The Feminist Times
The Art of Being GHARELU
There’s always a breeze of predominant issues lingering in our day today lives. Someday it would be age-old sexism prohibiting you to exercise your basic rights and someday it will be Misogyny. I will name it and I surmise you must’ve encountered it. The old African proverb still stands so relevant that “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation)” it stands true in the light that the idea of obscuring gender bias will only come through powerful women who are determined to oust patriarchy while men are busy representing themselves as Gender equality adherent.
One such issue of Male dominance that I discovered to be totally evident in plenty of households is the idea of having their daughter-in-law as Domestic in nature also prominently known by the word GHARELU in India. You must’ve come across aunties preaching young girls to be Gharelu so that they can find some Good rishtas. Yet, I should tell you it’s not just a word but an attribute, a praise-worthy comment, a quality that needs to be inherited if you’re an Indian girl. While Gharelu means a person who is devoted towards the day to day household activities and I do not find it wrong in any manner but when did devotion towards one’s house become Gender prohibited?
Much of the same as our CV reflects our characteristics of being Consistent and Hardworking similarly Indian girls need to have this one quality that can make Indian aunties go gaga over them. It boils down to the fact that Gharelu is a necessity in their insight. If Indians do not find anything wrong in a girl whose Gharelu, why is it that any Career-Oriented or Financially Independent girl threatens them so much?
Most of the Indian advertisements show women obsessed with washing clothes and utensils. Their free labour is celebrated so amusingly in ad films with jingle rhymes and Bollywood celebrities endorsing their brands. This thought is so soaked up within us that occasionally we simply don't address it. Girls bringing snacks tray to serve the boy’s family and show herself as “Sanskaari” in nature is shown with much pomp in motion pictures also. While a boy doing these same things could only be as normal as a girl doing it but I see only a few brands changing their style of representing it.
A few months back a controversy over Scotch-Brite logo representing a woman with bindi was called out by Karthik Srinivasan, a communications strategy consultant to which the company head of marketing Atul Mathur, replied that It’s surely a time to move on from the “Regressive beliefs” he likewise concluded it by saying that the logo will change in a couple of months. We are encircled with things that speak to an off-base ideal or impose a gender restrictive belief however the need to question it is needed at every front if we never question it’s never gonna change. Next time question the aunties if the boy is Gharelu or not? Our Choices shape us so follow your dreams of becoming the best version of yourself. Don’t let the stereotypes stop you. Let’s smash the patriarchy, one question at a time”.
-Harleen Kaur Khanuja