Women perform 66 per cent of the world’s work, produce 50 per cent of the food, but earn 10 per cent of the income and own 1 per cent of the property,” Tweeted super star Amitabh Bachchan.
Most of the media today portrays men and women as equal decision makers whether it’s while making an investment plan or buying a car at the dealership. However, one need not take that hard a look at their life to figure out that popular culture makes us believe that men and women are equal decision makers in the society. But, the bare truth is hardly similar.
Our society still expects men and women to do their specific tasks. Yes, we see women working out in the field today without much restriction, but at the same time she is also expected to come back home, cook dinner, help her children finish their homework and clear up the mess in the house. Though today’s society tries to claim that men and women are treated ‘equally’, is this actually true?
The idea here is actually very simple. Why does the women of the house ‘have to’ ensure that dinner is prepared and the laundry is done every day while the man can make do with a bottle of chilled beer and a match (which does not always have to be live)? Is this what the ‘society’ expects you do to or is this habitual? What is that hidden factor that wants the lady to be more responsible always?
I’m sure every woman out there wants her day of shopping, a good movie after a hard day at work and at the end, wants to come home to a set table with good food without having to bother about cleaning up the dishes or which rack do they go into, just like we see it on TV. Or does this happen only on a Mother’s Day or a Birthday Day or even Valentine’s Day for that matter?
We all crave for a day like this but are unfortunately stuck in our life’s perception only because this is how things have been for as long as we can remember.
My grandmother served herself only after my father finished his meal. She never got to wear what she liked only because she lived with her in-laws most of her married life. I wonder ‘Why so many restrictions on women’.
Is this the situation in all classes of the society?
The perception that a normal person holds of a lower-class family is that the women are forced to stay at home and are not allowed to work by their husbands, while some women aren’t even permitted to socialise with friends. Well, it’s time for some reality check. This is more-or-less the case in any other class of the society.
“This sort of irrational thinking is seen in every household and has nothing to do with what background you belonged to,” says a sociologist I met with recently at an event. When I asked her about the media and its focus on women of all sections of the society, she says, “It’s a perception that people have been brought up with (women in the kitchen, men in the office) and they are lazy to change it even if it is in their own house.”
A friend of mine had a very specific incident to share with me. She was always told by her parents that she could choose her career path and join any college she wanted too after being inspired by education plans and career opportunities they came across on TV and in the papers. But when it actually came to her having to leave her home to take up a job, her parents were highly reluctant.
There may be no end to this debate, but the question that faces every man and woman in the society is that: Is social protocol really that important that you don’t mind giving up your sense and freedom to it or is it time to realise what you are worth and not give in to society’s expectations.