Monday 19 January 2015

Is laundry only a woman's job?

76% of Indian men feel, laundry is a woman’s job. Well, is laundry only a woman’s job? Definitely no. And neither is cooking nor doing the dishes or raising the kid. 

More than 2/3rds of Indian women feel, there exists inequality at home, between men and women. In today’s world, when men and women are both financially independent and both have careers and jobs, then why there should be any inequality with doing the household chores?

When I glanced at the statistics that emerged in Ariel’s survey, I was not exactly shocked but was extremely dismayed.  85% of working Indian women feel they have two jobs, one at work and another at home. And as I contemplated about the statistics, the shouts and arguments of my neighbor came to my mind. 

My neighbor is a newly married couple. The girl and the guy loved each other since their college days and finally got married last year. Both of them are software engineers and they leave the house for office around 9am every day. The girl wakes up at 6am and prepares the breakfast and lunch. They return around 8pm and after that, the girl again gets back to preparing dinner and doing the laundry. The guy just sits in front of the television without ever extending a helping hand. The girl gets frustrated and indulges in a squabble frequently. I can hear them shouting at each other most of the days. There is hardly any harmony in their home. When I asked the girl why she does all the household chores, she replied that her husband cannot cook nor do the laundry. Once or twice she asked for help but watching how miserable he was at those tasks, she let him watch television or laze around. More than 2/3rds of Indian men prefer to watch TV than to do the laundry.

I feel that this is the most irksome excuse that a husband can give for not helping his wife: that he cannot cook or he cannot wash the utensils or he has never operated the washing machine. There is a thing called learning. Even if he hasn’t done in the past or doesn’t know certain things, he can surely learn it up rather than being so nonchalant.

Especially when a woman is physically not well and is still expected to do the household chores, it is objectionable. Since childhood, I have always seen my Dad cooking and doing the laundry whenever required.  Every man must be brought up with the upbringing that there is nothing wrong or humiliating in doing the household work. If a woman can play the role of an earner along with homemaker, then why a man cannot be a homemaker along with being an earner?73% of married Indian women feel a man prioritizes relaxing over helping with household chores.  

When a married couple divides the household work and helps each other in every aspect, the relationship becomes profound and the couple looks more endearing. I have seen that the couples who cook together and do the other household work together are so much happier and content in their lives. The harrowing feeling of inequality is not there in their homes and so there are hardly any complaints against each other. There is a breeze of harmony prevailing in such homes.

77% of Indian men depend on women for doing the laundry. At least every man should try to wash their own clothes and not depend on the woman for laundry. He should also know a little bit cooking so that if the woman feels sick, there won’t be any problem. Feeling that laundry and cooking is a woman’s job won’t make any man sound or look great. Instead of sticking to prejudices, he must shed the false beliefs. A true gentleman is someone who helps his wife in raising the kids and in the everyday household work. A true gentleman believes his wife to be his equal and treats her in that manner.

“I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.”

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