerful, due to influence of like minded earning-women, and constant media talk of woman empowerment. The gender biased laws are the final weapons for unscrupulous women which give them that audacity to go out to police and courts, and create havoc. Much larger is the number of women who do not openly threaten their husbands but are simply dominating, and disrespectful to their men. Men at the receiving end of such relationships may continue to suffer the abuse because:
- They are used to the marriage, marriage is a one in a lifetime affair for most Indians, and no one is prepared to even think about life after a broken marriage.
- Men with children fear for future and upbringing of children in a broken marriage.
- Many men are somewhat aware of the gender biased laws which wives/in-laws can use and make men run around courts, lawyers for long time to come, given pathetically slow justice in India.
- Men have the burden of manhood thrust on them by society. A broken marriage casts automatic suspicion on man of being not manly enough in some way to be able to ‘control’ his wife. Imbecile may be too strong a word, but many men worry about being labelled something close to that if their wife leaves them
Coming back to the analysis, how is a woman earning 15K vs hubby earning 45 K /mth become more powerful than hubby?
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Well if she is one of feminist supremacists, she is.
She can file for DV, maintenance etc and expect to get 12-15K per month as maintenance. Or more likely she will get hubby to knees by threat of legal and criminal cases and extort some financial favour and property etc.
So after maintenance case wife’s income: 15K + 12K = 27K
And hubby’s income: 45K – 12K = 33 K
Now they have come close to each other in terms of income. And woman still has sympathy of society because no one is ready to believe yet that Indian women will tell outright lies about marriage.
If she has child with her, she can extract more in name of child, so she now becomes financially equally powerful as husband.
Most Indian courts will give custody to mothers unless the mother does not want custody and leaves child(ren) with husband. So a man is set to lose both money, property, and children in case a woman is determined even a little bit to stick it to him. The rest is taken care of by greedy lawyers, corruptible mediators, and a meek judiciary who cannot bear to stand up to women organisations’ (read feminists’) propaganda.
The laws and social reality in cities has tilted in favour of married women who want to bend the system to their will. The system is ostensibly created to support needy and oppressed women, but in reality laws like Domestic violence act (PWDVA) etc were always meant to be abused to favour female supremacists’ agenda and create income for lawyers.