Representational Image. Courtesy: Sandy Milar for Unsplash

Sologamy: Why The Fuss About It?

June 22, 2022

Sologamy is a relatively new term to most Indians, and it became popular when Gujarat’s 24-year-old Kshama Bindu became the first Indian to marry herself on June 8, 2022.

Though she had planned her wedding in a temple in her home city Vadodara, Bindu backed out after being severely criticised by BJP’s Sunita Shukla. Even the priest, who said he would solemnise her wedding, backed out.

The act left netizens in a state of frenzy, with many terming sologamy simply an act to gain instant popularity.

 Ins And Outs Of Sologamy

So, let’s try interpreting the term. Solo means self, and gamy means marriage, so sologamy is marriage to the self. The concept sounds bizarre because marriage is the socially and legally accepted union of two individuals.

Different societies and religions follow certain customs and rituals when a wedding occurs. But sologamy is devoid of these rituals and customs.

Moreover, sologamy does not have legal sanction anywhere in the world because the person is single.

People are getting married to the self for pronouncing their self-love and independence in front of society.

For Kshama, her big fat Indian wedding, complete with rituals like mehndi, Haldi, 7 pheras, sindoor, and mangalsutra, is a way of making herself ‘complete, beautiful and enough’.

In an interview, she said the Netflix series Anne, where a character says, “I want to be a bride but not a wife,” inspired her.

Many others have taken the plunge and married themselves in lavish ceremonies, some out of genuine interest, others because of their helplessness.

In 1993, Linda Baker, world’s first sologamist, married herself in an overwhelming ceremony with 75 guests. She said she wanted to turn the stigma of a sad spinster around to someone happy being with herself.

The most famous self-marriage was Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding on the TV show Sex and the City, after which she came to be known as the Godmother of Sologamy.

In 2020, a Brazilian man took wedding vows by holding a mirror on his hand as the bride backed out at the last moment even after a payment $61000 was already made for the wedding.

This incident reminded me of the movie Queen where Kangana Ranaut goes on a honeymoon all by herself after her groom deserted her.

Hence, we can say self-marriage expresses supporting oneself through every phase of life.

Epitome Of Self Love Or Narcissism 

While some accept sologamy as a changed form of companionship with oneself, others disparage it for promoting a self-centred attitude. Conflicting reactions have risen because of the contradictory origin of the concept of self-marriage

While some call it “great”, some feel “it’s stupid”. Some, on the other hand, have mixed feelings.

Speaking from the etymological point of view, prefix Patri denotes relating to father, and Mater denotes relating to mother. For example, patricide means the act of killing one’s father, and matricide means killing one’s mother. So matrimony should have meant making a mother. Still, the meaning of the word today is the bond of marriage because, according to some, the very purpose of getting married is to produce children.

This short word origin lecture proves that the institution of marriage has a patriarchal base. So, if a woman is interested in empowering herself, and showing the world that she’s independent and capable, then why indulge in such patriarchal marriage practices? The option of staying single is still available.

Hence, the philosophy of sologamy is on stilt legs, and then there is another issue of the unclear rules.

A model divorced herself after barely 3 months of having a sologamy because she fell in love with another man and wanted to marry him.

Sophie Turner, a sologamist, commented, “Some people ask if I’d divorce myself, but divorcing yourself is the worst place you could be. That’s when you never want to live with yourself again, which is akin to suicide. I will not get to that point. So would it be polygamy? I don’t know how it fits, but I am open to a relationship or potentially marriage."

Because of these inconsistencies, people are trolling sologamists like Kshama. Society Sadhus are waving red flags against sologamy, calling this the culmination of narcissistic behaviour. They claim that this generation is taking the “Main Apni Favourite Hoon” feeling too far by indulging in such acts.

But one critical factor of rationality is often missing in the discussion. If critics want to ban these kinds of unions, what will be the basis for initiating such a ban? There has to be a justification proving that sologamy harms society, as society doesn’t recognise this as marriage. If anything, it is even more private with a sologamy since the impact is on one individual, not two.

Boiling It Down To A Single Argument

The essence of the matter is that sologamy or monogamy is the choice of the person concerned.

Currently, in most cases, only same-sex marriages and polygamy are criminal offences. The matter of same-sex marriage is also in court. It may be soon allowed in India.

Suppose a person feels more confident after marrying oneself rather than being single; it is not harmful to society. Sologamy does not threaten Indian culture the way people are saying it is or it will in future. Calling this a threat only shows the narrow-mindedness of our society.

Some comments made on Kshama Bindu were downright absurd and derogatory. If anything is detrimental to a healthy society, it is this mentality.

A person said in a YouTube video that Kshama is ‘depressed and needs a therapist or a psychotherapist.’ It is appalling that woke people are using terms like depression so loosely without any thought.

The first thing therapists do is make you accept your feelings and then move along with them, which is exactly what Kshama did with her sologamy.

Another bogus claim is that it will reduce the country’s fertility rate. If not a sologamist, the person would have stayed single, so there wouldn’t have been any kids in either situation.

Sologamy is a path for those who do not want to be in relationships, but want to experience the life of a married individual.

People mostly ignore the everlasting commitment they have for themselves. People blame themselves for things beyond their realm, work long hours by negating their health and avoid their comforts for the sake of others.

Sologamy tries to unite a person with the soul so that he stays attuned to himself. The pandemic might also have contributed to the growth of this culture, as people were isolated. They recognised the need for a connection with themselves, as only you could help yourself at such moments.

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