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  • Writer's pictureThe Feminist Times


Does this title sound like an oxymoron? Well, have you not heard your mother constantly reinforcing

the importance of knowing how to excel household chores because as a woman, it is our duty to

perform this job at our “to be home”? To begin with, my mother is often asked what dishes I can

prepare, completely disregarding my knowledge and explorations in countless other areas under the

sun. If cooking was my forte, then surely, I would have loved this question, but in reality, it is not.

The society loves to make assumptions and claim that just because I have no interest in preparing

lavish dishes for my to be husband, it implies immaturity and a lack of personality. I have had the

opportunity of meeting a couple of eligible bachelors but unfortunately, every single time, the same

question was brought up- if I knew how to cook. I swear I would have actually learnt how to cook by

now had these people not destroyed my patience towards the subject by putting up the question in

the most indignant way possible. This is followed by a checklist of questions about the kind of job I

do as they want to make sure it is respectful enough for a girl and does not involve displaying hips.

They want to make sure it is decent enough so I can start late and leave early to make as much time

as possible to be a dutiful daughter in law and wife. It should also be worthy enough so I can

contribute in paying the bills. According to these people, a job should be truly matrimonial in all

these regards so it suits the girl and the members of her new marital home. In this society, as a

woman, you cannot be ambitious and aim to achieve career milestones because of your so called

“duties.” I have to return home on time and feed my family because that should be my priority as a

woman. If I meet clients and toil away at office, it will end in “a broken marriage” as a result of which

I will be labelled as that girl who was too ambitious to keep my family happy. I will thus be setting a

bad example in front of all these teenage girls in my neighbourhood. Mothers will ask their

daughters to choose between a sensible woman with a perfect family or a deranged, irresponsible

woman like me that supposedly has a lot of money, but no one to spend with. Well, in my opinion, if

our society refuses to provide a healthy and accepting family to ambitious women then it their fault

and responsibility because they are missing out on the strongest and most versatile women ever.

- Meenakshi Sahu

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