Festivals Are For MEN

One Pandemic-lockdown afternoon my child was attending his pre-primary online school when lightning struck! No. Not from the sky. But in my mind.

Since I, too, was working from home, I was in the same room as him. The teacher educated the kids about Community Helpers. After she was done instructing, she asked them, “who cleans the house?” (Hint answer: Maid) One of the student answered, “MOTHERRRR!!” 

The teacher went silent. The entire class busted into laughter. Bwahahahaaaa…

So did I burst into laughter. Although, my heart pinched a little. Children speak what they see, and they talk about the truth with brutal honesty. The student said what he saw every day. 

This incident sent me pondering – Why could the child’s answer not be ‘Father’ instead? Men also need to feed themselves like every other human and have clean surroundings, clothes, and utensils to cook! So why is the answer to all the domestic work always ‘Mother’ or ‘Wife’? Why is Men’s contribution to household chores so less?

It is noteworthy that it has nothing to do with the Chores themselves…

If it involves cooking – there are Chefs who (mostly ) are men.

If it requires cleaning – there are Housekeeping staff who are men too.

If it consists of washing – there are Washermen all over. 

So, it’s not about the Chores, and it is all about Unpaid labour

The point is, Men do the same tasks, BUT ONLY WHEN THEY ARE PAID! 

Statistics show that all over the world, only 32% of men contribute to household chores, whereas 78% of women spend more than 3 hours of unpaid household chores each day. The scores are worse for Indian men who appear at the bottom of the list! Indian averages show that more than 90% of Indian women do unpaid domestic work compared to only 27% of men!

In world statistics, Slovenia tops the list of men contributing a whopping 114 minutes of housework every day on average, while our Indian men only manage a meager 19 minutes daily! 

The infographics from Statista shows a profound male-female gap when it comes to participating in domestic work.

For Indian men, this is proof of the ‘Raja Babu’ fodder that most women feed their little sons (and themselves) since childhood. 

The Raja Babu Syndrome

For starters, let the explanation be simple. Raja = King, Babu = Little Boy. So your ‘Raja Babu’ is nothing but your little son who you lovingly hail as the ‘King’ (of your heart and your little kingdom). So cute! 

Everyone loves their child, but the Indian obsession with male children spills onto everything Indians do in their day-to-day lives. The boys get pampered with so much love and attention that we mothers forget to teach them about responsibilities. Or even if we want to, our families wouldn’t let us because they are (still) suffering from the same syndrome; as the previous generation!

Coming back to ‘Raja Babu.’ Once these boys grow up, they have become so used to the pampering that the ‘responsibility’ thought never OCCURS for them. It never crosses their mind that housework is everybody’s responsibility. 

If you have guests over to your place, and you have a daughter and a son both of the same age group; you will, due to years of social and mental conditioning, by default summon the daughter to help you out with the chores, while your son will run around creating chaos or at best engaged in gadgets. 

We have taught ourselves and our boys over many years of conditioning that they are the Rajas and the Babus of our lives and need not move a muscle to help us out with household chores! So it is no wonder that when these Raja Babus grow up to become Men, they still feel as pampered and entitled as they have been since childhood.

The situation gets worse if you have festivals around! Bigger the festival, the bigger the load – for the Woman. Because no matter what, our men will only contribute their 19 minutes, that’s it! 

Imagine you have a Family gathering/upcoming Festival, and these thoughts run in the minds of the men and the women!

Some may reason that Men entrust with the more challenging goal of earning the family’s bread and butter, so it’s only fair that the other partner handles the additional responsibilities. FAIR. But what do you say for situations where the Woman is working almost as many hours as the men, to earn as much bread-n-butter as men, and still all these chores are only her responsibility? Women are primarily engrossed in the mental and physical work, while the Man gets away with just 19 Minutes! 

I hear Men taking pride in saying – ‘I Help With The Household Chores!!’

HELP? REALLY? It is as if saying it was the Woman’s job, to begin with, BUT I ‘HELPED’!!

Bravo! What a Noble Deed!!! 

Men get excused since they go out to work and presume as tired. All the while, women are still expected to manage work and home.

Honestly, I do not know how or when this will change, so don’t expect any answers from me.

I only have a thought – probably it is only the Men who get to enjoy a festival in the real sense, all the while, the women are drained and tired by the end of the D-day. So I say, festivals are only for Men to celebrate!

Over to you, my readers. Your thoughts?

For Statistical Reference: 
EIGE-2021 Gender Equality Index 2021 Report: Health
How Many Men Participate in Household Chores?
Where In The World Do Men Do The Most Housework?
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3 thoughts on “Festivals Are For MEN

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