I work hard and expect no miracles… but even in my sleep I ponder on this: are Women treated equally?
From where I come, raising such a question will only recieve smirks and shrugs. Do you ever question the obvious. People have lived fine for years and years in this country (and rest of Asia) just to serve men. So Men are superior you say? But why so, I thought we are all born the same.
When my children were born, I was the least worried about their gender. The first born was a son and I loved him because he was a child of mine, well the second one was also a boy and I loved him for the same reason. Some how I never had a girl and I can’t tell you if I would have felt any different. From the very early age I questioned Gender Equality, that was before I knew it had its own name. Since I ask questions from everyone I also asked my grandfather. And he warned me if you grow up like that nobody would want to marry you and you will never lead a happy life. Well that made me shut up for sometime.
Why is it wrong to question what we see – obviously I saw the women in our household worked long hours, busy with their hands measuring, pounding, cutting, cooking, waching, ironing, sweeping, cleaning gardening, looking after little ones. Then they show up all clean and dressed for visitors, pushing trolleys of food, making cool drinks or tea, washing up after everybody has left. I was trained to follow suit helping in these chores. Don’t think I didn’t notice, that the boys were at play, the uncles were chatting, smoking or playing guitar the older gentry talking serious politics. We were also badly numbered (that is too many boys and too few girls) so the contrast in gender for this 5 year old was vivid.
It so happened that all my life I’ve been looking for answers – why such a difference was necessary. And all the while I completed my wifely duties, my motherly tasks and as I put the folded laundery into neat piles I would continue to wonder why we haven’t evolved. When I set about on foot, to the market to get fruits and vegetable in this surrounding I notice how the gender balance tips downward with poverty. The poorer women work hard, with no thanks for the support they provide for their family. They recieve if anything but harsh words from their lazy men. By half way mark they are stooping over, over weight with cracked feet, toothless but still plods on. If I travel by car and actually go shopping the situation improves some what. Women at counters are able to work in diginity. Women shop alone and seem quite happy with it. Women shop with their kids and seem to manage. I see them been loving and caring and wanting their children to have everything. If you watch women shopping with men, it’s quite disgusting that men should want to hang on to a cell phone, look at other women and be totally uninterested in his women’s needs. So is this any improvement? These very same women would happily shop for their men and even by gifts for friends and relatively at short notice.
Okay, so may be my outlook is no good. I am noticing things that others have learnt to ignore. I am going to come back with more material – I take a break to colourwash my kitchen! (this shows that I’m gender equal the other way round too)
Could you answer these questions:
1. Would you rather be working in an office that has a gender equal policy?
2. Where do you fit in: in a family where the man is the soul bread winner and the woman does the house hold work and look after the children, or where both work and share the chore and responsibilities?