As Valentine’s day is approaching, many brands started promoting their services.
‘Romantic get away with your partner on Valentine’s day!’… ‘Make your Valentine’s day extra special with our special lingerie & innerwear!’ …‘Valentine’s day special: Buy the perfect dress for your special evening!’ …‘Make a Valentine to remember, gift your wife the perfect diamond heart-shaped pendant!’ … any many more!
While some are selling diamonds to express love, some are running massive sales to make people buy expensive gifts to show their love. When you see these huge bunch of ads, you feel either the person, who said, Money can’t buy love was stupid or these advertisers are! On the same note, what I want on this Valentine’s day is neither available on the Amazons and Flipkarts of the world nor I know of any company that manufactures it.
On this Valentine’s Day, I don’t want just the gift of Romance. I want the gift of Equality!
So, when my husband asked me what I wanted on this Valentine’s day, I was short on words. I didn’t know how to tell him that I wanted him to treat me like an equal partner! Unlike spending on a luxury vacation or a gift, I want him to bring a change in his belief system that assumes:
“Cooking is a woman’s job … Laundry is a woman’s job… Raising kids is a woman’s job… Sacrificing for the family is a woman’s job…Household management is a woman’s job… Ambition suits men, Motherhood suits women… Kitchen is a women’s kingdom while the office is men’s and… Men need to take care of their parents; daughters are paraya dhan!”
My husband is one of those millions of Indian men, who have been raised in patriarchal families. These families are well educated and rich but they still take pride in treating women like second-class citizens.
Like many of these husbands, my husband also believes that he is very modern and lenient because he let me work; He thinks I am lucky because he sometimes supports me at household chores!
But on this Valentine’s day, I want him to understand that I don’t need his permission to work! I want him to understand that without equality, there is no love! I want him to understand that next time, when I come late from the office, he can also cook meals for us! I want him to understand that next time he can also do the laundry! I want him to understand that not only women belong to the kitchen, but men too! I want him to understand that I have the same responsibility to take care of my parents as he has it for his.
So, dear husband, I don’t want Romance, this Valentine’s day. I want Equality! Because without equality and respect, there is no love!
It is heartbreaking how even in the 21st century, many of us are struggling to be treated equally in our own homes. Even Divya Dutta also spoke about the mind of many married women when she narrated her beautiful poem on Gender Equality – “‘Tumne Kaha Tha Hum Ek Hi Hain, To Apne Barabar Kar Do Na’ She captured the inequality in our marriage so beautifully that it made me wonder how equality is what many Indian women want, but very few fortunate ones get it!
While many Indian women struggling with the overburdened household chores, it is high time Indian men step up!
Our Indian men need to understand that marriage is a relationship between two equals and they can’t lead a life full of comfort while their wives struggle with stress and overburden!
On this Valentine’s day, I am not just looking for Romance but for Equality too! What about you, ladies?