I am sure that young Malaysian Indian Facebookers in their 20s and 30s are aware of our teens’ attagasam in the said social network. They have this ‘owntage’ and ‘property’ stuff going on at their photos. The kids, especially girls would describe their photos as ownz by or property of their respective boyfriends or friends. And anyone can ask to own the picture and the girl would go,”Sure da”
Well, we brush this off as immaturity and puerile – we don’t give much thought into this one of a kind behavioural pattern by our teens. We dismiss this as a phase those girls will shake off once common sense assumes presence. But, is this really that simple? Apparently not because what I encountered recently is Owntage: The adult version and this is in real life.
A guy told me that for those who are married, the owner won’t go looking for second hand if the wife is functioning well.
Owner? Who owns the wife/girl? Her husband? Is she a cow to own? Is the thali tied around her neck a tether, doubling up as puppet strings, dancing to the tune her ‘owner’ dictates?
Now, let’s look at ancient Tamil terms describing husband and wife. Pathi and Patthini. Pathi basically means owner and patthini speaks of docile, submissive, dutiful, faithful and obedient nature of the wife.
Time has evolved. Women have high aspirations to augment quality in life – there are career women with well paying professions. Women emancipation has improved leaps and bounds so it is shocking to know that some men view women as objects to be owned and if that object (a woman) doesn’t ‘perform’ as wanted, the men can go searching for second hand objects (other women) in the union called vivagham in this age.
In our grandparents’ days, it was a norm for married men to overtly keep a vappati. The wives know that their husbands are licentious yet stuck by them because leaving the husband after learning that he had been disloyal brings ridicule from family and society directed at her. Both men and women would only point out the woman’s seeming defects, that she is unable to fulfill her husband’s desires so her husband goes to another woman or women. In the past era, an Indian woman leaving her husband even though she serves as his doormat, punching bag and vesi, absconding from the torture is suicide. Tolerance on the women’s behalf was sky high at that time because women were not self sustainable.
In the movie, Chinna Veedu, starring Baghyaraj and Kalpana as the protagonists, the lead male character gets disenchanted by the lack of good looks in his wife whom he married in an arranged marriage. He goes astray and keeps a mistress who is a gold digger. Eventually he realizes the mistake he made, and returns to his wife’s bosom and she accepts him, singing.. “Velle manam ulla machan, vilayadi oonju vanthan..” The message that can be derived from this movie is that a wife must accept her adulterous husband after he mended his straying ways. But, in the movie Marupadiyum, Revathi does not accept her cheating husband AND, THE MOVIE DID NOT RUN WELL. Why? It is because an Indian woman took a stand not to forgive the flings of her husband and take him into her life again. It was just unacceptable to the audience.
At present, Indian women don’t tolerate such abusive and sexually illicit behaviour from their husbands – such endeavours warrant divorce. Still, our elders get aghast at the mention of divorce. Things are slowly changing as women get empowered but many see still have the notion that it is righteous for an Indian woman to tolerate bad behaviour on behalf of her husband for the sake of family honour and society. But, is it fair to the woman to have her life quality shattered just to please a 3rd party?
A husband does not own his wife. He should be her better half that complements her. She’s not a cow to be owned. If she is indeed regarded as a cow, beaten and raped by her owner, the cow will try to escape and find greener pastures. Can anyone blame the cow? The cow feels pain too.
Let’s say a woman finds out that the man she married is impotent, she could either do what Padma Priya did in the film Sattham Podathey, provided her impotent husband is abusive and hates his adopted child. Sex matters less for girls than guys so if the impotent husband is loving, caring and loves his wife and adopted child, surely she’ll stay married and faithful to him.
Above all, women are not property and for the teens who have this owntage epidemic thing going on, it is not cool to be owned by boys. I don’t understand why you are objectifying yourselves. I sure hope your owners treat you like a princess rather than a property when you all grow up.