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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Is it 'normal' to be a housewife?

For debate-sake a friend asked "If you were ever to adorn a 'housewife's hat'… will it bore you?" I don't know the right answer. But really… Who is actually a housewife? Will I be bored if I have to cook, raise children and is loved in return… is domesticity over-rated and a boring thing? Is ambition = life = professional career? Is there a personal CV? Is employment being confused with occupation… roles/profiles… duties/responsibilities… dreams/goals?

Who decides what you should be? Money?

When did this word 'housewife' originate? Who were the first housewives in human history?

[When you have many questions two things help… Google and/or meditate! I do both… and I still do wander online for poetic or comical relief!]

Woman = Maid = Hardcore Domestic Work

Wikipedia explains… A housewife is a woman whose main occupation is running or managing the family's home — caring for and educating her children, cooking and storing food etc.

And what does the housemaid do? Is there is a difference in the job description? 

Wikipedia again… A maid, or housemaid or maidservant, is a female person employed in domestic service. Although now usually found only in the most wealthy of households, in the Victorian era domestic service was the second largest category of employment in England and Wales, after agricultural work.

Correct me if I am wrong. The word housemaid is of British origin, for a female who helps the housewife (or just the wife/lady of the home/everyone else in the home!?). She gets to do most of what the housewife is supposed to do but gets paid as well. Right? Am a bit confused here because in Dubai male helps are also called as maids. So much for the job description/language evolution. Forget where the gender has got itself into…

Of course I do know what my friend intended to ask… actually he meant to ask… will a woman feel lesser being a 'housewife'… or how important do you think is this role especially for an educated and seemingly career-oriented female. Actually it is not in the word... it is just the way it is intended. Wrong way, I would say!

My answer is simple. Let the person be sans gender and you will get an answer. Accept situations. Invent solutions… without being held back because you are so-and-so… a businessman, teacher, dentist, doctor, husband or wife… I bet these are 'normal' questions… but then am now sure why they say 'normal can be silly, unnecessary… and is often abnormally boring'.

By the way, Wikipedia has an exhaustive explanation to the word 'normal' too. To learn it you need to click various links to people, physiology, social sciences, chemistry, geology… mathematics. [Ya right… all are mathematics… which means 'all the same' in local Kerala slang.] We must ban this 'normal' question… of what do you do… unless they are prepared to hear exactly what you do… like 'I talk, walk… sometimes I entertain questions like these… etc'. 

[You can change the answers to 'normal' ones if the asker is a future builder. Remember you will need to risk being yourself whether the stranger is your future builder or a lame a**h***. If you ask me the one who will let you be your-risked-self and is coincidentally your future builder is not an a**h***.]

Sometimes I respond like Rahul Gandhi in front of Arnab Goswami. Where the latter won't listen and reiterate in a manner probably his parents and Cambridge professors taught him to be while you talk to/interview people… and the former continues to say how great it is to be a Gandhi empowered to do good in a nation of do-gooders! Excuse the saggi(ttarian) please! I did not want political interventions in this post… [But the warning note is there in my blog profile… I let thoughts pour unedited. No apologies!]

Put simply - it is nobody's business to get under your skin… even if they are unaware of their 'normal-ness' [Sorry Mr Wadia this has got nothing to do with you].

Being a woman is a sensitive matter… just let it be… I would say… because being a man is not easy either! Lets forget gender totally. It has no relevance these days even if women continue to give birth as per 'normal' understanding [normal as an exception to gender specificity here... I don't mean to say C-secs are not 'normal' anymore].

Ads & Videos

I am reminded of a recent ad of a sanitary napkin. Where… in a studio… young people - before and after puberty ages are asked to run/kick like a 'girl'. The volunteers both male and female react differently. The drive home message is that and there is nothing bad about being 'a girl' than how it is mentioned. Negative shades creep in when the intention colours the word 'girl' in a silly way.  It is a smart move by ad-makers these days to produce social massages… that lift up a woman's 'normally' bruised self-esteem… and they go viral… thanks to so many of us on social media. Marketing is now dressed like overalls… selling is encrypted at a sublimal level... hence more effective than ever. [Here is the link to that video.]

[Have you heard this man… the first one to wear a napkin in the history… its a wonderful/hilarious TED talk

Back to the future

So what is wrong with spending more time at home? Wife is just an English word to describe that you are married. What does the word has to do with the person you are? Right? Is it as derogatory as every female connotation/feminine word has become now? 

I am not sure of an answer here but all I can be sure of is that whatever one may what to tag you… what you remain is what you remain. Confusing? Ok. Let me try that again. 

You will be the core person that you are whether you choose to go to work in an office or home… or work for an office from home… or build your own business… clean your kitchen counter… make your art… raise your children [raising children is another topic I will dissect as am still exploring what many people do in its honour… I will find an answer to why parents 'possess' kids than rejoice them… and why some say parenting is a thankless job. Isn't every new born an arrow into the future… why do some parents come in its way?]

So what is wrong if you… cook lovely meals or eat out… whether you wear a skirt to work or gown to shopping. Is it not all/entirely your choice? Who decides what you should do? And how? And why?

According to me to be a housewife is not for the faint-hearted. I also don't think it is a sacrifice. Life is made by a choice to live it. It is not while you compromise being/learning who you are. If you are sick and tired of being what you are then rewrite the script… and have another drama please! I know of so many friends who are 'literally forced' to work, compromising on family's quality time. Because they believe they grew up listening to all that… and have no clue really what they are or what they want. So everyone who is sure of what they are doing in the name of a career is actually excused in this post. Even those who are just doing it for the meal on the table! [a roof on top… or Prada in the closet.]

I don't want to generalise and say women are meant to stay at home… No way… I don't want to get noticed by fanatics who would put a gun to my head and [pull the trigger or] ask me to blog about 'an ideal woman's roles'. [What is ideal now!? I will skip Wikipedia learning for that one.] 

I will speak only of/for personal growth… sans gender/age… because that is the deciding factor between regressive thoughts and progressive leaps.

You cannot assign a role to anyone else than when you beg for one yourself. [Please read that sentence again.] Better still… why assign profile's to life's roles… there are plenty of other real 'normal' better things to do.

Can't we just live a good life than wasting the precious time around the bush… for brownie points/acknowledgement etc etc.

Bluvian conclusion

I just told my friend I would rather be just B'lu whether that is 'normal' or not. A tag is like a collar to the dog… if you ask me… [for humans to read the address on the locket and deposit him back to the kennel he ran away from… thinking the poor thing must be lost!?]. 

Honestly there is no difference in being an entrepreneur, spiritual teacher, artist or a layman [I don't understand who exactly a layman is … will Wiki later]… the problem is probably when you assign it with a gender. It is then that the women, men… wives or husbands are supposed to do some certain normal/abnormal so-and-sos. 

Please let us live in this century! Gone are the Victorians. Let us please kill [in a non-violent way by blessing those who lack spiritual/personal growth/right vocabulary] the keepers of the society… those thoughtless vandals responsible for deteriorating the words in the dictionary as well as the society of its 'normal' no-pun-intended casual usages of the kind [that are not so kind/well-humoured].

I would not trade being B'lu for any tags under the Sun… I may stay at home or go out… raise kids or cook meals… make money or spend it… I can't be writing a contract on what it is being me… I can try explaining what freedom means to me just as I do explore it. But one thing is for sure… I will remain happy and share my life with a lot of people who progressively love exploring what they are and love me in return more than I ask for :)

I am damn lucky to be me! Thank you!