Most of the males that I know will feel very embarrassed if found to be hanging their wife's clothes on the balcony for drying or even picking them up once dried. This I think is an universal and though many males do it regularly, most of them loathe it and do it grudgingly and try to be as quick and stealthily as possible. But why ? This off course is an issue of mindset and inspite of a lot of change in the social mores, the idea of a husband washing clothes of his wife and more than that ,taking time to hang them up for drying still elcits ridicule for the husband and his wife from the neighbours and elders . It is also a matter of amusement for others. But is it really something so amusing , as in cities and rapidly increasing smaller families many males have to help their wives in kitchen and other houseworks. But they still wouldn't like themselves to be caught hanging the nighty of their wife on the clothesline. Recently in the movie Special 26, there is a scene which tries to raise some laughs on the predicament of a henpecked husband washing clothes and the mirthy response from the viewers firmly establish that this is indeed something amusing to watch others do. I am also reminded of the comments made by an erstwhile senior officebearer of the SBI Officers Association on the VRS scheme , when it was first introduced. The statement made by the worthy and often repeated by his lieutanants to dissuade members from opting for VRS was - “ These people after getting VRS will be of no use and spend their time at home washing petticoats of their wives” . Naturally such revolutionary statements garnered a lot of claps from the audience but sadly felt short of stopping people from applying for VRS . But that is another story altogether. What I mean to say is that there exist, in all of us, that sense of negativeness about men doing household chores and in spite of the so called progress, which is also visible, the society is still submerged in that old mindset of compartmentalisation between male and female bastions of work. I think a large part of responsibility for this type of mindset to prevail in the society , along with many other notions of male preogatives , squarely lie on the females. If a mother cares to get her son accustomed to household jobs right from the childhood instead of segregating them into women's chores and men's rights, they would be doing a great service to their future generations . Women nowadays are quite open and often we find them in the forefront of protests and movements in social issues. They also have been given equal rights and theoretically match their male counterparts in any sphere of activities. But whenever we come across instances of gender discrimination and atrocities on women , we blame the men for it. It is very convenient for everyone to shift the burden of social change on the males because of their dominance, historically. Females or for that matter everyone who complain about oppression and discrimination from other sections of the society should first try to introspect themselves and locate their chains before blaming the existing social system or making demands of more freedom and respect. If someone does not respect herself and conform to the social stereotype by own volition even after a reasonable education and economic independence, they are not only spoiling the life for themselves but also for the others who are not as fortunate as themselves. The chains which bind you , my dear female species of human beings are mostly imaginary like the clothes line that hang on your balconies. P.S. : I know what I have posted above may be taken as controversial. I mean no disrespect to anybody, either females of any variety or males who hang their wive's clothes at the balcony. I invite comments from everyone within the limits of decency and ready to accept all brickbats if I really deserve them.
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