By Sharanya Gopinathan
Reports shared widely on social media indicate that a 30-year-old Punjab police sub-inspector named Manjit Kaur married a woman in Jalandhar as per Hindu rites on Sunday.
Which is nice, but of course people on social media had to be major grumpuses about it, as usual. There were three kinds of detractors: the ones who said chi-chi to a same-sex wedding, people who wondered why one of the women had to dress in a way traditionally reminiscent of a “groom” instead of both dressing like “brides”, and people who wondered why the couple had to enter the institution of marriage at all when it is such an oppressive structure. We’ll just ignore the first.
The details available around this wedding are quite sparse. We don’t know, for example, how either of the two women present or choose to dress in daily life. The assumption that all lesbians are femme or should dress “like girls” is just as dangerous as the idea of heteronormativity, which is what I think these cranks are trying to highlight. Before they banged out their comments that no one asked for, did they stop to consider the possibility that it isn’t internalised heteronormativity that made one of them dress the way that’s traditionally associated with men, and that it could be that that’s just what she felt like wearing on her wedding day? Who is anyone to decide what any woman should ideally wear in order to suit their current political feelings, or to ascribe some kind of meaning to their clothing when it’s really just their choice?
As for the other kind of whiner, what to say? Yeah okay, we all know that marriage can be an oppressive structure with patriarchal roots and overtones, and that there’s a body of work that’s attempting to displace its supremacy in the way we organise family structures. That being said, do these sourpusses go and cry about oppressive structures in the comments on every one of their own friends’ wedding pictures, or those of every heterosexual couple they see on social media? Why is it up to gay people to maintain someone else’s ideal image of the way society should be organised?
You can check out the visuals in this weird video full of spliced images, the title of which begins with the words “arre baap re!” and says that a woman married her “saheli”.