How fair are we?

How fair are we?

Getting forwards all day long on your mobile either makes you happy or irks you, depending on whether you agree with its contents or not. Some time ago, I received a message that spoke highly of women. I felt elated and a huge sense of pride.

I made it a point to forward it to all my friends. But after getting the same message for the sixth time in the span of a month, I began to feel differently.I sent out a reply to the person, who had forwarded me the message (she happened to be a relative): After seeing many such messages, I feel women are excellent at bragging. 24 hours work! If we are so noble, somebody else will notice and sing the praise, not ourselves. What about men? He is also a son, husband, son-in-law.” That stirred up a hornet’s nest.

It got me thinking, and I do hope that you will hear me out. The modern conveniences that are available today help us immensely, but the women of the older generations were not that lucky. They, perhaps, deserve these eulogies. My mother toiled for us everyday from 5 am to 9 pm, with no break. When we would want to study for our exams early in the morning, she used to wake up multiple times in the night to ensure that we were woken up at the correct time - although she could not read the clock. Father would be busy with his job as a school master, doing social work and helping other children with their studies. My mother was able to manage everything on her own. She was proud of my father’s work and would support him. My father was very devoted to his work and everything would be ready for him when he reached home. He was not really a ‘male chauvinist’; he always listened to my mother and gave importance to her opinions, considered her wishes, took her to many of the temples she wanted to visit. 

Two to tango

Our family, the society, this world are complete only when men and women coexist. It should not be a competition or confrontation. If women work at home, men too struggle outside home; many, travelling all the time, eating from outside out of compulsion, managing their subordinates, handling the boss and clients. If women work outside, men need to share the burden at home also. And many of them do, too. They do help out in either cooking the food or ordering from out, when too tired. Are we not forgetting these?
Many a times, even when the man earns well or even more than enough to manage the family finances and is ready to provide for the needs of his family, the woman wants to work outside. There, it is the choice of the woman. One should not cry over one’s own choice. In many cases, men encourage them. Often, women want to work to be ’financially independent.’ This amuses me - when the man is ready to provide her with everything, she is more worried about being financially independent. The reason tends to be to equiping herself in case of an imaginary exigency rather than helping supplement the family income.

The man is the natural care taker of the family; he marries knowing and willing to support his wife’s needs. He shares everything and in return, she does as well. Loyalty and love are the essence of marriage. But now instead of mutual love and trust, in many marriages, selfishness and shadows of ego and mistrust hang around. Men bashing has become the ‘in-thing’ of the era. This is not to vindicate men of their many crimes against women and children as well as many other social evils committed by them. It is possible both men and women are responsible for the good and evil of today’s society.

Both men and women should complement each other in every sphere of life. They should delegate the work between them in a sensible way and not be overburdened. So I, personally, would prefer to entrust outdoor work to the men of the house, while the womenfolk can do things like payment of bills online, cleaning, cooking, interior decoration, taking care of children, among other things. Both parents should be equally responsible for taking care of the studies of children, making the marriage work, ensuring a safe and healthy environment at home.

If we, women, take the first step towards appreciating the contribution of men in our lives - whether it is our father, husband, son, brother or friends - the world will become a better place. We also need to realise and accept our own flaws. Men may not be perfect, neither are we. One should understand and admit the way nature has created man and woman. There are some basic differences, but we are all made in a way that we can co-exist harmoniously. Why then do men and women vie for power? Why is there such an atmosphere of rivalry between genders? Can’t this change? If we respect each other, stop allegations and accusations against each other, the world and life would become beautiful.

If women are salt without whose presence life will be tastelesss, let us remember that men too are precious. Their very presence in our lives makes us, women, feel comfortable, safe and secure. Your worth is not always measured by the moolah you bring into the family kitty every month.


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