Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stain or strain?

Many of us grew up in homes where the  toil of our mothers often went unnoticed ,our homework was incomplete without the sound of her bangles clinking against the unwashed dishes and her fight with the germs we brought with us on our school uniforms while playing around with friends and imaginary characters, never seemed to cease. Yet, we found her with the most sparkling smile around, running behind us with a glass of milk we never agreed to drink , and the effort to fulfill everyone's desires with equal attention without a frown on her face. And yes we always found our houses, spic and span. Yet staying back at home was considered as doing nothing and enjoying! Where a man's job starts from 10 in the morning and ends at 6 in the evening, a woman's job starts from the minute she wakes up till she tucks in everyone at night! But with the love and affection she does it, is taken  for granted, and never valued!

I remember, my first management class, where our professor asked us to give an example of a perfect manager! When all of us gave names of famous pesonalities,  our professor failed to agree and said, "a mother". Yes, she is at the helm from the socks in the laundry basket to the lunch box in the school bag, which we never bothered to be pleased about. Instead,without any guilt, we never stopped adding tasks in her to-do list!

Well, the latter day, witnesses different household routines, but not unequivocally
.Now, when women have stepped out of the houses and took charge of earning bread and butter,certain notions need to be altered.  Gone are the days, when a male-bread-winner-female-homemaker arrangement was followed. Still, we don't invent our routines from scratch, it is formed from our upbringing and we also find it convenient to fall back on one of the off the shelf cultural models, which imposes a woman to take charge of the household chores.

I have friends, the single ones, who used to do their laundry and cleaning on the weekends. But the moment they have a wife around,they are not ready to adjust with a dirty pair of jeans, rather they  want that particular shirt clean and ironed, and also those pair of trousers every alternate day! Why the things can't be done the way they were being done earlier. Because now they have a female in the house who should be doing the laundry, which is the only way she can show her love, care and affection or was it a part of her job description while signing the marriage certificate! Or is that the only reason they got married? Indeed, the answer is yes! And when women who speak against such issues are asked to keep a mum by elder women in the house who have thought their existence was defined by doing the household chores. 

I really like men , like my husband, who feel equally responsible for the household chores. When I do something for him, this is how our conversation goes,
he says sweetly "Although I like it,but please don't spoil me" 
and I smile back at him and say " I am doing it today, don't expect me to do it every time, sometimes I will do for you, but you don't stop doing it!" 

I think such men make the best husbands, and always treat women with equality! I think a marriage should be based on such intimacy and reciprocity rather than fulfilling the functional needs.

Still, 76% of Indian men think, laundry is a woman's job, so basically a working woman has two jobs, one at home and another at work, and what does she achieve out of it, a tiresome day, a frustrated night and in short, a longing for enjoyment in her life, because 24*7 she has run an errand, and when does she get a a break? Never! Because even on a day off while the kids and men are busy relaxing , her job gets augmented, as that toothsome dish needs to be cooked or that heap of clothes need a wash or she gets busy to organising her room so that on week days the husband can mess it up. Those who still think that marriage is a need for economic security and children and washing those dirty pile of clothes, I pity you!

While Ariel is busy fighting against those tough stains, I think India should scuffle against the prejudiced mindset of people, and let men do their own laundry because an unwashed shirt does no harm, but a biased frame of mind does.

I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel.

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