Sunday, January 18, 2015

Boundary less Laundry

Yatra Naaryatsu Poojyante , Tatra Ramyate Devtaa !
Gods dwell, where the ladies are worshiped. This is a well-known but now a days totally forgotten, Sanskrit Shloka

In ancient India, the ladies had equal status in home as well as in society. We have learned about Gargi, Maitreyi, Ghosha, Lopamudra etc. in history. But as of today, the ground reality about women and how they are treated is totally disheartening. 

There's always a debate raging on about how media depicts women, how women are stereo-typed. In Hindi films women are either glorified as goddesses ( mothers / sisters / wives )or ridiculed as vamps ( bar-dancers / mother-in-laws etc.). Women are never shown as normal human-beings. The Bollywood biggies justify their stand with,"our films mirror, what's happening in the society. We make movies based on the real situations." The social workers, leaders say movies corrupt the mindset of people by glorifying the out-dated traditions, old mindsets, gangsters, feminine modesty, inhumane sacrifices etc. 

Post-independence, the male-members of the family worked outdoors ( agriculture/ industry or service sector ) to earn money, so they were treated as  the providers. Female-members remained indoors to do house-duties and to look after the children . In those days only rich could afford maids for household chores like scrubbing, cleaning, washing clothes etc. The middle-class and poor women had to do the tedious chores of cleaning, washing in addition to nurturing the children. In those days , joint family system was prevalent so these burdensome, laborious chores were jointly carried out by all women-members of the house.

Freedom and Education broadened our mindsets. The social reformists such as Savitribai Phule , Maharshi Karve fought against social strictures to educate women and assimilate them in main stream, to build a strong, independent nation. In modern days, both males and females are educated, both work outdoors, Indian constitution has given equal rights to men and women .We embraced western culture , joint families disintegrated into nuclear families. 

But the old patriarchal tradition still lurks in Indian males. They think of themselves as providers , as owners and treat the women as unpaid bonded labor. Indian males want educated wives to earn income for the family and simultaneously the women are forced to do cleaning , scrubbing, laundry etc. Every member of the family eats food and wears clothes. Both men and women work outdoors to earn the livelihood, then why scrubbing the utensils and washing the clothes is considered a woman's job ? 

Is it just nonsense? No. It's much more than that. Expecting and forcing women to do laundry is the height of male dictatorship, chauvinism, laziness, and selfishness. It's a fact, 77% of Indian men depend on women for doing their laundry. Majority of Indian men ( 76% ) feel that laundry is a woman's job. This pervert feeling provides them with idiotic pleasures such as watching TV. More than 2/3rd of Indian men prefer to watch TV than to do the laundry.

There are solutions for every problem. Gender equality, in all aspects must be taught since childhood in school as well as in family. The parents must treat their sons and daughters equally. Both must be taught the dignity of labor. There must never be the classification of any duty as in this is a boy's duty and this is a girl's duty. The children learn fast through examples, they love to follow the footsteps of family-elders. The mother and father both should inculcate the values of gender equality, dignity of labor and family bonding in their children. One more practical solution for happy laundry is a good detergent like  Ariel  which doesn't harm hands and removes the dirt effortlessly. 

Here's a two pronged solution : Either each and every family-member ( except babies and senior citizens ) must do their own laundry, or every family member must be assigned a day, on which he/ she will do laundry of whole family.
That day is not far ahead , when there won't be any boundary for doing laundry. Every Indian will willingly do his / her own laundry.

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


addaa said...

Nice one....A flurry of articles to usher in the new year. Good.

My firm view, joint families have to break to remove some age old beliefs


Wish you a very Happy & Prosperous new year.
How are you and Sangeeta ? Busy outdoors ?

Dr Sandhya Kadam said...


Dr Sandhya Kadam said...