Homemakers Are Provided For So Why The Fuss, People Ask: Here's Why

As homemakers, there are a multitude of factors that keep them chained forever in a place of servitude. Among them, the most common one is asking for money.

Mohua Chinappa
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As homemakers, there are a multitude of factors that keep them chained forever in a place of servitude. Among them, the most common one is the indignity of asking for money. They are discouraged from ever discussing the points of humiliation that become an everyday occurrence in their lives. Many women hesitate to open up on such topics, they feel that they are betraying their families. Irrespective of the fact that the same families without any hesitation will humiliate them if they dare to question the inequality, played out every day with them. 


The onus of “ghar ki izzat” has been passed on tactfully by patriarchal rules to the homemaker, where questioning the idea of non-inclusion isn’t even a topic that is considered worth exploring. For most homemakers being financially independent isn’t even a thought, within the family. Most feel that they are being provided for, so why the fuss? "They must consider themselves lucky."

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Sadly, even now, women are portrayed as financially in-adept people across media. Most memes and jokes are about how she spends her money carelessly. The advertising portrays the husband as someone who isn’t worried about her WhatsApp texts on love affairs but last bought items of clothing, make or personal indulges on Amazon. These advertisements reiterate the gaslight of a woman and her intelligence. It is so blatant that most don’t even consider this as a topic to be challenged.  Media and society give out the message “Look pretty but don’t make it a very costly affair.” With this message, one finds many women discussing make-up tutorials on how to achieve a natural beauty look. It says to apply make-up, to look beautiful but make it look natural. These disastrous ideas push the feminist movement backwards. She is supposed to look beautiful and fertile till she can, to not lose her position in the world. 

So recipes of “ubtans” and grandmother’s beauty secrets become the touted secret for being the perfect epitome of womanhood. 

The responsibility of being a natural beauty is a costly affair and proves to be a huge weight on her shoulders. What happens in the process is that the majority of the women learn to hide their expenses on personal care and hygiene. 

They learn to lead their lives, being on the sidelines without taking an active part in any personal investment or budget decision in a family. They are lauded if they can manage to save money from the monthly budget, not use that and add that to the kitty when rain threatens to pour on a family. With this pedestal, what society is doing is teaching women to learn to put aside their personal wishes. This brings her the much-coveted appreciation for being the sacrificial goat. 


My grandmother, my mother’s mother, had a little pouch, in which she kept a few notes. Those notes were her sense of security. I never had the heart to tell her that, with that money, she couldn’t even buy three saris. Her jewellery was her main source of being accepted as a widow in her son’s home, as she aged. It is sad, that like most men, my grandfather too hadn’t put aside money in her name, before his death. 

My grandmother represented the women of a generation who never dared to question this inequality. Unfortunately, even today many women don’t question the family wealth distribution. They aren't even considered as people who need an amount every month to cater to their personal needs. 

It is not only about the small expenses, it is also about major investments of property, to education for the children, which is mainly the men who make these decisions, without her opinion and sometimes without her knowledge too. 

As homemakers, what’s important, is for them to manage the home, look naturally beautiful, stay in the cage, and cook the most delicious dishes without a frown. Traditionally, the beauty industry was primarily marketed towards women, the only exception is that in recent years, there has been a small shift towards inclusivity and diversity. Many brands are now targeting men, and non-binary individuals for the beauty market inclusion. 

Unlike women, men are not pressured to look like a 20-year-old at the age of 50. 

Earning women can afford to indulge in beauty products but what happens to the homemaker, who also wishes to look in a certain way? Will families ever include her, towards her personal expenses as an important part of inclusion and respect towards her role of being a homemaker, whose only earning is the unpaid labour at home? 

Views expressed are the author's own.

Mohua Chinappa is an author and runs a podcast called The Mohua Show.

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