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poisonedantidote's avatar

What is your opinion of the dowry system that is used in some cultures marriage traditions?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) October 21st, 2012

I was having a chat with my girlfriend, when I learned that this used to be a practice in her country, and still today some times.

I know what I think about the dorwy system, but was curious to see what people on here think about it all.

In case you are not familiar with the term, dowry is a payment made to a family, often cash or jewelery, in exchange for permission to marry a son or more commonly a daughter.

In some places it is illegal, in others it is not. In some places it is seen as strange and sick, in other places it is seen as normal and expected.

What is your opinion on th dowry system?

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19 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I think it had it’s place once upon a time and maybe still does in some areas.
I mean hey, there are still plenty of places in the world where a nice herd of goats is a coveted commodity. Blending famlies and livestock for a stronger tomorrow. lol

Buttonstc's avatar

I think it’s obviously archaic but am a little surprised to hear that it’s illegal in some places.

But the whole system of women as chattal is over and done with in modern society but I guess it still persists as tradition in some third world countries.

Shippy's avatar

Well we always appreciate what we pay for!! Here in S.A. It is very much alive and well in Zulu culture. Whereby prospective husbands pay or buy cows for their wife.

I know it is archaic. But there is something about a mans intensions with a dowry and I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. But maybe modern ones should be something paid towards the couples future.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Well, as it seems this question is not going to garner much attention, I guess I can go ahead and give my opinion.

To me it is immoral, and I would be in favor of it becoming illegal. It is one stop short of human traffic. The idea of paying for a person, to a 3rd party that has no right to have a say, just seems backwards and wrong to me.

Shippy's avatar

@poisenantidote. I see your point. I agree. I do though think (not sure) also act as an expression of appreciation for the family? No idea though my father would have paid the man to take me !!!

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Shippy If it were voluntary, as in no one even mentioned it, and you just give the family a gift, then I can call it appreciative.

However, when it is forced, it is just a disguise for paying a kidnapper to release a hostage.

say_what's avatar

That is the key question, is the dowry process voluntary, or are the participants force into the situation.
This practice is still in play in a surprisingly large amount of places. From what I gather, it is normally used as @Shippy said, a symbol of respect or high esteem for the bride/groom-to-be or their family. If that is the case, then the system works. For any other situation, probably not.

augustlan's avatar

I hate the idea, and had no idea it still existed anywhere.

JLeslie's avatar

Your link differentiates between dowry and bride price, but I don’t think there really is a big difference in practice.

Dowry to me implies women are to be bought and sold and will cost men money.

I think some leftovers in modern day is the bride’s family having to pay for the wedding, and the father giving away their daughter to a man for marriage during the weddng ceremony.

I am guessing some countries might still practice giving great gifts for their daughter’s wedding and maybe still call it dowry, but without the implications of dowry or bride price, but rather simply as a large wedding gift and welcome into the family. But, the real trick is whose name is the property and money in. The link given by the OP talks about dowry murders, which is disgusting of course.

Coloma's avatar

Hey, I’d be flattered if a mans family gave me a flock of geese as a wedding gift. lol

Shippy's avatar

@poisenedantidote. Sorry for the earlier spelling error on your name I am on mobile. Not the best! It is also very commom with Hindu culture and in a way Muslim culture. Ideally a man must buy his wife to be an apartment. She normally rents this out for income as she wouldn’t live there.

Shippy's avatar

And come to think of it, both my husbands new wives requested a property and a business before they married him. No he’s not muslim loll. And that may be off topic also.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I don’t make moral judgements on foreign cultures easily. But don’t come demanding a dowry from me. I’ve never in my life paid for a woman and I see no reason to start now.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Well…I am certainly worth my weight in geese and sheep. Any man would be proud to have such a fine woman for the price of a few farm animals. lolol

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes, well, that might depend on how much you weigh.

Coloma's avatar

About the weight of ½ of a sheep and couple of geese I’d say. How would that translate into stones? lol ;-)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Good luck on the storm tonight, Coloma. Be safe, be warm.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’m still waiting for my 3 chickens and a goat.

fucking blonde croatians . . .

Coloma's avatar

@Blondesjon haha
2 wives I reckon, would fetch a very handsome herd of something. Let the Heifer project commence, fine little Guernseys we are, but my calving days are long over. lol

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