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A question of dowry

I honestly don’t know if one must stand opposed to dowry.  Is that even the right impulse?

What if I should say, I’m all for dowry. For the anti-group it will mean that I am not opposed to the harassment of brides and daughters-in-law. For a group that is not opposed to dowry, it will simply mean that I am not opposed to this practice. To this latter, should it necessarily mean that I condone any dowry related crime that get’s committed? Or that I will make excuses for such behavior? It need not.

Let’s look at dowry shorn of all it’s mythology and history. At the core it’s an arrangement that’s supposed to aide and support a budding family. A marriage without dowry will mean that newly weds can fend for themselves.

Undoubtedly there is an element of honor attached to dowry and this is evident is agrarian communities, for instance. Here wealthy families with promise of healthy inheritances will still give and accept dowry (indeed they will negotiate prior) because a sense of honor is at stake. So a purely economic need may be discounted in such cases.

What about greed? Greed must play it’s part in all economic activity (?). It is also greed that propels human beings to cross legitimate and legal boundaries.  In my opinion, it is this that causes crime and destruction. Not the system of dowry itself.

So to ban dowry in order to hope to curb related crime will be more akin to shutting down businesses in order to curb burgleries. The point is “dowry” will stay no matter what the law says. So one must impose severe penalties on the negative consequences of greed.

The other disturbing and perverse angle to “talking” dowry is to look at it in terms of a rupture in gender relations. In man-woman relationships. More accurately and to the point, to look at it as Man’s oppression of Woman.

This is very convenient and wrong.

It’s wrong for the simple reason that the mother-in-law and her daughters play a major role in the instigation of violence against the daughter-in-law.  Even though this line of thinking is contra anything that a liberal feminist would admit to (because it cuts at the root of this group’s blind anti-family/marriage agenda) it is in fact true.

There is hardly a case (empirically speaking) pertaining to deaths caused with dowry as motive; that does not negatively involve a female member of the house. This being the case how then does one call it Man’s oppression? Interestingly then and predictably, a case against Man in the gender sense of the term, cannot be made without creating an aura of marriage and family as conglomerate against the young bride victim. So shortly, a logical call to de-recognize “marriage” & “family” itself is made.

In closing, what one must think about is the root cause of the problem in order to solve it. If the root cause of this problem is greed then that must be addressed. However, in making a case against marriage and family as root cause that supports greed, we are in effect making a case against traditional human union as cause of malignant thought.

Such a case will not just be wrong, it will also fail in it’s real intent. Curbing greed and therefore protecting the lives of innocent women.

– Namaste



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