The facts about laundry presented by Ariel, honestly, did not shock or surprise me at all. Almost every family I know either has a housemaid to wash the clothes or else, womenfolk do that work. It does not matter if women are working with their day’s schedule as tiring as a man’s; household work, mainly cooking and laundry are the two constants in her life. From undergarments to upholstery, women spend a considerable time in washing clothes. Even today, the advent of latest washing machines has not really changed the situation, because the issue lies in perception and thinking, and is far deeper. It will surely take time to change but the constant efforts towards awareness like those of the brand Ariel may accelerate the results. This wonderful video questions this deep set but nonsensical belief.
The disparity that has been there since centuries has molded the lives of women and confined their precious time into a cocoon. For housewives as well as working women there is hardly any time left for other important areas of life and most importantly, for their own self. The only thing that gets the least attention is their own self: tired bodies and bored minds. As per the data by American Time Use Survey (released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), on an average only 19 % of men do housework like laundry compared to 49 percent of women. Hence, it does not matter in which part of the world one is, women are expected to do almost all the household work. This shows how deep rooted the chauvinism is.
The first thing is to change the perception of Indian men- As the stats say that more than 76% of men feel that laundry is a woman’s work only; it is a bit depressing. Even boys belonging to progressive and educated families fall behind at some point when it comes to open thinking and equality towards women. If a girl lags behind in household work or has a disinterest for cooking, she is tagged as lazy and her other talents and interests are completely ignored. Boys need to be trained right from their childhoods that a job is a job, sans a gender of its own. When both the sexes are equal, it should reflect in attitudes as well.
Second thing is sharing- Men should help their women in laundry instead of stuffing themselves with food or watching that cricket match. This way, not only love will increase but his woman will feel cared for as well. And we all know, nothing can be more risky than a woman in a sour mood all the time. Gallup's annual Social Series Lifestyle poll, conducted in December 2007 shows that only wives are expected to do the laundry.
Set an example- Children are amazing learners and most of their perceptions come from passive observing. Hence, a boy will learn to give women equal importance and to respect her time. Girls too would learn to value their time and self respect this way. Hence, this is good and practical way to teach children some lessons in gender equality.
Doing laundry is not only boring but can be very time consuming. If a man does not help his woman in this chore or thinks it below his ‘macho-ness’ he needs a crash course in manners. The urban male who is educated and modern in real sense of the word, would never run from his responsibility. So, guys, show your girl, how much you care for her. Lending a helping hand will only elevate your respect in her eyes, and in your own as well!
PS- how deeply gender roles are inscribed! This one explains it awesomely well!!