#FeministMondays | The Other Side

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In my last post, I spoke about how feminism did not exist as a concept for me while growing up. Thanks to my chauvinistic father and uncles, I thought that the women are expected to worship their husbands and do all the chores at home while the men lazed in front of the TV and expected their wives to answer to the snap of their fingers. Being the man of the house meant too much to them that they were expected to be put on a pedestal and looked up to. Many women had the same thoughts too and this became a norm without anyone making a big deal out of it. While feminism as a concept is making waves now, some women who claim to be feminists themselves are getting it all wrong. Today we'll look at the other side, where women expect men to treat them like equals in all the wrong ways possible.

It is no hidden fact that I have a certain amount of hatred for housewives. I have been very vocal about it and have received my share of flak for it too. But, I stand by my thoughts. Before you start to revolt, let me make myself clear. I do not hate all housewives. There are wives who stay at home and maintain a very good environment at home. They cook piping hot food for every meal, keep their house spick and span, manage the bills, keep the family together and are on top of everything when it comes to the house. Such women, I call genius home makers. I bow down to such women and think that they need to be given equal rights as that of the men who are the bread winners here. Such women have a full time job at home and they do an excellent job. They do not while away their time watching TV or on the phone. They are proud of their home making skills and deserve to be so. This is what a housewife or a homemaker should be like. They respect the men for the work they do and they demand respect for the work they do at home too. Such women are true feminists.

Other women who stay at home and cook one meal a day and spend the rest of the day watching TV and on the phone, do not qualify as homemakers. Such women think that it is the duty of the man of the house to take care of them for the rest of their life. The man is expected to pay for all her whims and fancies and then adjust with whatever she has cooked. Even if it is the same meal for two days in a row, he is expected to be quiet. Such women have no clue about the groceries at home and when they run out of a condiment, a call is made to the husband asking him to come home and give her the money to purchase it. These women think that just because they stay at home, they are expected to lead a luxurious life mainly because they think that it is the duty of the man to earn and for her to spend. They don't keep tracks of the bills to be paid, because come on, when they do not earn what is the need to? Once a large quantity of a meal is prepared, it is stuffed in the fridge for the week. Such women have maids to clean the house and other chores and yet they do nothing for themselves. Why, some of them do not even have a hobby! And yet, this is what they think feminism is. I have no respect for women like these. I also doubt if they have some respect for themselves.

While this is one end of the spectrum, at the other end are those working women who make a big fat salary for themselves, but still think that it is the duty of their husbands to take care of them. These women have a well paying job, but they save their salary for God knows what. They shop with their husband's cards and take much pride in doing so. Even grocery shopping is to be done with the husband's money. Since these are working women, they have a maid, a cook and other help at homes. All these people are paid by the husband and the woman thinks that that is how it is expected to be. And then she goes on to call herself a feminist. She's financially independent after all.

Women need to understand that feminism is about equality and not about having things done your way. If your husband is the sole earning member, then you can be an equal by running the house seamlessly. Still better, you can do more and save some of the money by smart shopping and planning. While a man is at work, the flour getting over at home should be the least of his headaches. For a housewife, the house is the office. You need to know what is present at home and what is needed and when. Be smart enough to plan ahead and not trouble the man during the last minute. Some wives even depend on their husbands to ferry them from one place to another. Like that is only supposed to be a man thing! Working women need to assist their husbands in the expenses at home. While the incomes may not always be equal, you can handle at-least a thing or two. If one takes care of the rent, the other can pay some bills. It takes two to run a house, irrespective of how many of them are earning. Women need to understand that it is not the duty of a man to look after them for the rest of their lives. It is all about co-existing and making a world of their own together. This is what feminism is all about.

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One of the most important things that women need to do is to stop glorifying their men for every small chore they do. I've seen women go bat-shit crazy on social media when their husbands make them a cup of tea or cook a random meal. Hundreds of photographs are posted and the man is celebrated like he's just won himself the next master chef title. This is not necessary at all. Do you think men do the same for every meal you cook? It is not a big deal and it doesn't matter who cooks at home as long as there is food on the table. Women need to stop portraying their men as something great when this happens. Having your husband cook a meal doesn't make you a feminist. Thinking it is not a big deal when he makes it, does.

A lot of people have to tweak their idea of feminism to get it right and for it to work. Most importantly, women.

This post is a part of the powerful series #FeministMondays on Naba's blog. On the second Monday of every month there would be a post on feminism. You can be a part of it too. Write an impactful post with the hashtag #FeministMondays and link it back to Naba's blog.

32 comments:

  1. I agree that feminism is about equality and the other spectrum that you spoke of deserves the light too. Many working women don't spend at home at all and that makes me wonder why? Why not be equal and support the man who works too.
    An honest post as always, Soumya!

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    1. Thank you so much, Parul! Women at home need to understand that staying at home they can help the family too. All it takes is knowing that they can do it too.

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  2. A thought-provoking post indeed, Soumya. I do agree with most of the points you raised. Unfortunately, feminism is very fashionable these days and so many women jump along to join in when they feel the need to show it to others. The quiet silent feminist might be the one who sits next to you in the park not raising slogans or glorifying her man but enjoying just being herself!

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    1. Thank you, Esha. Feminism is turning out to be something else than what it actually stand for these days.

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  3. This reminds me of our discussion about housewives on Twitter.

    You have made some valid points here. Everything you said makes sense. Some so called feminists think whatever they do/say is okay and they shouldn't be questioned and think that ridiculing men is their right. This term, Feminism, gets on my nerves.

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    1. Yes Tarang, now you get it.

      Some women just accept that men should take care of them, no matter what. Such women, I want to kill.

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  4. Trust you to call a spade a spade 😀 feminism isn't about getting things done our way ... You got that right. The way it is being projected as such a hateful word needs to stop and change. I agree, it takes a two to run the house. Thankfully I don't know anyone who is so dependent on their partner to do everything for them. 😀 The dynamics of family and relationships have changed these days... Is it better if we change our attitude and mindset as well. Your words always pack a punch. 👊

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    1. Always! :)

      A change of mindset in women is what feminism needs the most these days.

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  5. Ah Soumya. I am so with you on this. I have seen all such kinds of women that you've mentioned. Those who run their homes so well and raise wonderful kids. My mum was one such lady. There are those too who have servants at their beck and call and don't work professionally. I do wonder what they do at home. And also those women who tom tom every silly cup of tea or simple dish their husband cooks. Seriously, do their husband celebrate every meal they cook? I have a friend who wants food her husband to teach her children Maths and Science because all she is a woman. I rolled my eyes and told her to speak for herself. I teach my kids all subjects. Do you also know that there are men who prefer their wives not to drive because they may have accidents. Gosh, the things I hear and then I am labeled an 'aggressive' feminist by their husbands so there are times when men don't wish to let go too. I have so much to say here. Suffice it to say, I agree with your views.

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    1. Women need to get feminism right, Rachna, else I see no point in pressing the issue.

      Whiling away time at home watching TV, while the husband slogs at work and pays for the maid is something I just don't understand. Women who post pictures of their husband's cooking get on to my nerves. Why celebrate it? This will only make men do stuff once in a blue moon. Why don't women get that?

      Thanks, Rachna. It is nice to know a woman who knows and understands this.

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  6. Now now now giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl! You echoed some of my thoughts and gave me something new to think about too! Feminism means knowing that you are as much worth as the guy next to you, and not using the man next to you as your shawl of something. Some women these days, especially some those pop up on my facebook...ughh!

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    1. Thanks, Red! I'm glad you have got it right!

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  7. Well, I so agree with you. Only you could have said it like you did.
    You know when woman who have maids to do all the household work and even look after their kids, ask me why I'm working when I should spend my whole day with my kid, I want to tell them off. But I don't, God knows why. Maybe I should because while they maybe happy not doing anything in life, I'm not. I can be both an individual and a mother. Yes, it's hard but I'm going to keep trying to do it because I don't like sitting idle or living on my husband's salary.

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    1. There is so much to being a woman other than being a wife or a mother. It is sad that women themselves don't see it.

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  8. The moment you start demanding princess-like or kingly treatment, you stop being a promoter of equality. I have a friend who calls herself a feminist and starts lecturing the moment she sees a man treating a woman like a person! She wants doors opened, chairs pulled, and says her place is not in the kitchen even though she's not employed. She's independent otherwise - drives a car, goes on coffee dates, reads books in Starbucks, takes her child to play group parties :)
    Now to each his own and if the family is happy with the princess status, I really don't care - their money, their life. But please don't look down upon other men when they don't open doors for you. She's a good friend though and I have no clue what to tell her!!! Some women feel that the way to end inequality is by being at the farthest end of the spectrum and demanding more than what is practical.

    P.S. I just hate the open door and pull chair part - I am a woman, not a disabled person!

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    1. Totally agree, Nisha! Oh such Princesses and I can never be friends. Let the family be happy, but you can't always expect everyone around to play along, right?

      I hate it too! It feels so contrived and fake to me honestly.

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  9. It takes two to tango:-) Yes, for me it is a natural thing to share.... make a team ... if both work, then both spend on equal things, like home and both help eachother around the house. Thats what it was with my parents - and they had a great marriage:-) Well written post dear Soumya:-)

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    1. Two to tango, indeed!

      Thank you dear Eli, your comments always make me smile :)

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  10. Damn! When you go all out, you go all out :)
    I'm going to just leave my comment as 'I'm a feminist and I know it!" :D

    [Now, let me go cook for my family]

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  11. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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  12. Whoa, girl! I am completely with you on this one. I know of women who are homemakers, who fulfil every duty as a homemaker (yours truly included, hehe), and there are those who think that life is being unfair to them that their men earn and they simple have NOTHING to do at home all day! Man, go and get a job/hobby and find your own identity! But, they would rather stay on their back sides and watch the umpteen TV serials, and gossip about all and sundry. Where's the feminism in that?
    Superb post, Soumya! As always, a care-a-damn-about-what-people-say kind of post! You are my Hero!

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    1. Awww, aren't you the sweetest Shilpa!

      Thank you so much for this comment :)

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  13. I infact just read another article on how we people have got Feminism all wrong. THe post mentions that, feminism is also about acknowleding diferrences that do exist between genders, yet providing equal opportunities to lead life. True women glorify when men do a wee bit. For example, when my child was young, my husband changed her diaper, and people around were like , " gosh you are soooo lucky to get a husband like this!!!!!!

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    1. Feminism is exactly that! Co-existing. That's sad when a man changes one diaper and is declared a hero! Women deal with so much of shit and still we are expected to do more.

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  14. How true! I was so against leaving my job and joining him because I feared I would fall into this second category of housewives. But when I finally quit, I knew I would always miss my corporate job; but I'm glad I took up content writing and is also able to focus on my blogs. I hate those who gets the meaning of feminism totally wrong! As for posting 'those' Social media pics, buhahaha :D

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    1. As long as you have a hobby and do something you love, and not worship the man, nothing else matters.

      Don't get me started on the social media pictures, nothing annoys me that much.

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  15. Feminism = Equality. Though many people think that feminism = superiority. This is when feminism becomes a bad word.
    Nice post!

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    1. Feminism = Male bashing for some women. And that's worse.

      Thanks, Anita!

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