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It's high time we stopped calling working mothers 'superwoman.' The author says if working women are superwomen, then all other women are too!
It’s high time we stopped calling working mothers ‘superwoman.’ The author says if working women are superwomen, then all other women are too!
Earlier, when someone called me a ‘superwoman,’ I cherished it and my heart swelled up. But not anymore. Not for the past few years.
Why, you ask? Well, there are a number of reasons for that.
When a colleague called me ‘superwoman’ at work, I was overwhelmed because it was my first time! I was called a ‘superwoman’ just because I worked long hours at the office, cooked at home, took care of the family. All this caused me to be bombarded with mumbo-jumbo!
And then, when I failed at one task in my project, presumably an old unresolved issue, my superwomanhood was questioned. “Come, you can do this! You are superwoman, after all,” they said.
That day, it stabbed me and it stabbed me hard. Just one tiny failure and my stardom started to shake! Again, people rubbed the myth against my identity while I happily nurtured my child and juggled work and home. By then, the label had started losing its sheen. I had started becoming indifferent to it.
But one day, someone called me superwoman while I was with my mother. I just passed it with a smile. And while I smiled, my mother was restless. I gauged her feelings.
Perhaps, she felt offended. Though she is a simple lady who doesn’t take things to her heart, she is a proud woman too! She has her own confidence and personality and there are some skills of hers that I absolutely cannot match.
Once we got back home, I asked her the reason for her restlessness. What she said cannot be erased from my memory, it is etched forever.
While she did not object to the label on me, our conversation forced me to ponder about the real candidates of the title – Super Woman. The crux of the discussion was something like this–
I worked at the office, she worked at home. While I delegated my tasks to a cleaner or cook, she did it all herself. I coded eye-catching and colourful reports, she made delicious papads and achars at home. Where I coddled one kid, she had two. While I spent all my money on luxury, she spent her energy and time on others. She won here because she saved the money.
We both worked in our spaces with our full rigour and vigour. But she hardly got any appreciation from the world. Though she does have a Master’s in economics, she chose to stay at home and look after the family.
If I really think about it, mom never worked for a living, but she did all she could to keep me happy. To keep us, the family, happy. She isn’t an un-superwoman. For me, she is superb and she is superb for my brother too!
Doing engineering was my choice, working was also my choice, and so was grinding in a nine-to-none job! What I did was my wish, while what mum did was hers.
While there is no dearth of talent in women all over the world, not all get a chance to show it to the world. Women in rural areas do it every day—work, motherhood, and household chores. They never get the superfluous tag of superwomen. And, they tread their journey too. Restlessly, tired yet content.
The millennial society wants women to earn, care for the kids, serve lip-smacking meals all the while satisfying the man in her life.
But what if a woman fails to do any of these? What is the sum total when she does not complete a task or two?
An immense pressure crushes her back to perform top-notch in all areas of her queendom. Any mistake and the crown is crushed. But no one tells the ladies, that it is perfectly fine to miss the finish line some times. And that it is alright to just rest and forget the failures. So what if the long-awaited, well-deserved promotion was withheld or if the food was burnt?
Don’t burden the young (or old) women with this massive weight on their shoulders. Not just because a lot of these failures are momentary, but they pave a road to learnings too. Quite often, these are the stepping stones to a fulfilling life and success.
“A woman can have it all, yes. But not necessarily, all of them together.”
I wish people would stop hammering a woman with the label of a superwoman. Superwoman is a myth. And if it is true, every woman is a superwoman with her own wins and non-glamorised success stories.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Tumhari Sulu
After a decade-and-a-half long IT career, Rashmi switched to professional writing as she could not resist her passion to lie weak and ignored anymore. So, she is nurturing her passion now as read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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