news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| October 11, 2014| 2.20 pm IST (Last updated: 6.14 pm IST) There are many who advocate “adjusting” in a marriage when women raise questions about the disproportionate amount of work they do, as opposed to their husbands, be it house work (cooking, cleaning, washing untensils and clothes, putting things in order), looking after children, looking after the in-laws, the elderly and more. People would be quick to point out that it is the men in such a marriage who generally do the “outside work”, earning money, paying the bills, making sure everything in the house works, etc. But stereotypes about the roles of men and women are so deeply ingrained in us, that we do not notice some things at all. One, for instance, is that “work outside the house” comes to an end on a Sunday, and other holidays, but the work that is arbitrarily assigned to women, as mentioned above, never ends. Another instance shall be illustrated by a statement that Malayalam actor Mammooyty made as reported by Mathrubhumi news. The actor has said that women who could not cook food and pack it for their children should not be mothers. Mathrubhumi says Mammootty made the statement at a Kerala government event for the launch of 'Sukratham", a programme to provide free treatment to people suffering from cancer and some lifestyle diseases. Mammootty was making a point that most lifestyle diseases that Keralites are suffering from is due to a change in their diet over the years. He emphasised the need for home cooked, healthy food. That is acceptable, but why  the reference to women and cooking?  Obviously, he cannot see that men generally do not do this for their children but that dint stop them from becoming fathers.  Mammootty's statement raises the question of how democratic are people really willing to be, in a relationship and in their houses. Should the division of work and responsibilities be arbitrary? 
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