#Opinion

Raja Beta Syndrome: How Is This Mentality Detrimental To Gender Equality

Raja Beta Syndrome
Why do sons only carry forward the family name in our society? Why can’t daughters? They have the same genes from their parent’s right. You might wonder why I am asking this for the umpteenth time. I am asking because this is the point which leads to the ‘Raja beta syndrome’ that we all are aware of in our society.

The blind desire for a son and when he is born this blind devotion to him creates the – man child! Who apparently never grows up, never has to lift a finger at home for household chores and is not involved in child-rearing. Indian parents, more specifically Indian mothers, worship their sons, they really do.

The man child is pampered in childhood, his misdemeanours are overlooked during his teenage years, while his sister and mother toil it out in the kitchen he is left to play or loiter around in the neighbourhood or just plonks himself on the sofa to watch his favourite sports or show. And when he gets married, do you think he will change overnight? No, definitely not. He will remain the man child just that his caretaker has changed. No, matter if his wife works, she has to come back home to work some more, cook, clean and generally keep the household going.

So, yes this desire for a son creates this overgrown man child who can do no wrong. We all have this man child in our families who is immune to growing up for their overprotective mothers stand in the way.

One needs to do the following so that future generations of men are raised to be decent, caring, emotional and supportive beings.

Household chores and cooking are life skills

This cannot be stressed enough. Do you remember a global report that said that Indian men do the least housework in the world? Another survey pointed out that Indian women spend almost six hours per day on household chores while our entitled Indian men spend less than an hour on unpaid labour.

If a boy learns to cook and manage household work then he is learning a life skill. He will grow up to be a   caring son, husband and father who believes in helping his mother, wife and daughter with household chores. So, mothers please do not let your son waste time chitchatting with guests while you ask your daughter to serve the guests.


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Gendered roles are instilled at home

How a boy or girl behaves when he grows up depends on his upbringing. If he sees his mother and sister in the kitchen from morning till night churning out meals for the family, cleaning the house, washing dishes, and doing laundry,  he will begin to believe that housework is for women. Let him help out in the kitchen when he is still young. Make him learn to prepare his favourite dish. You can even involve him in laundry work and doing errands for the house rather than burdening your daughter alone.

If not then remember you are bringing up an entitled man, who will continue to lord over his wife and daughter.

We do not need to glorify men if they contribute to household errands

Women are themselves to blame when they praise or glorify a man if he does even the slightest household job.  Remember we call that friend lucky, just because her husband makes tea for her in the morning or helps out with dishes or sweeps the floor. And moms-in-law, what can be said about them, they are ready to blame even a well-educated working daughter-in-law for making their sons contribute to household chores. These mothers are so blinded by the motherly love for their sons that they treat their daughters-in-law as nothing more than their son’s nanny.

Break the cycle

It is a sad but true fact that mothers, who spent their whole life as victims of gender inequality in their marriage, hardly take any step to break the cycle with their own sons and daughters. You can see them pampering their sons while they will make sure they discipline their daughters and bring them up to be great caregivers. Ask yourself, where does a society go in such a case? How will gender equality be established?

While we see many women taking up roles which were essentially played by men, how many men do we see taking up the role of women in the house? Honestly, how many men have you seen doing household chores? You can count on your fingers, right! Well, don’t you think it’s time to change the status quo?

Views expressed are the author’s own