Friday, January 30, 2015

Flying high - A simple girl's story from OR to AND

How many times do we women have to hear statements like the following?

“You have to choose between family and work, are your kids more important to you or your job”?

“You must be really selfish because you chose your career over having a child”

“You know, you could have gone for a traditional career like teaching and not that of a DJ which is certainly not safe for women”!

Aren’t we all sick of hearing statements like this? And the worst part is that these often come from our family members, friends, spouses, siblings and so on.

Women today are choosing to go for everything from becoming a tattoo artist to an animal rights activist – none of which are considered “safe” or “traditional” for them. However, why do we have to choose between what we want to become and what we are “supposed” to become”? Why is there always an “or” and not an “AND”? Why can’t we be successful banker AND a doting mother instead of a banker OR a mom”?

This is the story of my friend, Muskan, who had to struggle for everything right from her childhood. Coming from a conservative family, with a long line of 5 sisters behind her, she was asked to give up on her education after class X. She refused to do so and started working part-time at a tailoring shop to fund her own education. It is needless to say here that even when she started bringing money to her home, her family still didn’t approve of her doing a job and studying at the same time. She was either supposed to be a “good girl” and get married or stay at home till she was married off.

She did neither of those things. Not only did she fund her own education till college, she joined an airhostess training academy after successfully procuring a loan from a nationalized bank. Today, she works with one of the leading airlines and is happily married to a man who loves her for what she is and not for what she was “meant” to be.

I salute you my friend. I am glad to have made your acquaintance in this lifetime.

“This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Think laundry is boring? Think again

Who could have thought that doing laundry - a mundane job at its best, had the ability to stir up a debate on gender inequality?

What we do think of while we are doing laundry? Most women possibly dont even think think anything while doing it because its something they have to do. Its something they go on doing their whole lives. They dont stop for a second to think about it...and why would they? Who will do the laundry if they started to think about it and worse...about NOT doing it?

 Imagine a scenario if women stopped doing laundry altogether. Men will show up at their workplaces wearing dirty clothes, kids will go to schools with dirty crumpled uniforms and everybody would start smelling really really bad because of their unwashed attire. People may keep on taking out new washed clothes for wearing everyday, but eventually their wardrobes WILL fall short. If you are a celebrity, then off course you dont have to think about unlimited supply of cleaned and ironed clothes! For us, the common people, even this mundane daily job will become the biggest thing to worry about. In short, the whole world will be in chaos!

 So its not really a thing which we should be taking for granted, should we?

 In my home, we have a maid for doing laundry. If she doesnt come one day, my mom takes over. Sometimes I wash my own clothes and sometimes I get too lazy. My father, on the other hand, never washes his own clothes. Now that I think about it, I realize that most men dont even know how to wash clothes! According to a survey done be Ariel, as much as 76% of Indian men think that only women should be doing laundry. Women, off course beg to differ. 73% of them think that Indian men just love to relax or watch TV after coming back from their work and dont help them with household chores at all. This needs to change. If a woman can come back from work and do laundry, why cant her husband/boyfriend help her with it? 85% of working women in India feel that they have two jobs - one at their workplace and another at their home? Why should they be made to feel this way?

 This debate can go and on. Who are we to decide who does what? Aren't husbands and wives supposed to share their whole lives? So why not share doing laundry? And why limit this to just couples? Shouldn't we - the lazy and pampered Indian children try to help our poor, overworked mothers?

“I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.”