Last Sunday, while doing housework, I asked my brother to make me a cup of tea as I was very much tired. My aunt felt very bad about this and started telling me the difference between the status of men and women. She started lecturing me on my responsibilities. I only asked her who decides that this work belongs to a man and this to a woman. I knew the answer, but I had to make her feel that this field belongs to her, that is, to a woman.
It is strange that the woman who herself has grown old while serving these men forces the other woman to serve them as well. The result of this debate was the same as it always is, I had to stop because arguing with these patriarchal vigilantes meant banging my head against the wall or crying in the wilderness!
It’s bitter but it’s true! Why is work divided? Rather, why is everything divided between men and women? This color is for men, this color is for women, such clothes are for men, so are clothes for women, these jobs are for men and these jobs are for women, these cars are for men and such cars are for women. When man and woman are made with only physical distinction, why do we not accept this act of nature?
And the biggest thing is that by doing so we are only creating problems for ourselves.
Does a woman not do the work of a man?
I have often heard old women saying that the time has come for a woman to run the house together with a man. In this era of inflation, a man’s earning alone is not enough to run a house.
But when both of them return home exhausted, the man begins to rest, while the woman enters the kitchen, prepares food, and serves it to the man, disturbing his rest.
Someone should ask these guardians of patriarchy, where has your equality gone now? However, she will say that he is tired, whereas a woman is a machine, she wakes up earlier in the morning and sleeps later, earns as well as raises children, and takes care of the house. Even so, she is not forgiven for even the smallest of mistakes. It is good for a woman to do the work of a man, but if a man does the work of a woman, his integrity will be affected. Why is this?
Effects of this discrimination
We make this distinction but forget its effects. If a woman has to be busy with her work all day, she will not be able to train her children. Then these old women say that out of education and upbringing, the latter has ended, and only education remains.
A busy mother with mental confusion will not be able to take care of her children. She consoles herself by simply nurturing that she is accomplishing her task. She actually lacks time. Perhaps this is the reason our society is producing more men in quantity, but men of good quality are rare commodities.
Maybe now is the time to change our thinking. Think about your offspring and make time for them, focusing on their upbringing along with quality education, and teaching them equality of both sexes, maybe only then we can progress as a nation.
What do you think?
Sundus Behrooz is a teacher; hosts radio shows and also writes blogs and short stories on gender issues.