Well it does not happen often that the water supply in a well built apartment gets disrupted and people, used to living comfortably in their houses, have to struggle for their daily water needs. But things happen and we just have to deal with it sometimes.
So this is what happened once, the water supply of a building got disrupted and people had to use the common water supply to fulfill their water needs. The tragedy here was that the common water supply was located on the ground floor. And there was a long line of people lined up in front of it. The common water supply which remained neglected until then suddenly became similar to a lifeline for a drowning man.
People carrying heavy buckets of water up through the elevator was not a sight you see very often, it was indeed a difficult task…!!! However what amazed me was that the number of women lined up for water far outnumbered the number of men. I wondered, are not men suppose to have greater physical strength and would hence be more suited for the task? Then why most of the women have come for it?
I went a little closer to them, to hear what the women were chit chatting. Some were saying how their husbands have denied performing the task while others said their husbands have told them not to perform such a task and rather pay someone to do it. Ok, but the question still lingered in my mind why aren’t the men doing or at least helping their wives in the task?
At the same time I heard one of the men passing by commenting “how many buckets of water do you need ladies……seriously……?” I wanted to answer “only once when you get involved you can know how much water is required for a household in a single day”
But of course I just stood there silently and watched the drama.
Household work has been the territory of women for years. Women are assigned roles such as taking care of the child, cooking, washing etc. Along the years women have expanded their horizons and moved out of the four walls of the house to perform jobs that were earlier done only by men.
But it seems that we still cannot free ourselves from the mindset that house should be handled by women alone. Men still seem to look for cooked food spread right in front of them on the table when they return from work, or being used to seeing their clothes neatly washed and folded in their cupboards without working for it themselves. Their answer “That’s not my job…!”
My question is when women can work for corporate companies; deal with office politics and dominating bosses and get back money home, why can’t men share the responsibility of household work?
A woman is expected to deal with the entire household work and manage all her office work all by herself. So apparently filling buckets of water for household work is not a man’s responsibility…..!! It amazes me actually that the men who are suppose to protect women suddenly become incapable when it comes to things such as cooking or washing.
Perhaps this makes me think are men really strong enough to protect women? Or it is just a myth passed on from the patriarchy that dominated out past?
For centuries women have been silently doing their job, without the men realizing how much effort does the household work needs. But this has to change, so where do we start?
Well to be honest I truly believe from your son, if you happen to have one of course. Because in an average Indian household it nothing new for mothers to teach their daughters how to manage their clothes or how to make tea for the guest at a young age. On the other hand it is rarely that you would see a mother teaching the same to her son. It is at this age that boys get used to getting everything served on the plate for them. All they need to think about is how to make money for the family. As money can get you a ‘good wife’, one who would do everything for you just like your mother did until then.
But it is better to move on with the changing tide and it would not be long when earning money would not be enough for men. There is lesser number of girls who would look for a guy with just a good job.
This line which divides the work inside and outside the boundaries of the house needs to blur. Until such a distinction prevails in our society women can never compete equally. Just like women, men also need to expand their horizons and look beyond just the office work; they must bear equal responsibility of the house, because that is where they have to live too.