#Opinion

Enough With Gender Roles; Women Can Earn And Cook. So Should Men

Working women meme
Women Can Earn And Cook: “Auraton ka kaam hai ghar sambhalna. #MeToo problem began “jab auraton ne bhi kaam karna shuru kar diya” the upholder of morality, Shaktiman gave us the major disappointment by pushing equality further away.

While this happened last year, a few days ago, a husband assaulted his wife because she refused to make tea. As of 2020, 60 per cent of women in India are involved in full-time housework while only 25 per cent (approx.) form the labour force in India. Men are three times more likely to be working while they spend only 31 minutes of a day in housework. Just what is stopping us from getting rid of rigid gender roles?

Why Do Gender Roles Exist Till Today?

It is 2021 and the patriarchal society believes in the idea that cooking is a woman’s job and earning is a man’s job. Today, when women are soaring heights in almost every career field, society still believes that men and women aren’t equal and that women are subordinate and dependent on men.

Indian parents literally train their daughters to respect elders and make rotis so that they can do their “job” well when they grow up. Many daughters are told that it is their duty and a way to earn moksha to cook and serve their husbands and in-laws without expecting anything in return. Families want a daughter-in-law that is preferably not educated and employed and is an excellent cook who quietly accepts and serves the whims and needs of her in-laws. Even though some families educate and empower their women, they are continuously pressurised to do the housework first.

Why even today we expect women to be excellent cooks and expert in raising children but not educated and empowered? Why do we believe that men hold certain privilege that allows them to demand a plate of food on the table and step out in the world to earn money and independence?

Why Is Cooking A Woman’s Job Alone?

Okay, cooking is as important as earning a paycheck because you can’t chew on your money and live a long life. But why should it be so for women alone? And why should women know to cook for 5-6 people? Isn’t eating the basic need for the survival of humans? Don’t men need food to survive? Then why shouldn’t men cook it themselves too? “Ladke ghar ka kaam nhi krte” is what many mothers tell the daughters who question the inequality in housework. And to make it worse, society tends to glorify women as blessed with the power of managing the home and keeping the family together.

Well, we are no goddesses. We are humans who need money and food as basic necessities to survive. So stop dividing these roles based on gender. And dear men, how long will the big fat check help you if you can’t even clean your mess and cook your food? Depend on your wife or domestic help? Come on! Be an independent human, not a man child.

Cooking And Earning Have No Gender. Period

Now as far as a job is concerned, it has no gender. It doesn’t require to tick mark a sex column to determine who can sit in front of the laptop and earn money. It requires passion, talent, aim and the fire to achieve it. And women can have all these things and more to deserve a respectable job and pay check. But in our society, a woman’s worth is not determined by her paycheck and achievements but by the quantity of food she can cook at a time.

A woman’s job is seen as a hobby that can wait when it comes to serving her husband and in-laws.

While a man’s job and pay check, even if it is less or equal to what the woman earns, is taken seriously as it is laden with the additional weight of male ego and dominance. It is presumed that a man is always already great at earning and dealing with finances while women are blessed with “magical hands” that can add taste to food but cannot handle money.

Dear society, it is high time now to get rid of these gender stereotypes. We aren’t in the early human age or past generations when it wasn’t normal for women to go out and earn and for men to stay back and cook. But today, we live in a society where women empowerment is pivotal to sustain a growing economy and a balanced and developed nation. It will not only harm women but the nation too if we hold women back and force them to fit into traditional gender roles.

Their pay checks deserve respect as they embody equal hard work and the potential as men’s salaries to boost the economy of the family and country.

Let us stop dividing roles based on gender. Both men and women should be allowed to choose what role they want to play according to their interest, passion and not patriarchal prejudices. Women can both earn and cook. And so should men. Deal with it.