Indian media apparently thinks that women should be flattered by this portrayal of us (do watch at least a tiny bit). The superwoman who cooks, cleans, plays, entertains, worships elders, packs lunches for kids and then goes to work too. All of this while wearing a foot-long mangalsutra and a dupatta to bed. I don’t get it. What sane woman chases political thugs while brandishing a stick just because they stuck a poster on the wall of her home (that too in a sari when they’re on scooters?) Shouldn’t she be peeling the poster off before the glue sets? Besides, If this video is indeed true and women do it all, what good are men? If I were I guy, I’d be even more insulted. When you think about it, what this video implies is that women can do everything. But men, umm… not so much.
Let’s switch for a moment to the home of The Goddess and The Hero.
I cook, so does The Hero. I clean, so does he (although he lacks my brand of obsessiveness). I go to school, he goes to work. He usually takes the trash out but so do I. He plans surprises. So do I. I get agitated about silly things. He calms me down. He hardly ever gets agitated. I try to provoke him. He wakes up early and makes breakfast. I eat the breakfast he makes and thank him sweetly. I roll out the parathas and he fries them. I cook, he sits in the kitchen with is laptop to keep me company. When he cooks, I annoy him until he drives me out of the kitchen and I can watch TV guilt free (guilt free because he also made breakfast, remember?). We both hate doing the dishes and so we pile them up until we can’t even access the sink anymore and the one who feels guiltier ends up doing them. We fight over who gets to drive the shiny Honda (he usually wins). (I scratched the Kia twice and the car is now mortally afraid of me. This means I never drive it.) We have our occasional squabbles but nothing about gender roles or “But my mom…” or “In my house…”
I never feel any less a woman just because I don’t rule my kitchen with an iron fist. He doesn’t feel any less of a man just because he makes breakfast for his lazy wife (he still hasn’t figured out that the reason I don’t get out of bed is so he makes breakfast. Shh!). His parents are nicer to me and mine are nicer to him (notice how Superwoman’s parents aren’t even invited for her birthday?) And guess what? We’re happier than that cartoon family in the video. Gasp! How could that be? Is it because we’re real?
But you know what? We’re also boring. Who can write a song about us? The actually loving parents, roughly equal division of work, the fact that we both can get tired and cranky. The silly fights, The Goddess’s drama… None of it is song worthy. Not one tiny bit.
And so, I dedicate this post to the real women out there. The ones who have PMS and do not think it is weak to admit it. The ones who do not always have the time to get their eyebrows perfectly arched. The women who are gracious mothers in law. You and you and you who picked good husbands (The days of the husband lucky draw are over). The husbands who find their wife more interesting than the TV (except when she’s practicing Yaman in that God-awful voice that’s far from trained). And the husbands who know when to give their wife’s post five stars. Happy Women’s Day y’all!