So how many of us have read the book? Or should I say ‘books’ that talk about the characteristics of a man and a woman and the innumerable surveys taken on the behavioral patterns of the genders. This topic has paved way for many self-proclaiming authors. When did it begin? This gender (in)equality? The differences? The roles and responsibilities that are so clearly etched in the society about what task needs to be done by whom.
Firstly, the most funny thing about the whole thing is the hype of the word ‘equality’, you see everywhere today, women demand equality, the so called ‘modern’ women. Now, explain to me what you mean by equality?
“You wear shorts, I’ll wear too”
“You sport a tattoo, so will I”
“You drink, so will I”
So on and so forth..
You call these things as equality? Ok, let me question you, as much as you demand the so called equality, you are the one who gets up early in the morning and cooks that food and rushes to work? Isn’t it? When your man comes near you on the bed, you tell him that you’re not a sex machine, why? Don’t you want equality? Why don’t you demand for a change? You’re the one who covers your breasts when a man shows off his chest, why? You don’t want equality in this?
Let me give you a scenario. As much as you are demanding equality, why can’t men demand it too? Say, what if they want to stay at home and cook and you go to work? What if they want to shop for hours and you wait and hold their bags? Nor fair? Why? Equality should be equal, isn’t it? As much as you demand things that a man does, a man can too demand to do things that you do. How comfortable are you to tell people that you have a house husband taking care of the kids and you work for the family? Are YOU modern enough to do that? If you’re answer is NO, then I’m sorry honey, you don’t deserve to ask for equality when you really don’t mean the genders to be equal.
I have a friend by name Geeta* who is a typical modern women going for work and she enjoys a glass of wine on a Friday night. She told me an incident that happened in her household and it was food for thought for me. She said that when she saw her husband washing the vessels in the kitchen, she was immediate to react “why are you doing all this work, let me do” and after couple of minutes she realized what she had just said and how funny she felt thinking about it.
Now this got me thinking, no matter how modern and on the run you are, when you see a man washing dishes, you immediately get a thought he is doing what he NOT supposed to do. Why? Who etched the roles and responsibilities of what a man should do and what a women should do?
Let me give you another example. My friend Sahana* was with her husband on a Friday night looking to stop at a liquor shop. They found one and her husband stopped his bike few meters away from the shop and told her to wait there while he goes to buy the liquor. Sahana* was quick to ask why she cannot buy when people know ladies of today drink as well and her husband told her that she cannot be a rebel. Now the real question is why did he say that? There is surely no question of her safety because he is with her. Is it because he was worried what the society would think seeing a woman entering a liquor shop to buy some drinks to kick start her weekend after a hectic week? Or is it because he had his ego on the line that what would people think of him as a man bringing his wife to a liquor shop? I leave it to you to marinate the answer!
A friend of mine by name Karthik* told me an incident that happened in his house. It was a Thursday morning and he woke up a little late than usual for work. His wife was huffing and puffing in the kitchen trying to finish the cooking and pack lunch for her husband. He could hear her murmur about how she has no time for herself and how she feels so used. She came to the bedroom and to her surprise he was still resting on the bed, she shook him and said how she has been working all morning to pack lunch for him and the kids and how he has no botheration about it. He replied to her saying he is taking the day off and planning to go to the spa for some grooming as he had a heavy week at work. His wife looks surprised and questioned him on how he can just take leave at the last minute and stated how irresponsible he is being a father of two kids. He got up and went to her and told her that how at times she chooses not to cook because she has no mood to and how irresponsible she is. According to him, cooking is her responsibility and according to her working is his responsibility. Now I leave it to you to decide who was right and who was not.
Are we pressured by the society that we condition ourselves to what a man needs to do and what a woman needs to do? I can ask a million questions that will kindle your mind and awaken your thought process. Ever wondered why the woman has to move into the husband’ house after the wedding? What if the woman is well settled, financially more capable and has her own condo to live in, cant the man move in? I’m not taking sides here, just opening a path in the mind to think upon.
Or are we thinking that this is the right thing to do because our mothers have done it all their life and that’s the way of life? That woman needs to cook, clean the house, take care of the kids and the man will go out and work and take care of the family. But, today the women take care of the family too, they earn as well, at times more than the man. Then, should we still follow the age old roles and responsibilities? One evening, when I came home, I saw the light being lit in the pooja room and asked my husband if he lit the lamp? He immediately replied asking, is it not his equal responsibility to do it and what is more important is the objective and not necessarily who does it and I was impressed and surprised.
I can go on with hundreds of examples on how men and women today call themselves modern and demand equality but still deep within are so comfortable doing what they are ‘meant’ to do either by the society’s norms or by the standards their fore fathers have set for them. I have no single conclusion for this topic. Just as a chameleon, we all change from being modern to traditional to demanding equality as and when the situation permits.
Let’s just be the way we want to be, but yet also ensure to keep the ones around us happy! That’s all im saying! 🙂
*Names changed for confidentiality purpose.