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Dear Men, Stop Just Applauding Women On WhatsApp, Help Them At Home Instead!

Posted: March 27, 2020

With the whole country under lockdown, the women in the family are under immense pressure to do everything around. It’s time men help with household chores.

We as a country are in a state of complete lockdown, and I have a concern. A lockdown means that the world, the community at large has pretty much come to a standstill. Schools, colleges, offices, malls, cinema halls, everything is shut and will probably remain like this for some time now.

This means that no one can go anywhere and has to stay put at home. So what do they do? What are the options? Thankfully there are many options, especially considering the times we are in. Due to internet, life isn’t that bad.

People have access to a host of entertainment options like movies, shows, books, games, classes and whatnot. Additionally, this time can be utilised to be with their families, with themselves, and invest in themselves. So a lot of time to think, reflect and learn.

Home has become busier than ever

Although the world is at a standstill, life at home isn’t. On the contrary, it is busier than ever before.

For one, all the family members are at home, all the time, which was a rarity before this lockdown. This implies that there is more work in the house, in terms of cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes, and sourcing groceries. And mind you, there is no help in terms of staff. This coupled with the stress, anxiety and fear of the times, the situation is a challenging one. So as a family, the times are difficult and unprecedented.

As I understand when the situation demands, the whole community, the entire family needs to rise to the occasion and take up the challenge. The entire family being- the husband, wife and children.

Everyone is living together so why not help out?

Everyone has to get used to this new way of living, of co-existing which could involve several things. These would involve handling chores in the house, picking up skills which until now were not that important. It could range from making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and dusting the house to learning how to cook, and an endless list of things.

Also, this is a time where there is all the more reason for the mindsets to change, for tasks to be divided and be split between family members. As they say, every challenge presents an opportunity. Here is an opportunity to pick up some skills around the house and make oneself useful.

Therefore in this scenario, when you get a message on WhatsApp urging everyone to thank the lady of the house, to clap for her what exactly are we trying to do? Forgive my over-imagination, but with this aren’t we trying to reinforce the belief, that the house and its running is the responsibility of the woman only? Are we not advocating, promoting and applauding this view?

Stop applauding, start helping

I understand that even today, a large part of our society believes that house is the domain and hence, only the woman’s responsibility. And due to that, today, homemakers are under tremendous pressure, and have to take charge of every household chore without a break. What about the others in the house?

Well, they are probably twiddling their thumbs, getting bored out of their minds with nothing to do. So what stops them from getting up and helping? Could be the mindset, or the laziness. The reason is not important, what is important and the need of the hour is to motivate, guide, counsel people in the house to get up and help. It is not the time to send these (to my mind) regressive and outdated messages.

And has anyone thought about those women who are working from home and coping up with all the mayhem at home? Isn’t it like a double whammy for them? On the one hand, there is no respite from work, and on the other, there is the added pressure at home. Is it a fair situation? Definitely not. At work, there is gender equality in terms of quantity and quality. So why not at home?

Empower the women by helping them

I am not saying that attitude is the same everywhere, but it is most prevalent and needs to be checked and curtailed. Therefore rather than urging people to clap for women and their effort, this is the time to push, cajole, encourage people to practice what they preach. Teach gender equality. Do not clap for women, clap for those who are willing to break the stereotype and embrace a new way of life, of thinking.

When you do that you are actually applauding and empowering women. You are supporting them, helping them in their endeavour to break the shackles, to step out of their homes with a freer and positive mindset. That is what you need to do and not send these mindless messages.

Picture credits: YouTube

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Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years,

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