The four articles published in the Open Page (Feb. 14) have a common thread running through them. A few more aspects will put things in perspective. First and foremost, the sharing of household chores by men should not be viewed as a favour done to women. In the present-day scenario, when bread-winning is not the sole responsibility of the menfolk, why should household work be the sole responsibility of women?
The root cause of all these issues is the shaping of attitude right from childhood. While women are pained at the sight of their sons performing household chores, they rejoice at training their daughters in house-keeping. While a man helping his wife at home is mocked at, a woman sharing the financial burden of her husband is not given any additional credit. On the contrary, she is under pressure and constant scrutiny to balance her professional and personal life. One wrong step in her personal life, she is accused of having sacrificed the family at the altar of her career. With such double standards prevalent in society, we have a long way to go before we practise gender equality in its true spirit.
V. Harine, Chennai
The article “The Super Mom” made interesting reading. Many of us are aware of the responsibilities of the members of a working woman’s family. But we find men unwilling to lend a helping hand, particularly in joint families. A family that shares work develops a bonding which keeps it together through the ups and downs of life.
Sudha Chandrasekaran, Coimbatore
The real issue is not about women working or staying at home. It is about the mentality of a majority of men who just don’t want to soil their hands with household chores. They enjoy life when their wives toil through day and night to ensure a comfortable living along with supplementing the household income. The need of the hour is not praise or due credit for women but a change in the mental make-up of comfort-seeking men. There should be a balanced distribution of labour in the families where women go out to work. If the gender divide can weaken at workplace, why not at home?
Abhishek Chandra, Pune
Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I agree with the views expressed by Sandhya Pentareddy. Times have changed. No one is willing to stay at home.
A woman can do justice to her work at home and office if she plans things meticulously. She must not hesitate to demand help, which she richly deserves, from her family members.
Prema Shankar, Puducherry
Ms Pentareddy portrays the grim reality encountered by women in the middle and the lower-middle class nuclear families. Our mother is our first source of inspiration, a fact that we often fail to recognise. Behind every successful individual, there is indeed a mother who has selflessly sacrificed her time or career to pave the way for her children’s future.
There is nothing big one needs to do to acknowledge the importance of a mother. An undisturbed chat over a cup of coffee, an evening walk once in a while, a hearty wish on her birthday, etc., are all deeds that will keep her going.
G. Guruprasad, Chennai