I read with amusement in today's paper about a woman lawyer getting infuriated in the Supreme Court over the use of the word 'keep' by one of the two judges on the bench in a case of 'maintenance' for a separated woman from a live - in relationship. The woman lawyer argued that the word 'keep' is equivalent to 'Rakhail' in Indian language and so demeaning of a woman. The other judge on the bench was quick to ask the woman lawyer, who wanted to expunge the word from records, what other word could be used, .. would concubine fit in?
I wonder if a relationship between a woman and a man involving sex without accepted norms of cultural, social and religious sanction in the form of a ritual, be it a marriage, nikah, wedding or any other form of a life-time binding contract through oath to protect the interest of one another, and is purely on personal considerations is not a form of promiscuity, a form of whoring in accepted social norms, to put it bluntly? The norms of any society this kind of human relationship, a live - in relationship they say, stands basically on personal greed. If not, how can a separated woman in such kind of a relationship put claim on alimony or maintenance costs? Was there such a legal, if not socially accepted norm before she entered into such a relationship? On what grounds a woman claims alimony, compensation or maintenance from a person with whom she lived without following any social, cultural or religious sanction?
I am not against live-in relationships; in fact, I encourage it in support of personal freedom, needing no permission of any kind except one's own conscience to walk out of the relationship at any point of time. A live-in relationship is for more mature, rational thinking freer thinking people; not the ones who has much more dependent trait than normal in their psychological make up. In the name of love, which is purely immature illusion of young adults, at the same time having larger than life self assessment, make them enter into such kind of relationships, a sure shot recipe for miserable failure later. Both the parties in a live-in relationship require to have better understanding of each other than common people. And it is not of any sacrifice, give and take or an ego promoting act. A woman or a man of any age entering into a live-in relationship without these credentials is into pure whoring for personal satisfaction. I cannot agree with any other term for this kind of immature, illusory and blissfully stupid relationship other than whoring.
In my opinion, so, in the case quoted in the beginning, the second judge rightly asked the woman lawyer if not to use the word 'keep' and expunge it from the record, if the word 'concubine' would fit in. To go a step further as a simple common man, I would ask the lawyer if it is right to replace the word 'keep' with prostitute!
I am not a woman hater. Every person has a place in my life and I have due respect to every woman in her place.