As a child, I had really high hopes that when I am grown up, all the gender stereotypes would be over for good, there will be real equality for men and women, boys and girls. Alas! we are trying hard not to do away with it, rather embracing the stereotypes and adding more fuel to the fire.
I see more women working, and yet taking utmost care that the household chores are only their problem, they are earning and yet have nearly no say in decisions at home, they are making sure they go crazy with child care and office work all at the same time, to prove that we have it all! Or just because they don’t want to be a burden because they are working and because child care is primarily a mother’s job (or something like that).
I am also contributing to it. But I didn’t realize when I gave in and forgot about all the dreams I had against this bias even as a child. Now that my son is growing and I see him observing the roles played around by men and women, I fear even his generation wont do away with the biases. In fact, they will not know what to make of a working wife, whether she should be respected for her work, or be looked down upon for being a female. Whether she has any right over her own decisions, or the men must rule at every opportunity.
This isn’t feminism, or even if it sounds like it, so be it. The point is, we are doing grave injustice to our next generation by not mitigating the stereotypes that we are promoting. Women have their demanding jobs and yet they dont hesitate to keep the fasts that demand stringent rules to be followed, they take a back seat in the career when their better half could come forward and make it easier on her shoulders, she still has to tender to her inlaws and be the ideal one even if they have nothing good to say about her juggling all the responsibilities.
All this because women mostly have seen their ideals in their mothers. They have seen them adjusting to the society and keeping mum while performing their duties. Men might be having their share of struggles, keeping up with the egos of society, looking like a feminine personality while in the kitchen or while tending to their own children, and so on. Overall, its the women who face the setbacks, paycuts, and end of it be called the woman behind her successful husband. What about her own aspirations cut short by the people closest to her? Not by saying no, but by not saying yes to her dreams!
I am sure stories are different at many a places, but they are too few to be idolized and do away with the realities.
Its time we rethink our everyday conduct, women should come forward, speak up, the proverbial and literal sit at the table while decisions are made and if she feels neglected, she must speak up and get her dues. End of the day, our next generation is watching us and waiting to replicate it all when they grow into adults – responsible, irresponsible, respectful or otherwise, all depends on how we project ourselves to them, as a couple and as individuals.
Signing off – A very worried mother!!