Wife versus mistress
But it is still a man’s world
Ten men are not chasing a single woman — as was anticipated after the drastic fall in the number of baby girls born over the last decade. The worst-case- scenario painted by the demographers may still be some time away. So far it is the same old wife versus mistress story, retold in the communist yet capitalist Republic of China, where a typical wife in the fastest growing economy is unhappy sharing the wallet of her husband with his mistress. Apart from sharing the conjugal rights! Despite the enviable economic growth achieved by both sexes, the social matrix still seems to be in favour of men — as they continue to enjoy the affections of the two – the wife and the mistress, both vying for the men in power. Keeping mistresses had always been the prerogative of the rich and powerful and China seems to be no exception. The anti-mistress association founded by Liu Zhixian, who failed to persuade her husband to abandon his mistress is now seeking to provide an online platform to other distressed sisters, to share the agonies of wifehood.
The chances of mistresses creating a similar platform may be thin due to social stigma attached to their status. The Chinese sisters would do well if they learnt a thing about Indian law, which, by a recent intervention of the apex court, recognised the live-in relationship as legal and also allowed a woman who has lived in a relationship for a considerable amount of time benefits of maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr P C. After all, in a global village things travel fast, and China is not far.
They may also get some solace from the fact that in India it is not only the weaker sex that suffers from such agonies of spouse betrayal, in a rare example of gender equality this country launched a forum created by harassed husbands, christened hypocritically as ‘Save India Family Foundation’, with branches in 50 cities of 20 states and an enviable following by the battered men. Ms Zhixian and the wives club could also draw some succour from the fact that many American counsellors suggest extra- marital relationship to save a marriage. Their marriage is on solid ground — going by these parameters.
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