When mankind started probably in earliest forms of socialization the chimps introduced the division of labor which worked like a boon for them as they had learnt that they needed to hunt and also be taken care of which was arduous to accomplish when they worked individually. So they went hunting in groups which fetched them better and helped them to garner more food. The males hunted for the meat and females collected vegetables from the nearby proximity taking care of their young ones and the group’s camp. This was practiced largely because they understood that the female was biologically more important than the male and had a much greater stake as she bears and rears the young, they would not risk sending her for the more dangerous works like hunting as they feared that the death of a female would be a great blow to the specie’s survival hence they segregated work based on gender in order to safeguard their progeny from predators.
Popular theory is that the intelligent version of today’s man has evolved from the apes. He imbibed many dynamics from his forefathers. Thus the science of survival practiced by the chimps was adopted by the humans.
Among humans, work was segregated and shouldered based on physical strength the more laborious and tougher jobs were done by the males and the more tactful and skillful jobs of managing the home front which requires lot of group holding skills and patience were undertaken by the women. This way there was a perfect balance in the families and ample emotional support extended for one another. But this practice slowly deteriorated from being healthy to discriminative so much so that it became an abusive social law forbidding women from participating in any major socio-economic cultural decision making. This self-imposed social law was and is more of a convenience and adapted accordingly to suit the situation confining women to limited boundaries.
I could probably agree on this widely accepted theory only if women voluntarily wanted to stay home and cater only to the emotional and social needs of the family. Today’s woman is more informative, capable, ambitious and aspires to make a successful career but she is often struck prioritizing between work and home life, this is because somehow from the beginning we have been fed with the thought that it is the woman who takes care of house hold chores besides rearing the children. This was true then and now.
Although women are shouldering every other responsibility and managing laborious tasks at home and at workplace the equation has not quiet changed. Most women in spite of being well educated, sharing the same space with men in all platforms, earning the same kind of salary after accomplishing all that when she returns home it invariably becomes her responsibility to get the dinner ready and care for the kids while the man of the house becomes a couch potato or spends time hitting the gym and makes room for all his social pass times. This kind of life has been accepted by the majority and sanctified that women have to do 90% of the domestic chores whether or not you choose a career, it is this myth that makes working women juggle balancing between the work life and the home front thereby ending up taking compromising roles even if the growth aspects were stagnant.
Some of them with little choice simply opt out donning a stay home mom’s role which is most of the times voted as a thankless job strangely regarded by most people as a demeaning role done by lesser intelligent people ignoring the fact that a strong foundation is often built and imparted to a child at home mostly by mothers. It is a systematic thought process strategized by the society leading to this kind of a mindset and attitude towards women.
It begins early in life, if you look at a nursery level book it describes a father as reading a newspaper and mother as the one working in the kitchen, again the brother helps the father in all the outdoor work and goes out to play but the sister helps the mother in the kitchen. Children begin to grow with this kind of thought that is penetrated into their mind which later brews as a conventional attitude that you get to see everywhere deep rooted in the minds of the young and old.
The male and female interaction is never encouraged from the childhood. Hence the boys who don’t get to interact, play or bond much with the girls are not sure how to behave with a girl in their adolescent years and mostly resort to behaviors imitating from ‘Bollywood’ the Indian film industry, the encyclopedia of moral science and values only for women which shows women as only a pleasurable item who is always vulnerable to any kind of explicit violence or victimization waiting to be protected by a man. Although there might be few movies which show woman on the other extreme side where she is as powerful as any goddess, it does not quiet inspire the youth as they think it is superficial and are influenced easily by the deep clinging thought that they are more superior to any woman around. Moral values and ethics take back seat when physical strength is celebrated and glorified.
Young girls are often viewed as an obligatory liability for a family as she is parceled off like a commodity with a price called dowry.
Contemporarily many youth may argue that they never took dowry but tell me who paid up for the entire wedding cost? Was it shared by both the boy and the girl’s family? 99% of the times it is borne by the girl’s family even if she earned a six digit salary. Respecting women and treating them at par with dignity is something that has to be inculcated early but in many parts of India among rich and poor families where rigidity and conservative attitudes rule respect for women is a farce. A boy all along his childhood would have witnessed that a woman only stays home and swings to the tunes and moods of the man of the house. Fed with such primitive thoughts when he encounters any women on the street he cannot possibly digest it when he sees her driving a vehicle or heading for college socializing with other male counterparts. It becomes imperative for him to hide his intolerance and unacceptability of a woman’s freedom hence simply throws his inferiority, misogynistic attitude by way of harassment either by stalking, abuse (of any kind), passing lewd comments, groping and thereby violating her freedom to move around freely thereby traumatizing the girl completely.
Young boys often group up contesting amongst themselves to taunt a girl which probably gives them a high, a macho image within their male group. Many a times these types of group attack on a girl have gone awry and this dangerous trend is increasing day by day the reason being obsolete and ineffective laws, lack of fear for existing laws due to corrupt officers and fragile sluggish dealing with perpetrators who often go scot free without any drastic punishments imposed on them.
In the corporate scenario although women have made their presence felt, the ability to accept and appreciate women who are equally capable and many a times far better than their male counterparts is technically an incorrect statement for most employers. The discretion of selection always perceives that a male can be a better fit than a lady for a particular demanding role as she may have to shoulder responsibilities both on the home and work front and is scanned with apprehensions about her goal accomplishments discarding her multi-tasking abilities, this is sometimes accompanied by malicious and misogynistic attitudes reducing the presence of women in important and decision making arenas.
Most women achievers who have made it big are single or widowed. Does this mean that women with potential can accomplish and achieve better only if they were single? Did they choose to be single to steer clear of all that juggling and struggling to reach where they are?
Many a times men and women who accommodate and share the responsibility equally with their spouses or partners are often regarded as a hen pecked person by the same society who cry foul when faced with gender bias. How hypocritical are we in our approach and actions?
In this world of advanced science and technology with rapid developments everywhere, scope for innovative inventions, growing economies, booming markets, cut throat competition it is ironical that so many educated brains are either forced to stay home or discouraged just because of a traditional myth that has churned out so many invisible discriminations than originally intended. The economic growth of the country is also impacted because of gender bias.
In spite of so much advancement, awareness women are still being burdened with social evils such as female infanticide, molestation, rape, sexual harassment, discrimination all because of a surviving skill dangerously misconceived and misused. What does it take to shun this deep clung primitive practice of rigidity in gender roles? Questioning our prejudiced conformity to social norms built around us will probably untangle some knots without succumbing to any feministic rebellious thoughts.
Upbringing matters a lot, children learn from demonstration than teaching and preaching. If you as a parent demonstrate and shoulder responsibilities equally and show respect to each other a seed is sown for an egalitarian society. Laws alone cannot bind us to show respect and to empathize with others it has to be inculcated early from within by way of proper upbringing and imparting good social values not to forget our basic human values allowing everybody a fair and unbiased opportunity where nobody is intimidated by use of physical prowess which only reflects an imbalanced weak mind.
Our Government has tried to improve the status of women workers through legislation directly targeting women (Maternity Benefits Act (1961), Equal Remuneration Act (1976)), or indirectly (Plantations Labor Act (1951), Contract Labor (1970), Inter-State Migrant Workers Act (1979), Factories Act (1948), and Mines Act (1952)).
Despite the Government’s attempts to improve women’s working conditions, there are alarming inequalities everywhere as there are no checks on the implementation of all these legislations. When our women are not allowed to step out at all and most of them don’t have access to education how will they come to know of such legislations. And those who are making their presence felt are getting subdued either by way of rapes, molestation or harassment as there is no stringent law exercised against these everyday crimes and brutal perpetrators.
Freedom cut down is freedom denied that oppresses our voice.
Harsh laws with honest law abiding forces and quality education will surely lead the light to equal empowerment without any kind of biased thoughts about men and women. Any radical change has to start from home so be the change and make this world everybody’s beautiful world.
The chimps that strategized to save their species would be puzzled at today’s human species who disregard their own begetter.