Sunday, 25 March 2007

The much-married Adam

For a very long time, TimesLife! has been bringing out great articlesevery sunday. The write-ups are witty and on diverse themes. Kudos to the team for thinking out of the box. 

Here is a good one by Suhel Seth:


The much-married Adam!

IN today’s hurly-burly (and this has no reference to some British leggy who got married twice within seven days) of weddings, have you noticed how the man is conveniently left out? In the good old days, men were consulted as to who they wished to marry; how they wanted to get married; where they wished to honeymoon and so on, but in today’s troubled gender-equality times, all of this has been thrown out of the window. Men are like test-tubes: experiment and wash. Simple. The man must protest. He must demand his rightful place under the sun.

The Indian wedding is guiltier of discrimination than any other type. In a research I conducted many years ago, called the MALE ANGUISH study (administered by a feminist research organisation in this country just to get the balance right), the critical factor for male anguish was Marriage, followed by the Type of marriage, which in simple English means, that most men were anguished they were married and their second reason for anguish was the manner in which they got married! Upon further probing, the following factors emerged:

  • Most men were going through post-marital early depression: The cycle has now shrunk. In 1997, most men exhibited marital fatigue after three years of conjugal harmony; this has now shrunk to about 14 days. So, we now have fortnightly assessments of marital health. which is defined as that period where the man and woman don’t fight or abuse each other’s parentage and/or talk to each other while dining in public places.

  • Most men confessed to suffering acute torment and/or insult during the marriage process: Some complained that they were forced to wear designer clothing on bodies that were as Gothic as the columns of Victoria Memorial; others were told that the girl’s side put enormous pressure on their grooming skills, and some men had to, for the first time in their lives, experience metrosexual acts such as facials and pedicures.

  • Most men experienced a rare bout of amnesia post-marriage, and this began to affect their work: We discovered this amnesia was forced upon them by their wives. Men were expected to remember the birthdays, death anniversaries, wedding anniversaries of their in-laws and the extended family, which many a time included domestic help. Men complained that given the limited memory storage gigabytes in their head, this was forcing them to forget important things such as where they worked; and who their boss was. This resulted in about 93 per cent men not getting promoted post-marriage for at least the first five years, causing a loss of income and respect.

  • Most men said that marriage did nothing for them in terms of societal acceptance: Single women would stay away as they were married and the married women, who they used to earlier flirt with, began questioning their income and status now that it was all divided between husband and wife, resulting in further erosion of the attraction index (a measure of how men consider themselves in terms of brand worthiness).

  • Most men also noticed an increase in their ADD (attention deficit disorders) levels: They stopped responding to female voices as almost all the voices sounded alarmingly similar to that of their wives. However, most men continued to respond harmoniously to their mothers. This is a good signal for mankind as the mother is the invention of modern man.

Finally, our research firmly concluded that marriage was an effective pause in the lifecycle of men. In the days gone by, it was an encouragement for men to start families and create legacies, but given the advances that IVF and adoption have made today and the track-record that Angelina Jolie has established (of being the international baby adopter), men say that the rules of engagement have substantially changed which minimise the need for marriage. In a way, the research arrived at what I have always believed.

Men are like the proverbial Adam and would prefer the sinful apple to a healthy marriage. Thankfully, nothing dramatic has happened except that men, given gender equality, have been able to articulate their woes in a more refined manner (such as through columns like this), so that the larger universe can both empathise with them and share their enduring plight!

(Suhel Seth is the managing parner of Counslage India and a happy bachelor)

My Comments: LOL, a thoroughly amusing read, though written with a slightly female-bashing  attitude. The Jolie bit had me in splits!

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