Thursday, April 18, 2013

The myth surrounding the working and non working women

Recently I read an article by a popular indian writer named chetan bhagat on times of india . I would like to agree with all of his points on how a working women is better than a homemaker. he makes some really good points for today's men to consider a working women as their choice while i think he displays a narrowed mind with a side opposite to the men that he is addressing and i think both are equally wrong.
The view and definition of a working women of today's western minded and western educated ideology is very wrong and misleading when it is applied to an indian women. A typical indian women works atleast twice as much as a stereotypical working man who goes out and does a desk job or something similar to that. A mother for example use to start working from morning 4am to 11pm and sometimes till 1am with an allowance of 2 or 3 breads a meal with some chilli powder + edible oil everyday. She use to work for handlooms in the day time and do tailoring at night to earn some money while taking care of her 3 kids while her husband goes out and tries to find some work to feed his family. This mother had studied till 5th standard but all her 3 children are graduates today with one working in a fortune 500 company as a consultant, another working for the government and the 3rd one works in a local factory as a foreman. Today at their hometown they have 2 houses and all 3 children have a better life because of this huge contribution to the family by this housemaker and and her mother in law. Both these ladies worked hard day in and out together to provide for the family and to secure a good future for them.
The building of a nation begins with the woman. Because, the mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, the child gives to the world, but what if the woman is not around to give that message or to teach the child of the values of life and sanity?! but instead she is too busy competing with men, trying to be like a man where as she is supposed to be much better than them. Many of our indian women in the rural area, go out and fetch water for the family, take care of the children, cook, wash clothes, take care of their man, take care of their in laws and this amounts to a work far greater than the work done by a so called working class women of  today's definition who works all day long in an AC room, probably with an excel sheet. In our indian culture women plays a bigger role since she is the one who takes care of the children, their education and gives them a good culture. Bringing up good children and giving them a good culture and teaching them good behavior is not easy and it is a mammoth task which only our women can do. Western ideology which doesnt fit to the indian society has made many think that taking care of the children is a lower, unimportant and an ugly job which should be the work of those women who are losers in their life while going out and working under someone, for someone and earning some money in competition with men is considered as superior. It is no secret that in today's world working in shifts is a reality and especially in an industry where I work working in shifts is almost mandatory.

I know some married couples where a husband works in day shift, wife works in night shift and both of them have different week offs. Husband might have a tuesday and wednesday week off where as his wife might have a saturday and sunday off while their children will only have a sunday off from school. So, when the husband comes home after his shift, his wife leaves home for work and when she comes back home, he leaves to work. Both of them hardly get any time to sleep with each other since their weekends are different too. If at all they find some time to sleep with each other and have children then they can hardly find some time in a month to spend together with their children since their work times are different, their week offs are different, their children's week offs are different. How in the hell will they be able to offer a good culture and education to these children with these kind of mismatch of times. As per chetan bhagat taking care of the children and house should be outsourced since that is what they have done and this makes the children to be more independent which might seem sensible in the beginning but the real life examples suggest otherwise. Gandhi, bhagat singh, guru gobind singh, Nehru and almost all of our great leader's mothers were all housewives. You think of any great leaders of our history including abraham lincoln of the west, obama of today or nelson mandela or the prophet mohammad of islam they all had one thing in common; their mothers were all housewives.
Especially in an indian society where the majority are hindus festivals form a big part of society. Even in muslims too their festivals are women oriented. Whether it is deepavali, durga puja, shivrathri, ugadi, moharram, christmas or other sikh, jain, budhist festivals it is the women whose participation and requirement is 90%. Perhaps the only festival in india which is driven by men is holi, the festival of color but other than that almost all are driven by women since most of them are about women. I do not think there is anything wrong when a women wants to go out, work in an office, earn and i think it should be respected too but I and many in the indian society who know the value of women in our culture to be a lot more than men, will always respect a women a little more, who remains a housewife for the sake of the children, for the sake of the family while keeping the family intact than a women who goes out to build her own career at the cost of her family and children.