An unusually nasty news story caught my attention in the Pune Mirror today. A young educated wife had lodged a complaint in police that her 26 years old educated engineer husband in co-operation with his parents was harassing her for dowry. She had been verbally insulted and often beaten badly. This in spite of the fact that the family was financially well settled and the husband was a project manager in a reputed IT company.
I wondered where the fairer sex of this country has in store for her in spite of such a huge cry over women’s reservation bill. What was striking was the fact that the girl herself was working and financially independent.
I discussed this with some of my male friends. What I got was a couple of indifferent sighs. One of them thought it was a family issue and should not be printed in paper. Imagine!!!! Whats the use of all the education and women empowerment we talk about ?
This is still an extreme case but such type of incidences are still largely kept under wraps. Women find it risky to talk about it fearing scorn from the family members and husband. Even in many so called happy marriages there are factors that are unreasonably expected from women only.
For Ex. One of my colleagues was telling me “My husband and me both work in equally demanding jobs. We both have our projects, deadlines, submissions, deliveries. But when it comes to home it is me who has to do it all. I have to entertain the guests. I have to be at home at 6.30 pm to attend to my in laws. I have to invite all my husband’s relatives for dinner and lunch even if I have a crucial work schedule in the office. I have to look after all the weekend chores. Why should only I neglect my work when its equally important for me ??” she was asking angrily. I asked her whether she has talked to her husband about this issue and she is quick to reply “Never. I had agreed to this before marriage.” So while her husband enjoys his evening cup of tea idly on the couch, she has to look into the kitchen. But I couldn’t understand if she was so unhappy about this arrangement, how could she even agree upon such conditions in the first place.
well you got it right . . . this has been the way since ages.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Often we see that the in-laws take pride in telling everyone that their “Bahu” is a working woman with a fancy pay package. But they rarely acknowledge the responsibilities that come with the high paying jobs. Whenever she is late from office, she is gifted with indifferent looks and rude comments.
One of the working couples I know is settled in Australia. Equally busy schedules and equally demanding jobs. But even from there, she has to call her in laws, ask their well being and sometimes even provide financial help from her earnings while her better half spends his own earnings on parties and wine.
One of the biggest arguments, I have observed, is about the religious rituals and family functions. Even if both the partners are working and living away from home, it is the daughter in law, the “bahu” who has to get leave from her office and attend the functions. She is expected to come for the husband’s brother’s mother-in-law’s sixty first birthday even if she has project deadline to meet. Before she leaves she has to take care of husband’s food and laundry for the time she will be gone. When she returns she has to find her home in mess which she has to clean herself. All this while her partner looks after his owm CAREER, his office his work. Hey !!! Doesn’t she work just like you ??
Well most of the times the husbands retort irritated, “But to look after the home is also her work” . Well I want to tell all such husbands to shut their stupid mouths. Looking after home is women’s work because they have made it so. Its more of a choice rather than a rule. Just watch out for the day women will stop doing all this.
It is surprising that these type of comments come from educated men, but more surprising is the fact that even women tend to ignore them or take it in their stride. There is still a lot of “Chalta hai. What can we do??” kind of attitude among women as well. Well I want to urge all these women to get out of their shells. ‘Chalta hai kyuki tum chalate ho’. Women like us should strongly object to such unjustified expectations they are conferred with. After all it’s as much their partner’s responsibility as their own. Agreed that these are smaller facets in the broader sense of picture. But such things have a great impact in changing the old male domination we are subjected to since ages. Eventually it impacts the maturity of the society and even influences the generations to come.
I hope some of my “Pati Vrata” friends read this and comment their thoughts on the post. No matter even if they are anonymous.