GLOSS Volume 1, Issue 6 - 2018 - Page 49

Now the young girl dislikes cooking and her husband knows that so he offers to lend his mother a helping hand like he did before his marriage. The mother feels disrespected "You stay where you are I called your wife to help," she said. "It's a woman's job to take care of the housework." If the financial responsibilities can be divided equally then why is it so difficult to also divide the chores equally? A woman is expected to earn money, give birth to a child and raise it, manage the household, be emotionally strong and always reasonable. It is expected of her to sacrifice her needs and fulfil the needs and wants of her family, yet she is considered weak and in need of protection. It bothers me because it makes me feel small and worthless. I can do everything my partner does and also bring a child into this world but it is expected of me that I should not expect the same respect and treatment. "If you are going to bring your lunch from the kitchen would you also bring mine?" said my supervisor one day at the office. "Sure I don't mind," I replied. "Thanks. I try to do these tasks on my own, but women always do it right," he laughed and sits back because he thought I would find this as a compliment. On a bad day, one of those pseudo-intellectual 'uncles' paid a visit. He asks "Aren't you working anywhere? How's your feminism going?" I smile and reply "I am on a break from everything," expecting him to understand why women take time off from work during pregnancies. "Ghar-Dari main dil lagao (Try to enjoy domestic work,)" he says and everyone laughs. "Yeh bhi koi dil lagane ki cheez hai (Is that even something to enjoy?)" I reply and everyone snickers. "Put your heart into it and you will enjoy. Girls are much better at managing housework," he mansplains. I have only met this man once before but he feels acquainted enough to come to my house and tell me to be more "domesticated." After this encounter, he has the audacity to ask me to serve him tea. I feel my blood boiling as I watch water boiling for the tea. Finally, I fill 4 cups with my 'award-winning tea' but add one extra special ingredient to his cup- I spit in it. We exchange smiles as I serve him his cup of tea and I think to myself "Uncle is right. Domestic work is a lot of fun." I could let these things go, ignore them, stop being petty. But why should I when I can let them make me angry enough to do something about them? Casual sexism has ruined my life and continues to affect it currently but I have decided to fight against it even if it takes small independent steps and winning some heated arguments.