Odd or Even! Whats Your Choice Of The Day?
What if I say ‘None’? Can I afford to say that?
Ariel’s new campaign called #LaundryGoesOddEven is a smart idea and interesting one too. While I may not completely agree with the odd-even part of it, I like it because it emphasizes on the division of household work between man and wife. Despite of technological advancements and modernization of Indian traditions, we are yet not free from our stereotypical thinking. There are many practices prevalent in our society that do not have a logical answer to them. I have dared to raise one of them here. When both men and the women of the house toil equally hard in their offices, why are the household chores still considered only a woman’s responsibility?
I feel pained when the woman of the house is expected to cook, clean and take care of the house despite of her full day desk job. An earning woman can still get a helping hand in the form of a maid or another lady of the house but if a house-wife refuses to do it all, she will be declared guilty. I wonder why! Why can’t a woman not say that she doesn’t want to do the laundry at all? Why odd-even? I think I am asking for too much.
One fine day, my four year old nephew spilled some juice on his favorite t-shirt. He unbuttoned it quickly and gave it to his mother. While he handed over to her, he also said, clean it fast. My brother was also sitting in the room but my nephew did not approach him. I am sure we know the answer why. It is quite obvious. This four year old chap has only seen his mother do the laundry of the house and has already made an impression that it is the mother who does this work. Odd-Even practice is needed for such families. The ladies should start delegating some laundry work to their husbands too. The guys should own up on their own. I bluntly told my brother, you might enjoy your son telling your wife to do this but think of your daughter. You might not like it when everything is expected of her after her marriage. Guys, you have to deal with it sensitively, only then women will be able to shift their image.
We have all grown up seeing this because as kids we were always taught to behave in a particular way. The boys were given the manly tasks and the girls were trained in household works. We were made to believe that some of the tasks were only and only our job. Even though girls are blessed with all the capabilities to outperform men in any task, at the end of the day they are associated with kitchen, laundry, cleaning and more. At the same time, I would also say that its not that the boys don’t do it at all. Hostel life, traveling job and ailing partner does make the men learn it for themselves but it all depends how long they continue doing it. I am glad my husband does it without an odd-even calendar.
The mindsets are changing but the glorious and enlightened days are still far away. I can call myself lucky because my husband does his laundry more than I do. So we don’t have to keep odd and even days but at the same time I don’t see the other senior male members of my family doing it at all. How do we teach them? Well, they might do for the campaign, they might pose, they might appreciate the video but at the end of it all, they will not do it. How can we set the thinking right? Well, we can implement it in our generation. We can set examples for our kids. If the young ones will see both their parents take up the house hold responsibilities, they will know that the division of work is not based on sex. Laundry is not a women’s job and earning for the house is not a man’s job. Both can do it or not do it, its their choice but none should be forcing it upon one another.
First Picture courtesy