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A narrative experienced by many Indian children- are our so called “liberal” parents progressive enough?
We recently had a party at our house, all of our guests came in and we had a lot of fun-the overall view.
However, even though what really pricked me was the fact that even though the men in our house were helping out, they weren’t really helping out.
What I’m trying to sat is they helped to ready the table, in the cleaning of the table and filled up bottles yet, there was so much more they could do.
I remember while everyone in the house was drinking like all of the adults, what I noticed was the men sat and drank while the women stood like scattered.
I’m mot sure , maybe I’m overthinking this , and maybe I’m not supposed to, or maybe there were less chairs for the women to sit?
When the beds had to get arranged, my mom swarmed and ran up the stairs to ready all of the fours beds alone. She looked so tired yet determined.
So she asked for help from me and my sister. I asked her why she wouldn’t ask our father to help, to which she said “You can just say you don’t want to help.”
Now, few things I’d like to clarify-my parents are regressive in most of the aspects. But not to the extent that they would say things like “you’ll have to go to your in-laws one day or the other”.
My father gets vegetables, fruits, from the market and my mom boasts about this. He knows which plumber to call, which food to cook when the maid doesn’t arrive, he does not discriminate between boys and us( we’re girls),never interfered within money matters of my mom’s, does not touch her phone without asking..I could go on.
But, he also says things like “girls shouldn’t wear short clothes”, judges people on various bases, occasionally mentions in a mocking manner as to how lucky my mother is because he’s liberal- this is really rare and I heard it only once from him.
Yet, I feel there’s a stinging uncanny vibe that does not make my father as progressive. I feel at times, he is insensitive towards the fact that he thinks he’s liberal because he does most of the housework yet he doesn’t do enough, he is caring when it comes to us, but not enough.
What stung me the most was the fact that even though my mom’s a teacher, is Frank and open to us regarding sex-ed and does not at all say anything about our guy friends, talks to us as to how to protect ourselves from”playboys”, she’s not progressive.
That habit of pinning other women down, the constant judging, the constant toxic comments regarding people’s weight- does not make her progressive, no matter how much she claims to be.
Is it really like really selfish of me to ask more of my father, to ask him to help out more, to not boast of, to not judge?
Is it really selfish off of me to ask my mom so as to not judge , to not watch series like Indian matchmaking, to resonate with classism, racism and body shaming , casteism?
There are so many good and liberal things about my family, yet there are so less in number.
But I want them to be more progressive or should I say, JUST progressive?
Image credit- Ashwini Chaudhary
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