SHARE THE LOAD TO BE A MAN

Posted on March 11, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized, BLOGGING CONTEST | Tags: , |

We live in a society where people are judged on the basis of variables like caste, religion,family name and even gender and sadly not on the basis of qualification, ability etc. This what development economists call as one indicator of underdevelopment. Of course, when it comes to the opportunities for women, things are not pretty much different even in the most developed of the societies.

Women are stereotyped when it comes to their choice of occupation. They are considered unsuitable for certain occupations that are regarded as manly. Even when women decide to stay as housewives, things are not better. There are certain tasks which are supposed to be taken care by the mother or the wife. At the same time, women are not even taken into consideration when it comes to some important issues.

It is considered unmanly when some man decides to do something as trivial as making tea or coffee for himself. I often have come across friends and colleagues who boast about their lack of any talent in the above mentioned area. If someone opens up, he is laughed at and in the worst case, he is ridiculed. There are also instances where the wife does not allow her husband to stay in the kitchen for any length of time, for she does not want to break the tradition.

In this context, I recall my personal experience. My father from the southern part of India is an expert in the art of making filter coffee. He would start the process before going to bed for the filter to do the magic so that the morning would witness the strong aroma of coffee. My wife from a different part of the country only knew about one variety of coffee-the instant one. She was not happy with my father being the master coffee brewer of the family for that would bring shame to the daughter-n-law and she decided to set things right. But for a considerable length of time, my father would beat her to the first cup.

So think of one task that is the exclusive domain of the women-washing of clothes. Many of the menfolk boast loudly that their clothes are cleaned and also pressed by the ladies at home. Before marriage, the mother and post marriage, it the turn of the wife to wash the dirty linen, albeit, not in the glare of the public eye. For the poor, the women wash the clothes of their families at public taps.

My mother was a teacher in a high school who always had her hands full with the task of managing the house as well as her occupation. With four kids who often were like Dennis the Menace, things were difficult for us. Come Sunday she would spend a lot of time taking care of the dirty clothes, when washing machines were not accessible for ordinary folks like us.

As me and my siblings came across some friends who washed their clothes, a tiny bit of load was taken off the shoulder of my mother. Later, all the four of us spent varying amounts of time in hostels for our post graduation studies, washing of clothes became a necessity and to this day the trend continues, much to the chagrin of my wife. It is not that I am here to give any sermon to anyone, but I honestly believe in the sharing the load. I cannot take the load related to cooking and taking care of my son, and I can lend her a hand when it comes to the washing of clothes. I must confess that I only wash my clothes since my wife does not allow me to take care of her clothes as well as those of our son.

Just as charity should begin at home, so should the so-called empowerment of women. The sharing of the load as far as washing clothes is concerned, is just a small token of our gratitude to mothers and wives. It is manly to care and protect our women. This should not be very difficult in a society where even the top job could be handled by a woman. Of course, there is the most developed country in the world which is yet to witness a contest involving a woman for the top job.

With apologies to Bob Dylan, I am paraphrasing the lyrics of the great song “Blowin’ In The Wind”

“How many tons of clothes should a lady wash to be called a woman.The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind”.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation

There is the following video to help #ShareTheLoad

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