I came across, not one, but three posts, all ranting about a Mumbai Mirror article by a professional counsellor and psychologist, Uttam Dave. All three are perfectly justified in their ranting. I am equally outraged by all the stupid, sexist and absolutely one-sided advice that Dave is spouting, in a newspaper no less. But, when I first read Chandni’s post, I was dismissive of the article as the rants of an old man who was yet to get out of the 13th Century. I am assuming he is old, but if he is younger, then I am even more scandalised at the attitude. I have nothing to add to what Chandni, Nita and SC have to say.
But then, what outraged me more than the article was this site, that Nita pointed me to. This “finishing school” trains women in “etiquette” and “home management”. Now, wait a sec. I do understand that getting married means taking on a lot of responsibility, most of the time, of the kind we are not used to as we live with parents who do the job. But, does that not apply to men too? A lot of men have no idea about home management, budgeting, entertaining guests or organising parties either. And, just why is this kind of work considered the exclusive domain of the wife? If marriage is a partnership, both partners must learn how to manage a home. If there is a finishing school that teaches women how to cook, clean, change sheets and go grocery shopping, men must learn them all too. After all, men must contribute, at least partially, to housework right?
As Nita says, the woman (more often than not a girl in her early 20s) leaves familiar surroundings, parents, friends, her home city and even her country to go and settle down with a family that is so reluctant to accept her. What she needs, is not stupid advice telling her to “adjust”, but a reassurance from husband and in-laws that all will be well. The article, while sounding sexist and one-sided, also portrays all in-laws as cruel and insensitive. To their credit, many modern families go the extra mile to make the transition easier. It’s time we stop giving such sexist advice and understand that it takes two to tango.