Actor Ranveer Singh is busy giving husband goals to men all over the nation. He wears his heart on his sleeves, he never shies away from fawning over his wife Deepika Padukone and recently he chivalrously held his wife’s heels in his hands at a wedding they were attending. The photos of a dutiful Singh walking with his wife’s heels in his hands has taken over the Internet and people can’t stop swooning over him. Just a few months ago, cricketer MS Dhoni was seen on his knees, tying his wife’s shoe laces and the picture went viral on social media.
- Picture of actor Ranveer Singh carrying his wife's heels at a wedding has won Internet over.
- Last year a picture of MS Dhoni tying his wife's shoe laces also went viral.
- But would we be applauding these pictures if genders were reversed in them?
- Such acts in modern marriages stem from love and affection, rather than from a sense of duty.
If it was a photograph showing Padukone walking with her husbands sandals in her hand, what would be the reaction on social media?
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Singh and Dhoni, but if we reverse the gender in these photographs, would we be still be fawning over them? If it was a photograph showing Padukone walking with her husbands sandals in her hand, or Sakshi Dhoni at her husband’s feet, tying the laces of his sneakers, what would be the reaction on social media? In 2019, it is hard to imagine any image of a woman carrying her husband’s shoes and not receive any flak. There is a context to the ire which such pictures may attract, and we can’t ignore that. For centuries wives, mothers, sisters have endured the task of caring for men of their household. Many girls are still conditioned into taking orders from male members of their family and picking after them.
In conservative households I still come across husbands who expect wives to pick up their dirty socks from the floors and wives who think it is their duty to fetch their tired husband everything from a newspaper to a glass of water to a fresh set of clothes, after he comes home from work. We are all now aware of these gendered beliefs, thus serving husbands, brothers etc, by putting their shoes away, or being at their beck and call is no longer seen as acceptable. Women themselves have developed agency and refuse to be the subdued partner in a relationship just because of their gender.
For centuries wives, mothers, sisters have endured the task of caring for men of their household. Many girls are still conditioned into taking orders from male members of their family and picking after them.
So modern marriages in India are seldom like the ones we have grown up observing all around us. Today, men are more in control of their masculinity. They realise that it is wrong to feel entitled, to be pampered or looked after just because of their gender. Which is why for them it isn’t a big deal to carry their wives purses or tie their shoe laces. When a relationship is based on equal footing, rather than outdated gendered norms, spouses do not do what is expected of them, but what they are comfortable doing.
Like Dhoni or Singh, their wives may also have no qualms tying their shoe laces or carrying their sandals. My husband has no qualms carrying my purse if I need to use a washroom at a public place. We constantly pick up after each other and I know there are many couples who will relate. The act stems from love and affection rather than gendered obligation and that is what makes it special. So yes, let us celebrate these feminist husbands, because they have managed to squash gendered beliefs. But then also remember, men aren’t obligated to do these things just because women have been forced into doing it for centuries.
PC: Twitter/Hindutan Times
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.