“Men these days are very modern, they allow their women to work,” said a highly educated woman who was trying to soothe a friend complaining about her husband. That term ‘allow’ just put me off. No man can ever allow or disallow a woman from doing something. The men these days may be changing with times, but they are not doing a favour on anyone by doing so. Nor are women doing a favour by attempting to control other women in their life.
Caution: Do not read this article if you do not have a broad mind and stomach to digest the truth.
These are the five things men need to stop doing right now!
1. Stop handing over your babies and baby-things to your wives:
How many times have you seen a couple on an evening out with the man giving high-fives to his friends and the woman cuddling the crying baby and feed the child? Men behave as if the kids are the woman’s full-time responsibility and their part-time job! Please. Stop. A father is equally responsible for all the needs of the child – changing diapers to funding the child’s education. So is the mother. Don’t make your wives hold the baby’s bags, she is not a porter.
2. Stop asking the young women of the household for water and food:
You are perfectly able to walk on your own to the other end of the house and get a glass of water. Don’t pat your son on the back and watch a cricket match while you command your daughter to get food and water. She is not your servant. If you are really ill, ask your son and your daughter both to take care of you. Being of one gender doesn’t make one automatically suited to certain jobs!
3. Stop saying, “You are a girl, you cannot pay the bill.”:
It’s really high time that people open their eyes and see that the women are earning as well. Just because she is a girl, it doesn’t mean you pay the bill. Even if your intention might be out of respect for her, you are actually disrespecting her for making her feel like a dependent person who cannot pay for her own food and drinks.
4. Stop asking a woman how many cuisines she can cook:
Women are not born to be chefs. In some of the biggest and most modern metros of Mumbai, women are expected to know at least three different cuisines and excel at it. “What will she feed my boy, when she marries him?” they ask. How old is ‘your boy’? Four? Hire a chef if you didn’t teach your son to survive on his own. Don’t make the woman, the kitchen-thing.
5. Stop telling women what to wear and where:
If she went to a party with her old school friends, wearing a really sexy dress, it is not because she had an eye on a guy in the group! She wore it because she felt like it. If she doesn’t want to wear a saree to a function, she won’t. Stop dictating it to her and stop making her conform to the ‘traditions of your family’. Don’t try to portray your authority – as it does not really exist.
It is really disheartening to see mindsets stuffed inside the brains of not just men but many women, even when things are different than what they were years ago. Sometimes, I feel, the women who participated in India’s freedom struggle were bolder and more forward than the ones who live today.
We cannot blame men for everything – we are our biggest enemies. Put a firm foot down. It’s time.