Richa delivered a beautiful baby girl that day. She already had 3 year old son. Richa always wanted a girl...now her family was complete.
Richa looked at her newborn angel and thought - how beautiful she is! I will give her everything. I will fulfil her every dream, her every wish. I won't differentiate between my son and daughter. She will enjoy thoroughly , will not work in kitchen like I did, she will not do any house chores like I did.. I will raise her exactly like my son.
And she did. . Richa raised both of her kids equally in every sense that she could figure out. In due course of time kids grew up. Both of them were highly educated and were working in high salary jobs. Eventually both kids got married and now everything seemed to be settled. Everything was just perfect until that one day. Richa was visiting her daughter at her place and she got a phone call from her son - Ma! I am done with this girl and I want a divorce!! I have sent Meera to her mom-dad's place. Richa was shocked; She took his purse and started driving to her son's place.
She thought to herself- how can such thing happen.. Ajay married Meera after 6 years of dating her. They started staying separate from us after marriage and it was our collaborative decision. I never wanted typical sas-bahu drama and wanted them to start their journey the way they wanted it to be.. and its just 6 months of marriage...how can they even think of like this! It must be Meera's fault. I guess she is not good enough for my son.
Richa reached home and saw Ajay talking to his best friend who had come there as a mediator as he knew both of them really well. She just stopped at the door to listen to their conversation; Ajay was telling- Stupid bitch Meera... What she think of herself. She cannot even make chapatis. My mom is such a good cook. house is not clean. She cannot even take care of my laundry.. how can someone call her a 'woman'.. yesterday she gave me that half baked pasta and I threw it on her face.. disgusting she is !
Richa was shocked. How can her son talk about his wife like that.Unknowingly she felt sympathy for Meera as a woman. She just started thinking - What went so wrong.. I raised both my kids with so much care, freedom...I raised my daughter like son.. but what about my son...?
Two of my friends got married after dating for more than 5 years. Before marriage, guy was very supportive and encouraging . Also he always used to take pride in his then girlfriend's (now wife) achievements. I happened to visit them after 3 months of marriage and what happened was totally unbelievable for me. My friend was thoroughly bitching his wife who is also my friend. He said to me - Look at this roti.. nah.. its is papad ! It's so difficult to survive marriage. She cannot cook food for my parents.. she just cannot fulfil their expectations... I am going to ask her to quit her job and career and learn some house work.
There are few common points in both of above stories. Whose fault is this any way.. Is it the fault of parents who raise their daughters like son OR is it the fault of a girl who is always told to be equal to boys since childhood OR is it the fault of a guy who expects some things from his wife and compares her to mother OR is it the fault of in-laws who expects their daughter in law to cook, look good, do laundry and house work.
Difficult to answer.. right? Are we deceiving our girls all their life in the name of gender equality.
Phew!! I feel no one is wrong here. Though question that lingers on is - Why parents indirectly teach their sons that one day you will get married and there would be someone to take care of you , your house.. from cooking to cleaning. I said "indirectly". As parents of this era, they are matured enough to tell their sons that girls are equal to boys and they should be given every right as boys have. They do. They believe in equality. But imagine there is a guy who since childhood, is watching his mom taking care of everything including her husband, kids and house; then why wouldn't he expect same from his wife?
Our moms did everything from cooking to cleaning, from balancing finances to taking care of each and every person in house. But at the same time, she raised her kids equally. Most of the parents of our generation tried to raise their daughters like sons. I myself never entered in kitchen before marriage (apart from few times when I tried some new recipes; but that wasn't for helping mom in anyway :D ). After marriage when I was supposed to take care of everything from cooking to cleaning; I was so lost.
I strongly feel that our generation , especially in India , we are in the exactly middle phase of "gender equality saga". And that's where the whole dilemma lies.
Its a gradual social mentality change and we cannot do much about it.
Although I feel..there is definitely a silver line out there... Raising kids EQUALLY.. yes :D
I have a son and I have decided some things about raising my son.
I would insist my son to learn cooking. I would love to see him as a man who can take care of himself very well and is perfect at everything. In most of the cases , there is no thing such as "girl's job". This holds equally true for daughters. There is no such thing as "boy's job". (Obviously there are some things which are ought to be gender biased owing to physical capabilities we have). When our kids will grow up, irrespective of whether they are guys or girls they will have career aspirations, they will have work load, they both will need to cook, they both will need to take care of house cores, they both will need to raise their children. One day they will meet their "life partners" with whom they will share everything whatever life throws at them.
I would tell my son that one day a girl will come to your life, no... she is not coming to cook for you or do your house chores but she is the one with whom you will share your dreams, your aspirations, your emotions. Once you meet your life partner I am sure you will be matured enough to divide your responsibilities the best possible way which makes both of you happy. Sharing your life with someone you love is the most sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. After all life is too short for all the blame game... Why not make it as wonderful as we can ...