Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 19
MM and her husband started to view the act of being able to serve oneself and eat as a survival skill. And NOT a way to demonstrate or receive love.
MM still did most of the chores, but her husband was now solely responsible for some. Unlike earlier, she stopped stepping in on days he forgot, happy to let things stay undone until he had time for them.
Daily chores, even a minimal amount of them, demand organization. And not being rescued finally got MM’s husband to moderate the over-busy that had been just too much for them and was creating stress.
He loved his work and his hobbies and didn’t wish to sacrifice these things. So he did something she’d been asking him to do for a long time without much success. He started to put aside his cellphone on the weekends!
ADHD and Gender Roles
MM had taught many young student’s who had highly disorganized daily schedules over the years. Some had very high levels of anxiety and she thought some might have had undiagnosed ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or some other condition that creates executive disfunction.
Many Indian families today live with a busy and an over-dependence on maids that is unhealthy. And MM felt that that slower lifestyles and each member of the family doing a minimal amount of chores at home would bring much happiness.
She often wondered why patriarchy meant that the boy child should not learn to do his share of housework and chores, in families where the girl child was expected to. Especially since the value of chores in developing grounded personalities was so evident to her.
She wondered if this had been a response, at some time in the past, to provide support for the child with executive disfunction. Maybe from a time far back, when this was not a known and recognized condition.
From a time when men with this problem needed support so they could go out and earn. But when women with executive disfunction had roles which kept them within the home and community so they got the support they needed?
A gender role created possibly, because the executive disfunction of women was camouflaged by the need to conform to expectations of a society where women lived with more rules than men? And a lot less understanding when they broke those rules?
Could this be the reason, she wondered, why personal independence became a gender related issue. Where women took on chores like serving and plating food, and men learned this is their due. She didn’t really know. But wondered.
She had been teaching for many years and noticed that the child who wants personal independence the least and resists it, usually is the one who needs it the most.
The Troubles of Today
There are many common issues families face today. The busy. A lack of personal independence in children that keeps mothers on duty with no breaks even when children get older. And helps the elderly get old before their time.
Or relationships that are so need based with no reciprocation, that they don’t provide emotional support. And let’s not forget that one thing that keeps us in touch more than ever, yet creates a distance like never before.
Do You Ever?
Do you ever leave your house without your phone call up somebody who lives alone feel grateful for the friend who was there through the sad let your maid have a day off when her back is bad? Do you call up someone just to say hi make time to look at the clear blue sky talk to your kids and hear what they say do you tell them a little about your day? Do you wish your neighbours because you’re polite or only when you have need and you think this is alright. Do you pass them by when the need is gone and wonder why your children can’t find friendship with strong bonds! Do you talk to your family – just chat and laugh or reminisce about days that have long ago passed do you teach your kids to spend time with the old and form bonds that will anchor them when life gets cold?
I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.