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Boys Should Cook. Girls Should Cook. Yes, Everyone Needs Domestic Skills!

Posted: August 4, 2017

After years of listening to how men and women should behave, it’s time we just let them be. Let’s just see them as humans first- humans who need domestic skills!

I believe that men and women are not made equal. Period. Let’s stop saying that and let’s stop justifying that! Wondering what I mean? What I mean is that let’s not confuse the word ‘equal’ with ‘same’; we are not made the same – on the contrary, we are made to complement each other. If you look around and observe nature, its creations are wonderfully complementary. Every creation is exceptional in its own way and has its own strengths.

Let’s allow that natural, inbuilt, unique quality endowed upon us by nature to help pave the way for a well-balanced society, the way it’s meant to be. By nature, biologically, most women are more nurturing and men are more goal oriented; that dates back to our evolution. There is nothing wrong with that. This doesn’t mean stereotyping men and women in any way. There are also men who are nurturers and women who are go-getters. And that’s absolutely fine. Let’s accept who we are and not try to conform to a norm that we are supposed to be.

Today I see this growing trend where parents are often heard saying, “I am going to bring up my daughter like a son” and therefore will not let her waste her time doing household chores and instead let her focus on academics, sports and other important things. What’s wrong with that, you might ask. I feel though that this not the right way to look at it.  Is this the way to go, in the name of gender equality?

If the statement means a girl will have equal opportunities as that of a boy, then all is well and I am all for it. But if it implies that she will not have to cook or clean or help with household chores because it is somehow inferior to other things, then there is something fundamentally wrong. I recently read something divergent to the above statement, and that is “bringing up my son like a daughter.” I feel in both the cases, there is something terribly off.

It’s about time we allow both our sons and daughters to do all everything irrespective of the nature of the job or their gender.

Whether it’s a boy or a girl, both should be involved in all the household chores. Teach your son and daughter to cook simple meals, clean the dishes, tidy up the house, do laundry, change a light bulb, fix minor plumbing and electrical problems, sew a button and hem.  This will help bring a sense of equality, and at the same time teach important life skills. Children who grow up in such an environment will not grow up feeling superior or inferior towards the opposite gender. Inculcating this sense of equality has to start at home.

With society changing and, men and women handling challenging jobs outside homes, our mindset also has to undergo a radical change. What kind of a world will it be when the kids grow up, get married and start a family without knowing a thing about domestic life and what it takes to have marital harmony? What will your daughter, who has been brought up saying she doesn’t have to enter the kitchen, do when she is suddenly faced with the responsibility of cooking and taking care of a family? And how lost will your son feel not being able to contribute equally in managing household chores when his wife who also has a challenging job, and is equally busy? What kind of chaotic life would that be? What will happen to the harmony of family life?

Implanting a false idea in a daughter that she may not need to do any household work ever and bringing up a son with the idea that a woman who will be his wife will take care of all his domestic needs is just not right.

Are we not deceiving our kids and setting them up for a big disappointment and failure in the future?

Top image via Unsplash

First published here.

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A mother of two amazing kids and a teacher by profession, I have varied interests.

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