Evil Mothers-in-Law by Shail’s Nest

Well I’m back! Discharged from hospital and slowly recovering from the ravages of Typhoid fever, I figured it is about time I got something on the blog again! I’m still not up to doing a great deal (even cleaning my teeth requires me to go have a lie down again soon after) but I can manage to offer you a re-blog of a post I felt was worth sharing.

More on EVIL mothers-in-law | Shail’s Nest.

It’s another from Shail’s Nest and is not short. But it IS worth reading. Though writing about Mother-in-Laws (MILs) in India, what Shail writes equally applies to Bangladesh too.

Whilst the Government has made it legal that men and women are equal, that children cannot work but must be in school, that girls cannot be married under the age of 18 and that the dowry system for women is abolished, none of these things have yet taken root amongst the majority of the 160 million Bangladeshis in the country.

I was shocked a few years ago when I found out that the abuse of wives was not coming from their husbands – or at least, if it did, they were the tool and not the instigator. No, the source seems to be the parents-in-laws – most specifically, the mother-in-law.

But as Shail writes here, not all abuse is physical and so swiftly dealt out. Some goes on, insidiously, over years. It seems to be about breaking the spirit of the new woman in the household, about demeaning her and making her subservient.

Much of this Asian culture, where families live in much bigger communities than we’re used to in our individualistic West, is admirable and I hunger for it. I’m jealous that grandparents and uncles and sister-in-laws and so on all live and work together! It can be such a beautiful thing. But as with so many things, what can be beautiful can also be truly awful.

If you’ve not read about this kind of thing about, I urge you to click on the link and read what Shail has to say on the matter – and her hopes for the future of daughter-in-laws in India as a result.

For those of you interested in the broader issue of wives and in-laws – especially with respect to dowry payments – I’ve included some other articles that might be of interest to you below.


About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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10 Responses to Evil Mothers-in-Law by Shail’s Nest

  1. Glad to hear you’re feeling better and I love your very acute statement that a beautiful thing can also be very awful. So true…


  2. Coming East says:

    Obviously, I’ve missed a lot during my break. So sorry to hear of your illness and hope you get your strength back soon.


  3. boomiebol says:

    Good to “see” you back.


  4. shail says:

    I hope you are feeling much better now, Ken!
    Thanks for sharing my post. I will check out the links you have shared.


  5. Welcome back, Ken!!!!


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