My thoughts are a manifestation of many conversations with friends, wives and relatives on the utter frustration amongst progressive Indian women over sections of men’s brains that have remained stagnated over many years. Most agree that Indian women have advanced, intellectually and emotionally, faster than men. Maybe because given the subjugation we went through in the last decades there was a larger scope of improvement and catch up to our international peers.
Women like to discuss, gossip and share tales of their fathers, brothers, partners and husbands and admist these varied stories lie an underlying uniting question that is left unanswered – ” why cant men change!?”. I pondered hard and here’s my deduction:
Parenting: I remember as a girl, I was taught the art of multitasking from a very young age. I had to be a focused student but also had to learn how to cook, clean and take care of my younger sister. Everything played an important role in being called ” a good girl”. Parents of boys on the other hand were content to see their sons excel in school and sports, and it was ok to neglect housework and cooking is probably the last thing they would be expected to pick up. Today women can be successful career women and manage a home with so much ease. Men after work act like they deserve nirvana and TV and entertainment is what will get them there. Women, due to their upbringing, have a higher sense of duty.
The Idea of Equality: God never intended to make men or woman equal. But together equality can be achieved as a result of a balancing act. Women are physically weaker in strength, classic example of this is the fact that there is no professional mixed leagues in sport. Women today are expected to stand by the equality metrics at work as very few workplaces would sympathize with a under-performing lady due to her personal reasons while at home the women are expected to take the larger load of stress – kids upbringing, families health, taking care of the aged, performing the ritualistic duties etc. etc. How can you expect equal devotion to work from two individuals where one is subjected to much more at home? Men who are husbands need to learn how to create an stress sharing environment at home. And men who are bosses to women need to understand the personal dynamics of their employees to motivate and guide them.
Who runs the house?: I have heard this from many of my friends who are housewives and feel or are meant to feel obliged to do housework because the house is being run by the man. Most housewives realize that their work is unpaid labor and it is as important as earning money. But for some reason, many men havent taken to this notion and still are egotistical about bringing money home. Daily chores and routine activities of raising kids is the most frustrating activity anyone can do! Ask me, I took to writing just to relieve myself of frustration when I quit work to raise my son. Going out of the house, meeting new people and contributing to the society is so much more fulfilling. In that respect men,also need to feel obliged to their wives as well for giving up their passions and pausing their lives to ensure the well being of the house. Their work is absolutely quintessential to the running of the house!
Traditions: Our society puts much pressure on girls since an early age to work hard, follow tradition as well adopt the acceptable norms of modernity. We are taught to think critically and stay cautious. Many girls still follow fasting traditions since a very young age to please the Gods who in return will bless them with good husbands. I am not against fasting, if anything it teaches self control and discipline. But why arent young boys also asked to fast? they do zilch to get good wives or success? It should be ingrained in boys as much as girls to follow a disciplined and righteous path to reap rewards in later life.
Good cooks make good wives? : Many a times I hear men taking pride in the fact that their wives “cook well”. Whether a woman has a career or not, being a good cook is the supreme quality that makes a good wife. Guys need to understand that cooking is a skill, and its ok to be proud of a certain skill but do make way for real personality traits in the pride bucket. I really hate the stereotypical line “way to a mans heart is through the stomach” and i hate it not because its not true but because it only caters to a man! girls stomachs crave good food as much as men, its just that women are wiser to carve the path to their hearts through their brains as well as stomachs! Food is instant gratification but it takes lot more than food to create a successful relationship.
Upbringing, societal traditions and notions have advanced much more for women than for men which is why even educated young men, at times, act like their fathers and grandfathers. Men must be presented with a holistic concept of respect and duty towards their careers and families. Parents should be vocal about what children should absorb from their ancestors and what should be shunned.
Disclaimer: I might have hurt the sentiments of those men who do not fall under the parameters laid out in this articles. My salute to you, and humble request to be champions of change and help put some sense into your brothers, sons and friends!