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The Buzz Cut: Everything About Marriage ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Won’t Tell You

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Jul 25, 2020

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Image Credit: Getty

In The Buzz Cutwe bring you a round-up of all the weird, controversial, and wonderful stories we’ve been reading all week.


Marriage is rooted in patriarchal notions of women as property. Today, women are trying to make the institution of marriage as equal, but modern concerns of unpaid housework and care work are making it impossible to transform it. Is marriage an inherently unfeminist institution?

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Indian marriages can reinforce gender roles that specifically target women, and prevent them from seeking the help they need to fix the institution. Here’s how marriage counseling in India exacerbates the problem.

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What is the impact of Indian culture on the institution of marriage? Author Elizabeth Flock spent 10 years trying to answer this very question, by following three married couples in Mumbai, and ended up exploring these people’s highly intimate views on relationships in Love and Marriage in Mumbai. Here’s what she found.

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The world over, women have to grapple with something as simple and inherent as their name, when faced with the institution of marriage. Here’s a personal exploration of a woman who refused to take her husband’s name, and what it took for her to stand her ground.

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As long as there has been marriage, there has been infidelity. Some would say the ubiquity of arranged marriages in India, by which many individuals are left with little choice in their life-long partners aids the phenomenon of infidelity. So, why do we cheat, and is infidelity so black and white?

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When marriage becomes the goal (forced and otherwise) for so many women and girls, often at the expense of their health and education, do we need to consider raising the age at which we let girls marry?

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All over the world, queer people are fighting for their right to marry, a civil liberty unthinkingly enjoyed by the cisgender heterosexual people all around the world. But what if queerness can help us redefine relationships, think beyond the patriarchal institution of marriage, and evolve our understanding of partnership?

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Why do couples lie about money in a marriage? Why have we normalized the concept of women always having a ‘fuck-off fund,’ for the eventuality that things go bad? Lying and manipulating accounts, and hiding money or transactions from a partner or spouse with whom you share combined finances, constitutes financial infidelity, and it’s very common in marriages.

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Why is it still legal for Indian men to rape their wives? It’s 2020 and India remains one of 36 countries where this dangerous practice is codified into law. What will it take to change it?

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And finally, if there is no real escape from Indian Matchmaking, here’s a review that tackles the state of modern arranged marriages in India, and what it means to make fun of an outdated concept that still pervades our psyche today.

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Written By Rajvi Desai

Rajvi Desai is The Swaddle’s Culture Editor. After graduating from NYU as a Journalism and Politics major, she covered breaking news and politics in New York City, and dabbled in design and entertainment journalism. Back in the homeland, she’s interested in tackling beauty, sports, politics and human rights in her gender-focused writing, while also co-managing The Swaddle Team’s podcast, Respectfully Disagree.

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