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Sharing chores should be a given for true feminism at home. This is how I convinced my husband and ensured it in my newly married life.
I recently got married. Of all the things I have experienced since I got married I want to tell you about the feminism at my new home.
Since I was a teenager I had firmly decided that I will do my bit to change the world of women for the better. And this I would do not so much by being a social activist or a social worker but by bringing about the required changes in my home. That is all one needs to do to start the domino effect of social change.
So when I got married two months ago and finally had a home of my own, I was very clear about what I had to do.
Before getting married I had already told my boyfriend not to expect certain things from me the way he will see his friends expect from their wives. These would include treating cooking and cleaning as my personal bonded labour, expecting a child until we both wanted it, interference in my career and last but not the least ask for sex as a right.
Even though he agreed at the time, initially after we got married I would suddenly hear comments or jokes from him about what I’m going to feed him or if I know how to cook something. One time he in all seriousness and compassion, told me that it’s ok that I don’t know how to cook non-vegetarian food.
He didn’t realise that he was falling into the trap of gender roles because it is so deep-rooted in our minds, it is what we see and hear around us. I tried to tell him a few times but it wasn’t getting through at first. Finally I had to sit him down and tell him directly. “Listen…I love you…But I am not going to cook every day! You need to understand that I am not going to cook like all other wives. We can either keep domestic help or cook together.” He understood this time.
So when we finally moved into our new home and it was time to cook and clean we did it together.
Now when he has to go to work during the day I cook lunch and he cooks dinner. And both of us do the laundry in turns. The way my home runs is a great achievement for me. I am proud of it. My husband tells his friends about how we have divided all chores and they are always surprised. “Even cooking?” they exclaim. And my husband always proudly says yes.
Image is a screen grab from the movie Ki And Ka