Twisted Interpretations of a Campaign

What happens when a Women-friendly campaign comes up?

Well, there is a lot of mess. Some misinterpret the campaign, some read in between the lines and twist it grotesquely, some look at the positive side, some try to quash it some accept it as it is and some don’t care at all.

Ariel introduced its #ShareTheLoad campaign and interestingly, I came across some mind-blowing interpretations from some places. While the campaign was introduced to spread awareness about the high stress levels in working women today due to their job and the work at home, people have dissected every other aspect of the campaign except this one. That is when I realised that people’s mindset is twisted to an extreme point where they are unable to see things as they are. Here are some things that got me thinking:

1. The campaign is anti-men and it shames men– Since the campaign talks about men helping women and since it doesn’t talk about women sharing men’s load, it is anti-men.

I was totally wonder-struck seeing the reasoning here. If a campaign talks about A doing B a favour and if it doesn’t talk about B doing A a favour, it can’t be considered anti-A unless it explicitly states that B shouldn’t return the favour.

I think people take it this way because, some find the campaign accusatory. They think the campaign blames men and they think it makes it mandatory for them to help their wives. Many have taken it as an insult to the gender. How could an outsider shame them by asking them to share the laundry, was their question.

On the contrary, the intention is merely to spread awareness. Over-thinking is unnecessary.

2. Women will find an excuse not to work due to this campaign – Women who have the tendency to find excuses to not work, do they need the help of a campaign? I am not biased. I know women who’ll go to any extent to shun work. They don’t need this campaign for support.

While, there are the other women who have been doing the work. I doubt that they’ll suddenly stop working seeing this campaign. Whether they think that it is a woman’s job, whether they are employed or unemployed, if they have been doing it, they’ll continue doing it. The campaign is so that men help. Not so that women stop doing the work. There is a difference and a rational woman knows it. For all I know, almost all are simply seeing the campaign and forgetting it.

Besides, it’s just a campaign. Not a Law.

3. Women don’t contribute financially, then why should men share the chores? – A very relevant question. It is implied. If both are working, both contribute financially as well as towards the functioning of the household. If one doesn’t contribute financially, he/she must do it some other way.

These days, in matrimonial ads, there is demand for employed women. This implies that the family is also counting on her income. When that is the case, in majority of such cases, the woman will be contributing financially (exceptions always exist). So, the situation widely exists in the current scenario where women contribute too. But in all those cases, are the house chores shared? The answer is no and this is what the campaign is aimed at.

4. Nowadays there are maids. Then why should men share the chores?

If there are maids for every job, leave alone sharing, the work itself doesn’t exist. The entire topic gets invalidated. So obviously, it talks about the case where the women do the chores.

5. Let the men decide for themselves

The underlying assumption while fighting against this campaign is that it is mandatory. They assume the campaigners are deciding how rest of the world should live.

Ariel or anyone supporting the campaign haven’t ‘made the decisions’ for anyone. It promotes the idea of sharing the work. And yes! Ultimately, it is left to the discretion of the husband and wife. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t spread an awareness right?

*****

Earlier, all the women were housewives and so, they took care of the chores at home. The division of responsibility was clear. Our parents and we all grew up watching things happen in this manner. Father earning, Mother doing the chores at home. It seemed perfect and well defined.

Then came our generation where women are career oriented too. Some of them, both men and women, have the thought embedded in their genes that house chores are a woman’s job. They normally do it after work and while many men help them, many don’t. They can’t be blamed because for them, wife doing the work just seems normal. This video will give an idea:

What the campaign actually is –  A summary

It is aimed at couples who are both employed and are contributing to the household financially. In such cases, women get super-stressed doing both job and household chores. Here, if men lend a helping hand and share the load, ultimately you are the ones who’ll have more time together.

As people argue, no one can decide your life. No one can order men to share the work. (Do keep in mind that no one can tell a working woman that house chores are hers either.) So, each of you could do as you please. For those who understand that too much stress could be unhealthy for your wife, I suggest that they share the load. This isn’t me deciding your life for you.

Those who prefer a stay at home wife, you don’t really have to bother about this campaign. There are women who aren’t career oriented and love being a housewife. I respect this choice too.

Where you want to spread awareness about something, for instance women sharing financial responsibilities, start a campaign to spread awareness rather than trying to quash another. Because, if you quash this problem, even your problem will go unanswered. We need to wake up and listen to understand rather than listening to argue.

PS – I know many men who understand the essence of the campaign. I know many who help their wives and mothers in house chores. I am aware of the problems that are caused due to women too. This write up is definitely keeping in mind that every coin has two sides to it.

I’m joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

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