I am currently reading Louise Hay’s book called ‘Empowering Women’. In the first chapter, she wrote that this is what she had found in economics textbook used during 1950s. These are the things Women must do:-
- Make sure that the house is clean and tidy before the man comes home.
- Make sure the food is ready.
- When he returns, do not tell him all the bad things that happened during the day, he is already tired, ask him how his day was. Suggest him that he can go take rest or even suggest drinking some wine, and so on…
And so on !! Just imagine, this was in the textbooks and being taught to girls. As I think, I got a very similar message from my mom and the society. My mother was a house-wife and extremely obedient towards my dad. She would take care of all his needs, she used to call him ‘sahb in front of others – meaning ‘Sir’. I never once heard her raise her voice at him, or talk bad about him behind his back. She would cook, set the table, serve hot food, eat after he had eaten, give him a bowl to wash hands,…and the list goes on. And the society that I lived in taught me the same thing – a woman’s job is to take care of home and family. When I was a teenager, I had heard my aunt say – ‘ When the guy is eating food, you should not bring up irritating topics, let him eat peacefully’. So these unwritten rules existed in my society too. I started realizing my role and responsibility after getting married (My husband and his family are extremely affectionate and we love each other. However, they too like others are just following what they have learned..)
Well on the other hand, the man’s duties were defined as well :
- You are the man, you should take care of the women
- A man needs to earn
- A man needs to be strong
- A man should not cry
- A man has to take care of the tough jobs
- A man is responsible for the security of family
And so on…
So the rules of the society exist for both men and women.
The environment we live in now has changed, the equation is changing and we need to change as well. And as I can see the society is changing, both men and women work, the men have started doing household chores, the women have started doing finances. And the important thing is to realize and bring about the change that makes sense to us in the current environment.
In my 9th grade, my Hindi Teacher, Mrs Kaneju, asked us to write an essay on ‘Nar se badkar nari, ek nahi do matreyee’ meaning ‘ Women is better than men, it has two more letters’. I had written, ‘ When a small ant has the capability of killing an elephant, it reflects that everyone has capabilities, so none is better than the other’. (And after my teacher read this, I became her favorite student.)
I think it still holds true. Men and Women are not same but they are equals. We need to encourage and help Men and Women realize it, get out of their current beliefs which is hurting us and be willing to change as per the current environment.