Dedicated to all those women, who grin and bear !
I was watching an episode of “Millionaire Matchmaker” last evening. A millionaire was looking for his perfect woman. He described that he preferred a “typical woman” who would be in his kitchen cooking his dinner while he sat in front of the television watching football. I felt like kicking that guy’s butt. For goodness sake, he was on TV. He was a “Millionaire” in life but I would call him an “absolute pauper” in his thoughts. Wish he never ever marries and does spare a woman her life, I thought. Once the programme ended and the TV was switched off , my thinking had just been triggered. You don’t just find such guys on TV but they are for real even in the 21 century. Amongst the well educated crowd.
I know of a friend back in Singapore, who used to get shouted at, by her husband if she’d be late in packing his lunch to office or didn’t have a good breakfast on the table every morning. She is the only daughter to her parents – pampered and loved. She was married to an educated guy from the IT sector. With two kids, she did slog being a homemaker who had, but little respect. When things went out of hand with her husband – She occasionally got bruises on her face. What affected me the most, of what she narrated was the fact that her husband had once mentioned that he had been feeding her ” saapadu pooten” (have fed you) and she needed to be grateful and grin and bear. She asked me, if she had no ” Self – Esteem”. I was indeed , Speechless.
Over the weekend, we went grocery shopping. We sat in the car and noticed that the car desperately needed vacuuming. J asked me, If it never occurred to me, to vacuum the car, regularly. It was actually his next sentence that had got me fuming. He asked ” When I drive, why don’t you clean the car” . I shoot him back – ” When I cook – have you ever done the dishes ? “. What I asked back, is definitely a big deal to a guy who stretches his legs out watching TV and calls out to his wife in the kitchen, to get him the remote which is 2 feet away from him. By the way he was the one who had always cleaned the car and vacuumed it until now, so it just didn’t occur to me to do it and I btw have enough to do at home , already. The other day I was cooking a sunday lunch and he pops into the kitchen and asks me ” If it doesn’t occur to me to offer cut fruits while he watches television” . I replied that it would be a pleasant change, if he got off TV and offered me a cut apple while I was sweating it out in the kitchen. J is a nice guy. He plans finances , takes us on vacation, works hard. He is a wonderful husband and dad. It’s just what is etched in his mind that the house chores are always and forever a woman’s job , that makes him a chauvinist. He would occasionally look for something in the kitchen and end up asking me – where is the pepper dabba ? I would deliberately flash a “sarcastic” smile and ask him if he really lives in the same house.
I don’t mind baby sitting, but I hate it when the guy demands it. Yes , we women love our husbands . Doesn’t mean , pampering you for the rest of our lives is our only goal. Move your butt , occasionally. You guy’s wouldn’t loose anything if you made her a cup of coffee or offered to do the dishes. I loved that ad on TV, I’m not sure which product (some one enlighten me, if you remember the ad – I want to watch it again ) On a rainy day – a couple sitting in the verandah are having this conversation, where the woman asks the man ” Neenga pakoda senjellum nalla irrukum ” ( It would be great if you could make pokodda’s on a rainy day ).
I was speaking to a retired aged uncle, who was sharing with me his thoughts. He mentioned his wife kept nagging him most times and he thinks she does so, because the wife feels he is idling and more relaxed as he’s retired, while she slogs in the kitchen and home. He mentioned that men retire from work , but women never retire from the kitchen and the house chores. As a result, the wife gets frustrated and nags. Hello ! who created this demarcation ? Just because men are generally the income earners, doesn’t mean the women are entitled to doing everything in the kitchen and the home until the end of their damn lives. It would be a wonderful change, if that uncle could help his wife in some way out and enjoy his retirement days along with his wife.
I know this guy, he had his mother and sisters pamper him to an extent that he had his plate of food in his hands and clean clothes in his cupboard, just ask and he would have it. He is married. What do you reckon, his wife – is expected to fulfil all that his mom and sisters had done for him. He still doesn’t care to lift his finger and give a helping hand. I asked him once, what if he had married a white or a Chinese woman instead of an Indian wife. Would he have cared to ” Wash his child’s butt and change diapers ? then. His reply took me by surprise. He replied stating he would. of course, why not ? . After all, a white woman or a chinese woman would not be as tolerant and as adjusting as an Indian woman. He also mentioned something else that got me thinking. He believed a white woman might have assisted him in changing the car’s batteries or fixing up a complex music system, which Indian women usually don’t. So therefore, he would help her with washing their kid’s butt. He wouldn’t mind. Excuse me, are you taking the Indian woman for granted ? Are you ?
Indian women think the car or the music system is a man’s job. For her , it has always been – She has seen her dad do such “manly” stuff while her mom scrubbed bathroom floors. Changing the car’s battery or fixing the music system is a one on affair. The everyday chores of cooking three meals, cleaning, scrubbing, kids, laundry are on the woman, day in and day out. Men, don’t rely on these one on tasks as excuses and make the woman slog every day. It gets to a point where it can get tiring for her and when you see her struggling – Get UP and give her a helping hand. She deserves it.
Above all this – The indian woman has enough injustice in terms of her parents visitation rights or finance management. So much more, for the horrors of dowry and in-laws issues. If so much for the upper middle class , educated women. I can well imagine the state of the poor , illiterate women. We must hold a moral responsibility to imbibe in our kids that no chore is restricted to any particular gender. I would love to see M grow up and help his wife with the daily chores. I will wait for the day, when I hear from M’s wife that he cooked her a supper, while she was at work and he had picked the laundry on his way from office and mopped the floor or cleaned the bathroom. I will feel accomplished as a mother.
Just being born a male, doesn’t entitle you to inborn privileges that don’t apply to a female. GROW UP !
Hoping the next generation of women enjoy a better way of life.