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As a 21st century man, how do you treat the women in your life?A reminder to tell you what your wife is NOT.
As a 21st century man, how do you treat the women in your life? A reminder to tell you what your wife is NOT.
We have published Part 1 (What your mother is NOT) and Part 2 (What your sister is NOT) in this series earlier. Here is Part 3 in this series.
Dear Man, no matter what you have learnt growing up, please note :
Your wife is NOT your caretaker / nurse / mind-reader. Don’t play an attention-seeker with your cold/headache/minor illnesses. Nor expect her to always know your mind without you having to elaborate.
Your wife is NOT your anchor/support system if you are not the same to her.
Your wife is NOT your employee / secretary / slave / servant / assistant / subordinate / attendant / bearer : You cannot order her. You can request her. Use the word ‘please’ liberally. Watch the tone of your voice when you ask her something : are you ordering her and bossing her around? You cannot demand answers from her for everything. She does not stand answerable to you for most choices of her life. Don’t expect her to wait upon you when you return home from her : do not order her to get you water / tea / coffee as you take of your shoes. Her sleep timing may not match with yours : don’t expect her to be up before you. Offer to change the curtains, do the laundry, change the bedspread, sun the mattresses, mow the lawn, polish the metal decor in the drawing room, scrub with washroom tiles. Get the hang of the process called ‘running a house’ and stop being a paying guest.
Your wife is NOT your waitress. Do not arrive into the dining room and sit at the dining table, waiting to be served. Lay the crockery/cutlery, pour the water in the glasses, toss the salad, check the salt/pepper cellars, get the light correct, ask your wife is anything is required to be taken out from the refrigerator/heated in the microwave, carry some of the food out from the kitchen. Sit down together. Do not start eating alone! Wait for everybody to settle down and the food to be on every plate, before you take you first morsel in. Eat slowly and with her : don’t gobble down and burp and leave her eating alone. Pick up not only your plate/spoon/glass, but also participate in clearing off the dining table, stacking the leftovers away, arranging back the dining table chairs.
Your wife is NOT your cook. Please bother to find out where the kitchen is! Go grocery and green-grocery shopping for/with her. Learn to recognize the vegetables and distinguish a fresh one from a stale one. Alternate doing the dishes. Clean up / maintain / arrange the kitchen with her every weekend. Offer to clean the fridge / toaster / microwave / grinder / cupboard. Understand the nutritional value of each eatable : this goes a long way in enhancing the male longevity, which is at least 5 years less than the average female longevity. Cooking is not difficult : it involves simple things like soaking, cutting, peeling, boiling, steaming, frying, roasting, microwaving. Food is a basic need : be self-reliant in the kitchen even when your wife is around. That room is not her exclusive department.
Your wife is NOT your housekeeper / cleaner / washerwoman / home decorator : do your own laundry. Don’t expect your wife to pick up your used socks from the floor and take them to the laundry, please! If you dirty any place (table/floor/carpet/lawn), clean up and don’t expect her to do the damage-control. Picking up the broom/mop will not reduce your sperm count. Throw the trash out regularly.
Your wife is NOT your ‘property’ / possession / purchased ‘product’ / trophy / decorative piece / style statement / pet. She has a life of her own. She need not take your ‘permission’ to go for a kitty party / spa. Do not comment on her choice of clothes/accessories : she has a brain to choose what she wants to wear, and experience to decide what is most comfortable for her. Do not ask her to dress up and show her off before others. Giving her gifts and diamonds may not make her happy (stop stereotyping) : she maybe just needing respect from you.
Your wife is NOT your sidekick / appendage / shadow. Don’t assume her life will be exactly the same as yours. If you plan to switch jobs, do not expect her to pack her bags and follow you by default. You alone cannot decide what you both will do.
Your wife is NOT your ‘Mrs’. She is ‘Ms’ since the day she was born.
Your wife is NOT your student. Don’t lecture her about what she ought to do and what not to to : she is intelligent enough to judge that for herself.
Your wife is NOT your lineage-holder / gene-propagator.
She is NOT your children’s mother. She is her own children’s mother.
Your wife is NOT your public relations officer / manager. She need not gel with your side of the family if she does not want to. Nor does she need to entertain your friends with samosa/pakora, when you are not doing the same for her friends’ get-together. Do not expect her to mix with the wives of your friends : hello! they are complete strangers to each other with nothing in common! She need not like your mother/father and it is Okay! She has not married anybody else additionally other than you. She need not be sociable just because she is a woman. Do not invite your friends without informing her, and then expecting her to toss up a gourmet meal to entertain them! Don’t expect her to be a mediator if you have a tiff with your relatives.
Your wife is NOT your blame-sharer. She will not guard you for your mistakes. She will not say ‘Sorry’on your behalf.
Your wife is NOT your memory card / reminding officer / alarm clock. Don’t ask her to remind you of your appointments : she has her own appointments to remember. Do not depend on her to remind you of the birthdays / anniversaries from your side of the family : she has own relatives! She will not remind you to cut your nails, trim your hair, shave, etc. Neither will she give up her sleep to wake you up for an early morning appointment : you need to keep your own alarm clock and also be careful not to disturb her in her sleep that early.
Your wife is NOT your treasurer / accountant / storekeeper. Don’t dump the salary in her hands on the first day of the month to run the house with it. Take up the responsibility of running the household (this is not the Caveman age when males are required only for security!) Check the stores and plan the grocery trip. Discuss and pencil down the dates for paying the bills. Check the supply of the kitchen and toilet consumables and stock up without having her to remind you to.
Your wife is NOT your doormat / punching bag / last resort. If you are in a crabby mood, ask her for time alone and unwind. Don’t return to home and start throwing around things in anger or shouting at her to vent your frustration : if you had a bad day at work, how is she at fault? She is not the cushion which will absorb the shocks from the world which you are not being adult enough to handle.
Your wife is NOT your entertainer / free prostitute : Never jump on her for sex. A bud becomes a flower by blooming, not tearing apart. Focus on the heart-to-heart connection. Understand her mind, feel for her, bond emotionally with her.
Your wife is NOT your parents’ new daughter. She is her own parent’s daughter. She is not obligated to your parents in any which way. Ask your parents to respect her privacy and liberty, and not have any ‘bahu-type’ expectations.
Your wife is NOT your dream-fulfiller. She has her own dreams. She need not sacrifice her own goals to accelerate yours.
Published earlier here.
Image source: what your wife is not by Shutterstock.
Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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