In a room filled with people, my attention was focused on the one woman I’ve known all my life, the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and the person I wanted to keep happy for the rest of her life… Mom…
I have written, and read, a lot about women, in almost everything I come across… Women’s struggles in History, Women’s Rights In political Science, Society’s outlook towards women in Psychology, Cabin reserved for women in the metro trains, Women Reservations, Women empowerment groups, Women suppression and social cruelty documentaries… expectations from women…
These expectations I have found recurring almost everywhere in the world. Some societies may have a different outlook, so I will be speaking in the most general terms today, of things I have found routine.
The Indian society has been the epitome of all women revolutions. In ancient enough history, women used to be barred from education, forcefully married to whoever had the money to buy them, had no voice in government or public role, were silent victims of polygamy and domestic violence, were burnt on the pyre if their husbands died, had to conduct themselves in stringent rules of their religion and region, and well, all this happened if they weren’t just killed in the fetus.
Gladly, very very gladly, I can say most of that has changed. Education is still tricky, and women are still sold in some parts of India, but a huge chunk of these evils are now over.
But the expectations never cease. Equality is still a question. I won’t talk of the system, or how other people and other women deal with these, but my own life. It’s painstakingly clear how women are a different species, a different brain wiring.
Nobody asked my mom to marry where she did, or to live the life she does. Let’s make it really clear, that it all came as a choice, and she is happy in it.
And though she does her jobs smiling, isn’t the message really clear… It’s the job of the women to take care of the family, to cook and run the house?
Like many of my friends, I believe that I wouldn’t enter a household I didn’t like. Where I would work by my will, not because I was forced to. All us friends agreed to that, and we think its easily possible, because if we did marry, we won’t marry some male chauvinist, we would marry a person we loved, and those people would obviously have brains. To credit to my male friends, they don’t intend to have their wives held prisoner either.
But looking at my mom, working all day on the unspoken word that this was her job, it made me wonder… When I love someone, and I live with him, won’t I feel guilty if I wasn’t doing all the chores and keeping everything clear in the house as other women did, as his aunts and sisters did?
I know I am not the kind of people who’ll bow to general societal expectations, but my boyfriend’s expectations?
Say I have a boyfriend, and say he reads this post… what then? He won’t want me unhappy, he won’t force me, but wouldn’t he be crushed if his aunts told him I’m not a good partner? Anyway I’m a very average cook, and at least in India, the in-laws want to be impressed…
These are dense things on my mind today… They keep flitting with my imagination, and even my work of fiction these days are about housewives and their loving husbands 🙂 These won’t stop imploring my mind, they come at the smallest memory of my mom, at her sight…
This called for decision.
I decided, I would be so good at chores, house work and cooking that my boyfriend won’t have to think about this stuff… and hence neither would I. I could then finish however much I could, and wanted to, and have time for everything else, plus not have any aunts complaining.
I decided women empowerment means nothing if I let anyone around me carry on anything stereotypical about women, and that begins with my mom. Its gonna be the SPOKEN word around here now, that she will not do everything. We put in help already, we will now take charge of more stuff.
I decided to let these thoughts out of my mind, seriously, there is a limit to brain capacity even! 🙂 I can blog about this, I realised, and maybe people who relate or those who have suggestions or comments can help me root this idea 🙂
My dad used to cook on Sundays a year ago… We loved those evenings, all of us.. because we weren’t sure what new look and taste the same old recipes would get, and both my sister and I would pitch in for the laugh!
It’s really small things like that that I intend to start with for now.. but it’s about time that women, became equal outside the reaches of my textbooks too.
I love you mom. Can’t believe I let the general Indian housewife custom impeach our home. But with you taking up everything without a word, and everyone keeping busy, how could I.
The pretty thing about being a woman is, all around the world, you’ll always find a friend. I can’t say for the men, I’m sorry. But women, there’s always someone out there who’ll relate, even a man, and women usually have the patience to meet that lovely person.
(I met mine, I love you too best friend 🙂 )