Women since time immemorial have been taught or rather conditioned to passively accept that household chores are their responsibility. Well, that works for the benefit of men and the patriarchal system that made the rules, keeps ignoring the reality. Things are changing, men and women are now sharing responsibilities but, such instances are rare. The process of change is slow, till then women have to bear the brunt of a skewed society.
If a woman dislikes household work, she gets labelled as a ‘rebel’ and she isn’t considered as an ‘ideal woman’ (the definition of which is created to the benefit of men). She is snubbed by family, society and quite often by womenfolk the most. Even in many countries, Mothers cannot pass their citizenship on to their children, as Fathers can!
A man has the luxury of getting back from work and relax, while a woman is expected to take care of all the household chores even if she is working too. The ‘ideal wife’ is the one who balances her career and household responsibilities as portrayed in our sitcoms that are widely watched. If a man engages in household chores, he is mocked upon and told that this is a woman’s prerogative; he has no need to enter the kitchen at all. When some men extend a helping hand, many behave as if they are doing a favour on their wife and family.
They want to be appreciated for the work they do. But, a woman has to do it without any expectation, appreciation and recognition.
When a woman steps out of the house to make a career or financially support her family, she is expected to balance home as well as her career. She has no respite from household chores. While there are no such ‘expectations’ from men. By the virtue of being ‘men’, they are pardoned from all responsibilities like cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of other household chores. When a woman questions or rebels, she is told that she is not doing a favour to anyone, as she is taking care of her own house. The counter argument is great. But, don’t the household chores equally belong to the man as well? How proudly the label ‘man of the house’ is flaunted!
With practically no recognition for her contribution towards all the efforts that go into maintaining and taking care of the house and family, she lives with a feeling of emptiness. Sometimes she loses self-confidence and her identity too. Some women do rebel but, they face resistance from society and family.
While climbing up the career ladder, it gets difficult to fulfil everyone’s expectations; professional and personal. At workplace, if she is provided with some discounts or facilities, her team-mates might not support. They are prejudiced and might feel that since she is married, she is qualified for these concessions. A sense of maturity and empathy in the professional world is certainly missing. Corporates are changing this dismal picture. Some companies do encourage women employees by letting them work-from-home at times and allowing flex-timings.
A woman lands up in the kitchen, each morning alone, while the man of the house hides under the blanket of patriarchy. She wants to yell her heart out but, she cannot. There are times when she wishes to walk out of the marriage but, she loves her family too much to do something drastic.
With so many expectations to be fulfilled, a woman forgets that she has many expectations towards herself too. Thus, it’s necessary that her work gets shared and responsibilities too. Housework isn’t accounted for in our economy, as it is not remunerated.
Clearly, the world is skewed against women. How does writing such an article change the scenario? No, it doesn’t, because most of us will agree to what I have said but, not many would want to make changes in their lifestyle. To the fact, we aren’t even adaptive! But, this would compel everyone to pause for a moment and think a bit of how much women (housewives and working women) contribute to the economy and future of the country.
In this endeavour, she should certainly be supported by our patriarchal society, least I can ask for. All those who fear that the system is being challenged, co-operating with women is the only solution to the survival of patriarchy. And for a moment do question yourself, are we promoting gender equality or reprimanding it? Here are some thoughts about it.
And, if this doesn’t move you, what will?
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