Friday, March 4, 2016

Why are we handing down a legacy of prejudice? #ShareTheLoad

This ad really moved me while it also brought into perspective how I never had to deal with any of this and how lucky I am. Ariel, good job!

I remember it like it was yesterday, I was the bride. I was dressed up and a general sense of happiness was all around me. Everyone kept reminiscing their wedding and how much had changed. A few days leading up to my wedding were very special, however, there would be someone who would ask me out of concern "how will you manage home?" because it was obvious that I was a pampered child. (A claim I often contest, but know its true). What people didn't realise was that my loving mother is also a tough task master who made sure I learnt everything I could. She didn't want me to learn things so I could be married, but simply because  she wanted me to be independent. A stance she always made clear.

I have seen the pattern where the questions don't stop at home making, they go into detail about cooking, laundry, how about  whatever else that is considered a"woman's job" (Thankfully, this wasn't happening in my case). Even now, any time these questions come up from friends,  I try not to get into an argument... but I end up with a debate on my hands anyway. If someone I do not wish to argue with pushes me,  I most certainly say "Woh haina, he'll help" and be on receiving end of a look of horror. Always. The very idea that my husband helps me comes as a shock to many.

It's been about a year and a half and my 'other half' has been truly living up to his role. Doing half and sometimes even more. I don't talk about him helping me, rather, I proudly tell my friends and family that we divide work, he sometimes does laundry and cooks (excellently, may I add); I don't think he's ever been insecure about his 'manliness' either and we don't bother with people who say 'it's not his job'. Everything is everyone's job.

When you have a home together, one that is full of love and understanding there is no need to debate whether the other person actually deserves your help. It comes to you naturally. I keep reflecting on the many men and women who think that some roles are for men and women. There aren't any though.

When I talk to many of my friends, one thing I realise is that it's not very obvious that men have an equal part to play in household chores. I've heard women going back from work, while their husbands wait for them to come make dinner! What kind of unfairness is this? Although I know cooking food is not everyone's thing, how about a little help around the house? putting things away? doing the dishes, may be?

I don't use the word shocked that often, but when I saw that 2 out of 3 kids think laundry is their mothers job, it got me thinking. Why? Why do kids think that some work belongs to their mum, I guess it's simply because they see them doing it all the time, as a kid it would be easy to assume. These are not abusive husbands or negligent fathers we're talking about, rather about good people with good education, with a deep sense of empathy and yet, they fail in helping their spouse or daughters out. So I decided that 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.

The more I think about these prejudices, I feel the reason for having them is that we've been trained to think in that way. We've handed down a legacy of prejudices. An example comes to mind; it's like why I never questioned why the bus conductor gives me the ticket, I always assumed that it was his/her job. I've not been taught to think differently. I was never (until recently) told that I needed to demand a ticket and it was not their job to ensure I had a ticket.

Dear women, your job is no less important that your husband's. Your job is not "optional". It isn't a "choice". You do not owe it to anyone to cook, clean and make sure your house looks presentable. Do it if you really find joy in it.

Educate your daughters and sons that they have to help, that's just basic decency. Teach them that, if you want to teach them anything at all.

Dear people who expect the women in their lives to deliver, this women's day before you wish her and head out in a clean shirt she's picked out and a box she's packed. Tell her that you appreciate what she does, better yet, take a small step. Help her. Start small.


  1. I love this post of yours. It is relatable. Sort of.
    I even made my brother read it :)

    1. Hi Gehna! I am so happy that you read it. Thank you :)


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