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Movies have systematically glorified motherhood and in the process have made life so much more difficult for women, who as moms are put on a pedestal, and prevented from being their own person.
It’s strange how much movies influence our lives. There is one such character that has been glorified and worshiped time and again in our movies. The role of a mother.
Some of our ad makers have used mother’s love as a bait to sell products.They have used words like being protected, loved and taken care of which are all references to a mother’s love to brand their products. From the goodness of mosquito repellents and food items to skin care products and everything else, it was being compared to that of a mom’s love and care.
Being a mother to a growing up toddler I can definitely vouch for the constant feeling of the concern that moves in the minds of a mother. We are forever worrying about the well-being of our children.
The continual efforts that are made to ensure a child is well fed, well dressed, healthy, well educated, and a million other things are all supposed to be a mother’s responsibility, if the movies that have puffed up a mother’s role are to be believed. This has almost ruined some things for us women, through their larger than life projection.
A mom is expected to be an expert nursing a new born, and all hell breaks loose if a new mother is unable to breastfeed for reasons unknown even to the mother herself.
You are an evil mother if your child is formula fed. I was born as a 7-month premature child. I was formula fed throughout, and I turned out OK. I happened to excel at sports, drama and literature as well. My mother was unable to breastfeed because her nutritional level during pregnancy was low.
You weren’t raised well if you dared to answer back to or your in laws.
The saas-bahu sagas that get aired on T.V expect you to be the forever sacrificing bahu/ saas/ mother come what may. There are a few people who expect their daughters and daughters in law to adjust for everything despite their countless degrees. Someone who I know just blamed my friend’s parents for not raising their daughter well, because she happened to ‘argue’ with her in laws who wanted her to lay her career to rest.
You are expected to sacrifice your career for your child and husband.
Just like in the movies, many women are expected to put their home duties above everything else. It doesn’t really matter even if she earns more than their son. The salary soon becomes comes in the way of marital ego.
You CANNOT yell at your child in public.
Even though there have been movies that have shown mother’s killing their own child to justify the victory of good over evil, yet, you would be committing a crime if you yelled, corrected or tried to discipline your child in public.
You cannot eat your meals before anyone else.
Well yes, there still households that exist where the womenfolk are supposed to eat last. In some households, they are even expected to eat what’s left over for some strange belief of it bringing long life to the husbands. There is an ad doing rounds on the social media that talks about taking care of the one who takes care of the entire house, the woman.
I eat before I feed my child, at least that way I know how much he eats and I can even moderate the food cooked as per his taste.
I’m sure women across the world will have their own experiences and observations to share. If movies are the yardstick, there surely have been movies that have laid stress on a woman’s career being important, or on strength of a woman? We have seen movies where woman have planned and plotted against the wrong doers and attained victory. We have also seen movies where woman have decided to walk away from misery of any kind.
We woman are strong and we don’t need anyone to prove that to us. We also don’t need anyone to glorify our roles. We can be everything we want to be.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: a still from the movie Badhaai Ho
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