So this friend of mine got married at 24 and was asked to hand over her very first salary to the mother-in-law. But that’s not my point of writing this article.
What moved me to write this, was a recent incident that she cried and narrated over the phone.
She and her husband (house-husband, who cannot &/ doesn’t cook and is of no significant help around the house chores) are planning to buy a house and went to the bank to apply for a loan.
She, being a working woman and the RESPONSIBLE earning hand of the family had some queries and doubts regarding the previous accounts and educational loans of their children.
She discussed them with her husband before leaving the house and while sitting in front of the manager, seeing that they don’t have the luxury of a huge time slot and that her husband was not asking about those doubts and questions (maybe he forgot to ask, I don’t blame him), she herself started the conversation.
After everything was sorted out successfully and the manager went out of the cabin to bring some documents, the husband said, “You will not say a single word from now on.”
“Why, did I say something wrong?” She asked. But didn’t get the answer to her question, as the manager came back and took his seat.
They left the bank and came back home.
“Because the manager might have gotten the image, that this MAN has no value or importance in his household.” He replied bluntly, chewing the morsel of sabji roti his wife had made.
I’m not even being feminist, to be honest, to say that a MAN’S WORK ITSELF IS A VALIDATION OF HIS VALUE be it in the society or his own household. The manager might not even have thought of it or maybe he did, but the main problem was the husband’s own lack of self-esteem.
The problem in ordinary Indian households regarding feminism is not just limited to girls not allowed to wear jeans after marriage, or the woman who doesn’t have a dupatta around her neck on a nightgown (or even on a full-sleeved salwar kameez) is considered loose character.
The problem is that even when on a family shopping, it is considered ODD and unacceptable if the woman takes out her purse and pays the bill (she being a working woman and earning hand of the family).
And like any other case, both the husband and wife are equal culprits in this injustice.