I remember that my grandmother used to make my mother eat at the end of the family dinners, so that there is no shortage of food for the men of the family.
My aunt left her job so that she could take better care of her baby, because her mother-in-law refused to, claiming that women are meant to stay inside the four walls of home.
I remember that whenever a couple in my family had an argument, it was always a woman’s “duty” to make sure that the man’s mood isn’t spoiled, with her cross-questioning or logical arguments.
My mother tells me that my grandmother “allowed” her to work after marriage under the condition that she will cook and clean before going to work, while I saw no woman asking a man to abide by such a rule. But, who gives a damn anyway?
Now, please don’t make an assumption that I belong to a very orthodox family. I belong to a family of well-educated army men and professors. Still, whenever I remember my childhood, I remember patriarchy surfacing all around me.
Woman are meant to do the household chores, handle the babies, raise them well with good “sanskaars“ (moral values) and make sure everyone’s happy. They are merely reduced to household servants and baby-making machines.
It is a shameful irony that the baby who was born because of the sperm’s invasion, becomes the main responsibility of the egg bearer.
I have noticed women around me leaving their jobs and sitting at home, against their own will. There are also incidents where the mother doesn’t even want the baby and yet, she is pressured by the family.
A working mother who works a 9-5 job in an office, comes back to a chaos at home: a baby to look after, a meal to cook, a pile of work to finish before the deadline; whereas the man’s responsibility comes down to merely working. How is that even nearly equal?
An Indian woman spends approximately 352 minutes a day in the kitchen itself, compared to an Indian man’s 52 minutes. Indian working women are titled as the “most stressed” in the world.
It is high time now that men of our generation understand that it isn’t a woman’s “duty” to complete these chores and satisfy their lusts and desires.
We should let them know that we require them, not to bring us flowers everyday, but to sometimes sweep the floor. We need them, not to buy us fancy gifts, but to sometimes know that “aurat ke dil ka raasta pet se ho kar jata hai” (the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach).
They should be an example to the coming generations.
So, to all the “gentlemen” out there, let the ladies take a leave from cooking and cleaning today. A little bit of effort from your end can make a lady feel like she is on cloud nine. The ladies require a Sunday too.