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Even today, several women are expected to be able to be able to cook a five course meal for the family after a long day at work. Will it ever change?
Does cooking come in the DNA of women? Or is it just their duty? A woman who can cook three meals a day for her family is considered ‘sarva guna sampanna.’ Her cooking defines her status and stand in the family. Before a marriage, while selecting a wife, the first question asked is, ‘Does she cook well?’ This is followed by the number of dishes she can cook. And based on these, the brides are chosen.
People are only concerned about her cooking skills, rather than her other skills or even ambitions or plans for her future. The men may not even know how to boil milk but they want women to know how to cook. She is a woman so she has no option but to know how to cook!
Her education, work, other hobbies all vanish, all that matters is if she can cook or not. Because it is a presumption that the foundation of a happily married life is based on how well a girl cooks. At the end of the day, to keep a man happy, his stomach should be satisfied, shouldn’t it?
Even when a daughter-in-law does a job, like her husband, cooking comes under the women department as per their family. Because men entering a kitchen is against their ego. After returning from work, the son is supposed to take rest, and maybe watch TV, because he has worked for all day, and he must be tired.
At the same time, when the woman returns from work, she is supposed to make dinner and all for the family members. She is not allowed to take rest because if she rests then who will cook?
When she tries to get some help, she hears things like, ‘Pura din karti hi kya ho, office mein aaram to hota hai!’ (what even do you do all day, anyway. Office is all but rest.) ‘Khana to tumko hi banana padega, subah jaldi uth jaaya karo taki office se pehle khana complete bana sako!’ (you are the only one who has to cook. Wake up early and cook everything before leaving for the office!)
She may also hear these- ‘Raat to jaldi aa jaana, humko khane mein late ho wo pasand nahi, so time pe aake khana bana dena,’ (Come back early from work. We don’t like eating food so late.) ‘Har Sunday bahar kyu jaana hai khana khane, itna to kya problem hai tumko khana banana mein.’ (Why must we go out and eat every Sunday! What’s the issue in cooking everyday?)
And when there is any issue with the cooking or any other chore done by the daughter in law, the first one to be blamed is her mother. She is asked, ‘Maa ne kuch sikha k nahi bheja kya?’ (Didn’t your mom teach you anything?)
Today’s woman is empowered and fierce, she is not ready to accept a single comment against herself, how can she be silent when it’s her mom? She has to speak at any cost. But when she speaks, she is considered as mannerless. Because women in the family, often, are not allowed to speak or even talk in loud voice. At such crucial times, it becomes her husband’s responsibility to manage the situation. However, if he fails to do so, women are left with no other choice.
Society needs to understand that a girl leaves everything behind when she marries, so at least give her some time to adjust. Give her time to understand her new family. The family, too, should understand, and adjust with new family member. These efforts should be two-sided only then, will peace prevail at home.
On every small point, if there are negative comments, it becomes almost impossible for a girl to live at such place. She expects that if she is leaving one home after marriage, she should get another one. And the home is where there is love and respect. I believe, if you are taking everything from her after marrying, at least try to give something in return.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Hum Saath Saath Hain
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).