A raja beta is a son whose mother doesn’t believe that he can ever do any wrong. Why do most Indian mothers feel the need to justify their son’s every action?
They never teach them to cook or serve the guests whereas daughters are taught household chores from a young age. Sons are free to lounge on the sofa waiting for the females of the house to serve them. Why do women as mothers internalise patriarchy so much? The 2014 Atlantic report revealed that Indian men spend the least time doing housework. On average, they spend only 19 minutes on housework daily, usually taking pride in ‘helping’ the women.
According to another survey, Indian women spend about 6 hours per day on household work while men spend less than an hour. Understanding why there is this wide gap between the amount of housework done by men and women is simple – deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny which believes that men cannot handle the kitchen work or any household work, for that matter. Such a man grows up to become a pampered and spoilt raja beta who on getting married becomes nothing but a man child for his wife.
Do you think I’m being a misandrist? Well, I am just dropping a truth bomb. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. A raja beta grows up to become a man child
From their very childhood, sons are brought up with the understanding that they will be cared for. Before marriage, it’s the mother and later taking care of him becomes his wife’s responsibility. I have a question for all Indian mothers raising such raja betas: If your son is capable enough of managing finances and providing roti, kapda aur makaan to your daughter-in-law, how come isn’t he mature enough to take care of himself and keep his clothes in place or cleaning after himself?
2. He is never blamed for any wrong he does
Dear Indian mother, to err is human and your raja beta is a human being. He can commit an error, not once but several times. Instead of covering up for his mistakes or shifting the onus on his wife, can you teach him to admit his fault or at least make him realise where he went wrong?
3. A raja beta is the most entitled person you will ever come across
Want to know what male entitlement is? Just have a look at that male member in the family who is chilling on the couch once they are back from work and placing orders about what they would like to have for dinner. The distribution of housework is so gendered that if you ask your husband to cook or clean it is being ‘disrespectful‘ towards him.
4. He will compare his wife with his mother
Indian men need to understand that their mothers and wives are separate individuals who probably had very different upbringings. There shouldn’t be any comparison between them. While your mother has years of experience in running a household smoothly your wife is learning. This often becomes a reason of conflict between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. What will it take for sons to stop looking for their mothers’ reflection in their wives?
5. Such a son propagates misogyny
An Indian son should be taught to respect his wife and treat her equally. If he remains devoid of such values, he’ll turn into a toxic masculine figure no woman would like to stay with. A man who is never told that a woman isn’t his slave, ends up treating his wife like one. If we want such misogyny to end, we must start educating our sons about gender equality right from the beginning.
On getting married, all a woman wants is an equal companion, not an adult who craves to be ‘taken care of’. A modern woman looks for equality and companionship in her marital relationship it is time men fulfil their side of the deal.
The views expressed are the author’s own.