‘Saali Adhi Gharwali Hoti Hai’ Desis Think Phrases Like This Should Disappear For Good

Saali adhi gharwali hoti hai. 

You may have heard this saying before in movies, television serials and in casual family conversations. To roughly translate this phrase, it means ‘A sister-in-law is half-wife.’ This is a joke that is not just often told by men to their sisters-in-law but by society in general. However, this isn’t just a joke.

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The phrase ‘Saali adhi gharwali hoti hai’ has a strong sexual innuendo. Instead of celebrating a relationship that has mutual respect, adoration and friendship, is it a socially-sanctioned license for men to make a pass at their sisters-in-law. Simply speaking, men can flirt (or even worse) with their sisters-in-law and if she takes offence, they can just say that it’s a joke and “saali adhi gharwali hoti hai”.

Why take this seriously? Because when inappropriate phrases like these are said over and over again, for generations, and oh so casually, it becomes an ingrained part of the human consciousness. It then leads to the sexualization and objectification of the women of the family (especially saalis and bhabis) which is just gross and can even lead to bigger crimes.

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Hence, people on Twitter want this phrase to just vanish. When a journalist named Rituparna Chatterjee expressed how creepy this phrase is, a lot of people joined the conversation to condemn the mindset. Have a look:

It’s time we stop using phrases like these.

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