Is laundry only a woman’s job?
That question literally begs for my most sarcastic self. It makes me see red – and no, Ariel cannot wash that off.
I think there is no household chore that’s only a woman’s job. Unless she lives alone – or has a child/children too young to help. And when it comes to laundry, every member in the house has equal responsibility. Children must be taught to take their soiled clothes to the laundry bin until they are old enough to help, pretty much like they’re taught to put away their toys after they play.
As for the men and women, they absolutely must share this job.
Okay, so I’ve let off a little steam through that little outburst. It makes my blood boil to see ads that portray certain household jobs as the woman’s domain regardless of whether she goes out to work or not. Many men – and sadly, many women – believe this nonsense.
What about my family?
I am very glad to say that we actually enjoy doing laundry. We get our kicks from vying with each other to keep that bin empty. That isn’t to say we haven’t had our moments when we’ve slacked off, but it was a joint joyful jig where we collectively looked sheepish.
I remember, during my childhood – we were a joint family with my Grandma, my Mom, her three brothers and one sister-in-law and always some house guests – my uncles equally shared household work.
On Sundays, while one uncle took over the dusting/sweeping/swabbing and laundry (heck, he even starched the women’s sarees and pressed them), another uncle went out and did the weekly grocery shopping while the third one took over the kitchen.
What did the women do, you ask?
They took the day off and relaxed. They woke up a little later than usual to the smell of coffee. This was followed by lots of laughter over deciding the day’s menu so the men could get on with the prepping and cooking while the women took care of themselves – hair care, skin care, long leisurely baths interspersed with additional shots of coffee.
Around 11 am lunch was served. The women enjoyed their food. Then went off to siesta, while the men cleared up and washed up. By 1 pm, the household was pleasantly quiet after everyone settled down to do their thing.
I used to love to hang around our large verandah, surrounded by the fragrance of freshly washed clothes as they gently swayed in the breeze and the warm afternoon sun.
Those were the days of radio as our sole entertainment and we enjoyed listening to Inspector Eagle giving us a case in a short capsule. Of course, I enjoyed Bournvita Quiz as I sketched on the red floor on in my book. After these programs came to an end, it was either Vividh Bharti or out came the record player so we could listen to some vinyl sounds.
We often had guests over on Sundays – which meant they joined us for special tiffin, conversations and coffee.
Later in the night, dinner was fulkas and subzi – and for those who wished, curd rice was always available. As the day drew to a close, happiness prevailed as the women were rested and eager to start the week.
So – point is – it wasn’t just laundry. All the housework was shared by the men.
Today, my husband happily runs the washing machine thrice a week and we take turns to hang them out to dry, take them off the clothesline and fold them away.
Why – we practically had a fight over who would wash our new born son’s first soiled clothes!
My son is more than happy to pitch in with housework. The same goes for washing up in the kitchen, cutting up the vegetables and cleaning the house.
Our vacuum cleaner has no problems with whoever uses it. Same with the broomstick and mop.
I am happy to say that “equality” and “balance” are policies we live by.
Oh, did I say my son and husband also pitch in with the cooking? They order food occasionally from out – just so we can all chill together or go out and do stuff without worrying about our tummies.
Blessed is one way I’d describe myself. So, yes, we all have our problems…who doesn’t? The important thing is we do not play the blame game. We prefer to laugh it off.
If 76% of Indian men feel laundry is a woman’s job, then I am glad to say that the men in my life belong to the 24% who do not.
Do YOU believe laundry is a woman’s job?
I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel