This is not a male bashing post or a rant about the state of women in India.
There are two Indias, one where we speak of modern thought, path-breaking findings in Artificial Intelligence & technology, the emancipation of women, freedom from dogma & even legalising of homosexual relations.
Deep inside every Indian home, there is another India, one that is never spoken about by the media & if it is, then it is eulogised to make it palatable. It’s an India where housewives (home-makers) are treated like third-world citizens.
It’s an India where women and men are placed in stereotypical moulds. Adherence to those moulds earns faith, trust & praise in the family.
This hidden India is a place where men make statements like,
“This is a woman’s job, so let her do it.”
“Do I bring my work stress home? Then why do I need to bother about how you run the home?
“What do you know about the world of work & business? You are relaxing at home all day.”
“Why do you need to spend money on looking good? You are at home anyways.”
“Look at XYZ, she is a working woman, balancing home, work, family & kids at the same time. You complain all the time, don’t you have anything better to do?”
“You are too dumb to understand.”
“Why do you need a full-time maid, you are at home all the time, learn to use it wisely instead of splurging money all the time.”
“This is a ladies matter, please don’t discuss it with me.”
This is the India where some men don’t even bother to speak up. Their actions say it all:
Enter the home, looking down at the mobile, park on the sofa & continue their romance with the phone.
Not look up or maintain eye contact when the wife is speaking.
When the child approaches, the lookup for a brief moment, smile, ruffle the child’s hair & go back to the mobile.
Send friend requests to their wife’s friends & stalk them on Facebook & WhatsApp status.
Stare at women in the mall, at weddings & parties.
Nod their head at work in front of their woman boss, come home & rape their wives at night.
On holidays, expect a full course meal & don’t bother to even pick up their plate.
No! This isn’t a post about Feminism or liberation of women.
What you read above takes place every single day in many upper-middle-class homes in Mumbai – the city of dreams. Public perception of Mumbai is that of a modern city, a melting pot of cultures. However, this is a dark side of Mumbai that I wish to bring to light through my post.
As a man, how can you help?
If you are a man, and reading this post, then you can take a pause and accept this reality. Behave like a literate human being and ignite the compassion towards the lady of your home. Take time off from your mobile phone & spend a few moments with her. Your love and understanding are all she wants. Reverse roles, how would you feel if you were ignored and undervalued for everything you did? Surely, situations at work may force you to believe that your wife/mother is the object on whom you can target your hidden rage. However, if you confide in her, maybe you will be able to see light in every situation and emerge a winner. The question remains: will your male ego allow it?
As a woman, how can you help?
If you are a woman and have been nodding your head at everything written here, then now is a good time to introspect. How is your behaviour contributing to the neglect of your spouse? Do you bother about your own upkeep or have you given in to fate and look unkempt as ever? Do you take time out to understand what your man is going through when he returns from work? Are you demanding, irritable & seeking attention/appreciation all the time? The most important question is: Do you want to take steps to make the situation change?
I hope to catalyse a stream of thoughts & a mindset change through this post. Do leave your observations and comments. I would love to know what you think.
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