Say what you may, patriarchy is still pretty prevalent in our society. While one day I feel like we are heading in the right direction, the next day I lose hope all over again. Despite us living in the year 2018, this issue is so deep-rooted, that it could take a few more generations for it to wear off. And that too only with constant self-correction.
And that is what this parenting strategist and psychologist from Kerala explains brilliantly in her Facebook post.
Jaseen Backer from Calicut, Kerala recently wrote a thought-provoking post about a conversation that she had had with her domestic help.
The post points towards many hard-hitting realities of the upbringing of a woman in India. It is a reminder of the disparity in the freedom to be careless, carefree, and disorganized, given to one gender and not to the other.
The conversation with her help goes as follows:
“My son drinks. My daughter-in-law is no good. She isn’t able to stop him nor keep a control” my domestic help was complaining to me.
“Only if the woman who comes home to be a wife is good will the husband turn out to be good,” she justified. “She has been married to him for 8 years and I wonder what the hell she has been doing all these years of marriage?” She lamented.
“What were you doing for 28 years?” I asked her
“Means?” she questioned.
“Your son has been with you 28 years before marriage and what were you doing then to correct him?” I asked her.
“I am the mother, I have limitations and he won’t listen to me. She is a wife she should control him,” she said.
“What you couldn’t do for your son in 28 years you expect her to do in 8 years?” I asked her.
“Men are like raw mangoes. The wife can be good and let the mango ripen, and if the wife is bad then she will rotten the mango,” was her organic explanation.
“Did you tell your daughter-in-law before marriage that your son was a drunkard,” I asked her.
“No, I got him married thinking the wife will fix it all,” she told me blatantly.
“So she can actually sue you for selling her a rotten mango,” I couldn’t contain my laughter.
Jaseena points out the regressiveness of setting the standard on women, to become a wife rather than her own individual first.
She elaborates on the topic as follows:
“The India society has spent centuries grooming girls to be future good wives (sanskaari bahus), yet failing to produce good husbands who deserve them. This makes girls grow up feeling they have to cater to childish juvenile behaviour in their marriages.
In this patriarchal society we live in, there is a notion that, girls are more mature than boys at any given age. Girls aren’t more mature than boys their age mentally. Therefore wives are not officially teachers, mentors or coaches for their husbands.
Instead of directing all the energy to teach girls how to be ‘good wives’, 50% of it needs to be directed toward boys. In a similar fashion, some of the energy directed towards teaching boys how to pave their own way should be directed toward girls. An apt balance of gender in parenting.
Here is something for you women- don’t fall into the trap that you have to correct the man all the time. Men do not like to be mothered by their wives. They have one mother, which is more than enough for them.
We as the next generation of parents ought to raise all children to be accountable, responsible and well behaved irrespective of gender. No one should be given a special benefit of any gender.
When the society blames everything (parenting, divorces etc) that goes wrong in a marriage on women or feminism, what they actually try to reinstate is that the world cannot function well because the modern woman refuses to bow down to suffer.”
She ends her post with the quote:
“Women, you are NOT rehabilitation centers for badly raised men. It is NOT your job to fix him, change him, parent him or raise him. You want a partner, not a project.”
At a time when the Indian society is at a crossroads in gender equality, Jaseena’s post acts as a catalyst in favour of it. It is past time, we rethink our parenting techniques at its very core and stop mollycoddling our men all their life. But of course, like Jaseena I end this article with the disclaimer: “Yes, not all men.”