Most Indian girls are raised with their parents guiding them on how to perform household chores. Because, irrespective of how talented or educated you are, your ultimate goal is to become a well-serving and selfless daughter-in-law.
Girls as young as 8 are told by their mothers to make tea and serve the guests, while our sons are free to play and relax with the guests.
It wasn’t shocking at all when a global report stated that Indian men do the least housework in the world. Another survey pointed out that Indian women spend almost 6 hours per day on household chores while our entitled Indian men spend less than an hour on unpaid labour.
It isn’t difficult at all to understand why there is such a huge gap between the amount of housework done by Indian women and Indian men. The reason is very simple – it is because of our Raja Beta Syndrome.
Even though we blame our patriarchal mindset and prevalent misogyny, we can’t deny how many Indian women themselves need to be blamed for the unfair and unequal treatment of women at our homes.
No one can deny that the first early lessons of gender equality begin at home. Sadly, the mothers who spent their whole life being the victim of gender inequality in their marriage, hardly make an attempt to break the cycle with their own sons and daughters. While they pamper their sons, they make sure they discipline their daughters to be great caregivers.
Gender equality can only happen when men and women shatter the gender roles and start sharing their roles inside and outside of their homes.
In the times, when many Indian women are joining the workforce, it is sad how they are overburdened with household chores. While the men are expected to work outside, the women are expected to work inside as well as outside of their homes.
While you may see many women taking up the role essentially played by men, how many men have you seen taking up the role of women in the house? How many men have you seen doing the household chores? Hardly few, right!
But sadly, women also need to share the blame for this gender inequality.
How many times do women themselves glorify men when they contribute to the slightest of the housework? We call a woman lucky, just because her husband has done the dishes or swept the floor! There are so many well-educated women, who are being blamed by their mothers-in-law for making their sons contribute to household chores. They would shame their daughters-in-law for making their sons do cleaning or cooking for the family. They are so blinded by the motherly love that they treat their daughters-in-law nothing more than their son’s babysitters.
The way we treat our daughters-in-law makes us wonder if we need a life partner for our sons or just a nanny, who can feed and take care of them!
In the times when women are no less than men, the only meaningful change in the area of gender equality could be brought up by our desi mothers. Things would change when our Indian mothers would stop glorifying their sons for the slightest work they do in the house.
When our sons even do a single small chore in the house, say cutting vegetables, we make them sound like real heroes, meanwhile, our daughters toil in the kitchen.
Doesn’t matter when it is our Bollywood movies or TV soaps or our actual lives, it is hard to miss nagging mothers-in-law shaming their daughters-in-law for not taking care of their sons properly? And, if their sons take up some housework then all hell breaks loose. “Ab, Mera beta ghar ka kaam bhi karega. Kaisa zamaana aagaya hai ” followed by a series of name-calling directed at their daughters-in-law!
Men always had the luxury of getting into a cleaned neat room even without moving a finger.
They always had the luxury of tasty food, clean and ironed clothes served to them while they would be busy watching a cricket match! And, what is even more heartbreaking is the fact that this luxury is still enjoyed by many men of our generation while women struggle to deliver on the list of endless domestic chores! While the discussion about how our society treats its women unfairly is endless, we feel nothing will change until atleast mothers, who have been victims of patriarchal society themselves, start raising their sons better.
For the last time, dear society, your men aren’t a responsibility of women.
Neither we are their nannies nor their baby-sitters! Please stop worshipping your sons and get over the ‘raja beta’ syndrome because our genders do not come with a pre-loaded manual for doing household chores. It’s a skill and even your sons can learn it.