Enough Of Talk, It’s Time To Bring About A Change- Ariel India Starts the Sons #ShareTheLoad Movement
Pick up your clothes from the bathroom
Don’t leave the wet towel on the bed!
Can you please clean your own room?
Familiar voices? Well, almost so familiar in every household that we take it as a part of life without once giving it a deeper look. In India, we are largely a society where we spoil the kids and don’t let them participate in household chores.
“Beta, padh lo! That’s more important.”
Yes, definitely! Kids need to study but they also need to learn these basic life skills or we are building a soon-to-be-disaster for the future. I am not differentiating girls or boys here but let’s face it, in our country boys get away easy. Growing up I was spoiled but every now and then I would hear my grandma say;
“Isko kuchch ghar ka kaam sikha do. Shaadi ke baad kya hoga?”
When I did not do well in my exams, my dad would joke- If she doesn’t study well, we will get her married off.
So I grew up equating marriage to failure of performance in my career. I feared marriage for a long time till I met my then boyfriend, now husband. He put me at ease and treated me as an equal.
While my parents never forced me, just hearing all this repetitively and seeing my mom slog in the house and manage all chores by herself. I subconsciously grew up with my role a bit blurred.
When I saw this beautiful film by Ariel where a mom is shocked to hear that her married daughter is quitting her job because she’s not able to handle her career, home and her kid as she does not have enough support from her husband. She realises that she needs to make her son more responsible and teach him to share the load at home so that her future daughter-in-law doesn’t have to face the same thing her daughter is facing. She symbolically starts by teaching him how to do his laundry.
I am extremely glad that today we are talking about gender equality and biases on larger platforms. We are raising our girls to be more independent and asking our boys to help in household chores. Kids grow up watching and learning more than what they are taught so it’s also essential that the father in the house treat the mother with respect and also chip in the household work. It is only then that the change we are talking about will occur in totality. Plus this has to be taught as naturally as possible to kids maybe starting from kindergarten.
It is not only about the men rising up to responsibility but also the women feeling more confident of themselves. As per a survey conducted by Nielsen;
52% Of Indian men think household chores are a woman’s job.
This number is improved from a 63% in 2016 and 79% in 2015
There’s nothing wrong with a man cooking or babysitting or doing laundry for that matter. I have seen men who shoulder responsibilities at home are looked down upon. Why can’t the woman step out and find her individuality even after having kids or even pursue her career will full focus? Why does having a family affect the woman’s career way more than it ever affects a man? A recent tweet by Anand Mahindra got a lot of attention and truly portrays what a woman has to go through to get to the top vs a man.
At a recent event by Ariel India that I attended had Rajkumar Rao and Tisca Chopra talking about sharing the load at home. Rajkumar Rao mentioned that he and his partner Patralekha always do things around the house together because his mom always taught him to do his own chores – a true example of the implication of a balanced upbringing. Many mothers present at the event shared their stories on how they had to leave their successful careers due to motherhood and after seeing the Ariel #ShareTheLoad video they felt they needed to show it to their spouse or mother-in-law to make them understand how they feel.
A picture, a video , a talk does put things in perspective but enough of talks. These are just catalysts and a chain reaction to the larger movement that needs to begin.
It’s time to bring about a change. I love how Ariel India has started a conversation around it, now, it’s upto us to drive the change and ensure we raise the next generation as a generation of equals.