Home Social causes Laundry, A Soap Opera #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob

Laundry, A Soap Opera #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob

by Vidya Sury January 17, 2015 10 comments

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, anti aging cream and 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


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Brenda Lee January 19, 2015 at 4:15 am

Oh no, no no. Laundry is whomever’s job it wants to be. Definitely not gender specific! Great post Vidya! Definitely had to laugh. 🙂
Brenda Lee recently posted…#Meditation 101: How Do You Find Inner #Peace?

Vidya Sury January 19, 2015 at 10:17 am

😀 Thank you Brenda! I agree!
Vidya Sury recently posted…That BS called People Pleasing

Julie Barrett January 19, 2015 at 6:23 am

Vidya, you make me laugh every time 🙂 “Fold eventually and Iron Ha Ha Ha” is more up my alley but I am proud to say that when my husband was here he definitely was the better in the cooking/cleaning department!

Vidya Sury January 19, 2015 at 10:16 am

Jules, Even as I concluded this post, Sury was standing right there,trying to decide if he really wanted to iron the stack of clothes he just folded. And then ha ha ha’ed and said why waste electricity? and put them right back in his shelf. So I had to add that photo 😀 I ought to print it out and give it a place of pride on our wall!

Hugs! It is always so much more fun when men share the housework!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Greeting Card DIY With Birgit

Susan Scott January 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

O my grief! here is South Africa, men are still chauvinistic – but I have taught my sons to load the laundry themselves. The dishwasher? Gimme a break – I have to re-do their loading …
Susan Scott recently posted…Word Games While Walking

Debbie January 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm

Sad isn’t it, that these gender roles are still perceived in the 21st century? For us, doing laundry is primarily a joint venture. We generally split up the household chores according to who does them best or who has the most time. Hubby does most of the vacuuming. Loved your image above! 😀 “Iron Ha Ha Ha”! Actually, I do iron things, but only “as needed”. Hubby’s talents in that area aren’t the greatest.
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Martha Orlando January 19, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Vidya, I do all the laundry at our house; I actually enjoy it. My husband, though, does many other things around the home, the most important being cooking! Since I don’t work outside the home, I tend to do more domestic chores than he does, but I really don’t mind. 🙂 It’s all in how you work things out.
Enjoyed the story about your family, too!
Martha Orlando recently posted…Make Us Fruitful!

Paige Burkes January 20, 2015 at 3:13 am

This post had me reflecting on (and laughing at) my childhood experiences of learning how to sort and wash laundry with my younger brother. We were latch-key kids who, for the most part, had to fend for ourselves. It was also our job to keep the house clean and do our own laundry. Before we understood the importance or sorting laundry and using the correct water temperature, we washed everything in hot water. We thought it was hysterical when (twice) we turned my brother’s white underwear pink by washing them with a red shirt.

When my brother went off to college, he was appalled that his fraternity brothers were such incompetent housekeepers.

I’m happily married to a man that shares equally in all the cleaning. It’s the only way we can keep up with three little kids and many animals.

Vidya, I loved your story of restful Sunday’s! I’m waiting for the kids to get a bit older so they can take over and I can rest.
Paige Burkes recently posted…How to Finally Make Your Resolutions Stick

Corinne Rodrigues January 24, 2015 at 10:37 am

Aren’t we blessed, Vidya! My Dad at 89 machine and handwashes his own clothes and those of Mum’s now that she’s not able!
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G Angela January 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

There is no specified task; we share the household work, and most of the time David helps me in the kitchen as well; remember when my daughter was born, David started washing all her clothes and we purchased the washing machine, that is used by both of us; depending on who is available and free, so together we complete all the work, before we leave for our work… thank you for sharing… enjoyed reading this post.
G Angela recently posted…Mental Health & Counseling!


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