Remember when Rhea Chakraborty was massively trolled by misogyny for not being a good girlfriend to Sushant Singh Rajput? She didn’t give him medicines on time, she didn’t stop him from consuming drugs, she left him when he was ill and whatnot. Within a few days, Chakraborty who was still mourning the death of her boyfriend was declared his killer by the public.
However she, later, was proved not guilty. Did she deserve all that hate? What was the reason behind holding Chakraborty responsible for Rajput’s deteriorating health?
You guessed it right. Chakraborty was mother-zoned in her relationship. She was expected to take care of Rajput like a mother. Though women are criticised a lot for friend-zoning men, no one questions men when they mother-zone women. It is not the first time that a woman was mother-zoned in a relationship. In fact, it is a very common trope in a patriarchal society to define the role of women in relationships.
What Is Mother-Zone?
Women are always expected to play the role of caregivers in any relationship and that expectation is termed as mother-zoning them. Is it not common that many men look for their mothers in their female partners? Is it not right that many mothers-in-law ask their bahus to take care of their son and blame them for the minor inconveniences in their son’s life?
One of the reasons behind this is the idea that women are the natural nurturers and that is what defines their individuality. They are worthy in a relationship only if they take care of and serve the men like their own kids.
Moreover, men who are grown up as Raja Betas are never taught to be independent when it comes to their personal life. They have grown up with mothers spoon-feeding them and so they expect the same when they enter into a relationship with women. They just can’t imagine doing the chores on their own when there is a woman present in their lives.
From arranging their socks to preparing maa ke haath ka khana– men expect their female partners to step in the shoes of their mothers. Even if a woman does, her male partner will rarely give her the love and respect that he has for his mother. “Meri maa mat bano,” many men say to their female partners when they try to change their habits or lives. Because when it comes to respecting women for their hard work, society always finds a way to defer it.
But dear society, who said that women are worth only as caregivers to men? Do they not have any individuality and life beyond the men in their lives? In addition to the responsibilities of their life and career, is it fair to burden women with those of men? Moreover shouldn’t men be mature and responsible enough to take care of themselves? Can’t men decide what is harming them and when to quit it?
We need to understand that relationships are about equality. There is no space for power relations. If we expect women to mother their male partners, we are violating the equality in it. Neither men nor women should be expected to centre their lives around their partners. Both partners deserve to have their personal space where they can think about themselves first. So it is high time that we stop making women the caregivers in relationships and start holding men responsible for their personal care. Even if women provide care, they should receive it equally.
Taking care, understanding problems and supporting are the responsibilities of both the partners in a relationship. Stop burdening them on women alone. Men need to stop comparing their partners with their mothers. Partners give love and support in your life not build the life itself.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
Suggested Reading: Raja Beta Syndrome: How Is This Mentality Detrimental To Gender Equality