The latest in women empowerment with Deepika Padukone and comments by various films or otherwise known entities have not so much of an impact unless the women who come from a walk of life where they have been suppressed have a say. It is very easy to comment on women empowerment but the real question here is empowerment of what?
After watching the video by Kamaal R Khan in response to Deepika’s video, I do agree with him that we are all part of a society and there are certain rules that have worked well for centuries and they stay put.
Women empowerment is not just about physical freedom, but emotional and intellectual. One comment that I have grown up hearing almost everywhere addressing women, “you don’t understand”. Seems like time immemorial Indian men have thought of a women as inferior or in other words men are far more superior and most of their so-called actions are beyond women to even envisage. Women have not enough intelligence to understand or even perform intricate duties, all the time forgetting one most important act of women molding the personality of those very men whom they have mothered. I do feel that somewhere, we women have failed in inculcating the respect for all women, irrespective, in our sons.
Once a man respects women, he loves them, whether it’s his mom, sister or his wife. He respects her capability, her freedom, her success and even her failures. He not only understands her moods, her desires, her dreams but helps her in fulfilling them be it emotional/financial support or helping with the household chores. Most of all he is oblivion to all negativity in pulling him down by other men or so called society as such. I remember when I got married and was sick and my husband helped me with the dishes to the kitchen the comment from his uncle was, “You have taught our son, who never entered the kitchen before to do chores”.
There can be no hard and fast rules for personal choices. Basically, I strongly believe our sons should be taught differently, they should grow up absolutely respecting women. Once together in a matrimony both man and a woman are equal partners in everything they do, whether it is bringing food to the table or raising the kids. If a man does a wonderful job bringing a better chunk of money to the house, then he should not forget that the women is doing a wonderful job cleaning the house, cooking and not the least grooming the kids to become successful human beings. Just yesterday, I read an article went viral on the social media, “I can’t afford my stay-home wife” he had calculated the worth of her yearly contributions close to $75,000.
In a marriage, who does what should be a personal choice and not a pressure - that is empowerment. In my marriage, I cook, clean and after moving to the US, iron clothes for my husband, it is my choice. When I lived in India we had a maid to clean, do the dishes and laundry, someone would come to get the laundry to iron. I was a stay home mom; there was no need for my husband to chip-in. We moved to the US, I started working too but after seventeen years, I didn’t expect my husband to start helping specially so when he grew up in the fifties – THIS WAS MY CHOICE. Secondly, between the couple, who ever brings a bigger pay-check home needs to concentrate most of his energy in making more money rather that consuming that energy at home doing chores. In a day of total materialistic life, money has become a very important part of our lives. This is a matter of choice of the couples again.
At the end of this all, I am proud to say that my son is total in charge of the bar-be-cues at our house, he helps with cleaning the house and takes care of the kids, when (even though infrequently, her choice) his wife goes on happy-hour, who respects his wife’s contribution in their marriage in totality, be it monetary or in kind, takes us grocery shopping though I would rather go with my husband who could make ten stops for me. This is how I raised him and if all women follow this world could be a better place and like everything else our contribution would be immense here too. This is by the way, women empowerment in middle class society treating women differently and or being treated outside of home is altogether a different issue, the basic should start at home – treating women with respect.