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Monday, 7 March 2016

They will share the load

We teach our children since childhood that cleanliness is next to Godliness. However unfortunately when it comes to washing clothes we convey a message that cleanliness is not next to manliness. Why does this happen? Let us try to analyze it.

In houses where the woman is a housewife, she is the one who is entrusted with the washing of clothes. In homes where both the partners are working, there is a servant to wash the clothes. She is inevitably a maid servant, a woman. This stereotype reflects in our movies where we have the kamvali bai to wash the clothes. So we convey to our children that when it comes to washing of clothes, it is always the bai, the woman, the lady who has to wash the clothes. Subtly we are conveying that washing is not a man’s job.

All of us will agree that this thinking is dangerous to the society. We have to change it but how. First of all let us start with small changes. Let there be a man who washes the clothes in a story. Let us have a male servant who washes the clothes in the movies. Let us have male cartoon characters wash their own uniforms. This will plant a seed in the minds of the children that washing clothes is a job which is done by both men and women.

Then let us ask our children to wash their own clothes. If they are too small ask them to wash their own handkerchief. Believe me they will love this task, for it involves playing in water. This task has long term objective as well. It will inculcate a feeling in the children that washing is not just a woman’s task. This seed will germinate and when they grow into young men and women, they will not think that washing is the job of a lady. These grown up men will for sure share the load with the female members of their family.
This will bring gender realization in the real sense. Like every good thing, even this sensitization should begin right from the childhood. How about introducing a washer man instead of a washer woman in the lessons in their language text books?

No need to worry if the male members of your family are no longer children. Now that they are grown ups you can have a free and frank chat with them. You can convey the message that washing is not just a woman’s task clearly. Make an attempt. They will understand. They will not just understand but help you out with the washing. They will share the load. 
I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.” 

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