Vidya Josephs Blog

Ghettoised and forgotten..

Posted on: ಜೂನ್ 12, 2009

I filled up my daughter s school diary today and this commonplace episode brought home the continuing ghettoisation of women in society all aroud us.

The entries were simple enough. Name, Father s name, profession, office address, phone number, Mother, (please note the sequence – father, his importance and then mother!) and then home address.

Finished. Being a working mother (in double shifts, or should I say triple?) I was just a little annoyed. The Mother had zero individuality in that school diary. And what is more sinister is the message which is being given to the little ones that the FATHER is the most important in the family and it is his work which matters. So where does my 9-5 figure in the scheme of things? My little annoyance is perhaps what angered me most. Somehow all these humiliations and insults and put-downs are taken in one s stride so to say and then forgotten. After a hectic day in office which is followed by a hectic evening and the next day another hectic morning – one has little or no interest left in indulging in luxuries such as this. And yet… yet!

The other day, a doctor friend complained that though she has four male doctors working for her, many patients refer to her as Sister.
The college that I work in has developed an elaborate mechanism of ghettoising women lecturers. Some of the most pain-staking, laborious and yes, soul-killing clerical work is handed over to women in the guise of equal work for all concerned. If one demands the participation of men, the non-working, smoking-drinking stereotype is put at your disposal. And all this is done by couching everything is lovely-sounding words – this is the most important part of academic work etc etc.
Why does it become impossible for the male society to accept women as equal partners – both in terms of responsiblities and in terms of rights? Somehow women get to shoulder the burden of running the show but with the credit going to someone who plays the minimal part in the entire act!


2 Responses to "Ghettoised and forgotten.."

I too feel the same always!!!
Now a days, one more thing irritating me is, “Is it a crime to be a home maker and take care of kids???” Everyone suggests me to do something as they feel its waste of time sitting at home and taking care of the house. Don’t they think how much energy do one need to be at home and take care of the house. Don’t they think how much one has to work to turn the house in to HOME???
I know this topic is different than the one you have written about!! But it is connected in one corner with the subject.
After doing all this also, I don’t feel good to write as home maker(‘house wife’ is still worst!!!) in any form, if they have asked for the occupation. I feel we should be given some good name rather than Home maker.
I hope you do empathize!!!

I think the problem today is the awareness among men that women are here to stay. While earlier, there was a patronising condescension about a woman participating in a public sphere – there were any number of men who would do a womans work in the office or at least offer to do it for her, today there is the realisation that they have been bettered or at least equalled. I do think it will take far longer for men to adjust to this aspect of it. Most of us continue to work in double shifts like u say – home, office and many times in-laws as well – and try to become the model mothers/wives/employees and many times it may be just too much to cope.

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