Rani opened the door and wriggled straight to the kitchen trying to avoid my direct confrontation. That bruise beneath her left eye was distinctly revealing how it could have appeared there, but her mannerism indicated that though she is ready to treat me as a guest, I need not question her for anything.
Still I couldn’t help myself poke my nose into her business.
“Nothing much, we had an argument yesterday.” She replied with a smile, and her stretched lips made my mind boggle that how much pain she might be carrying in that fake smile.
How else could a wife behave when she has been degraded by her husband last night? After-all he is the owner, not only of the house but her also. She looks upon him for all her needs and he has the right to treat her however he wants. As the bread winner of the family he has the decree where and how to spent his hard earned money; playing the liaison link of family, he has that stress to regulate with whom and to which extent the outer world has to be communicated: being the only intellectual persona of the family, he is the governing authority regarding every aspect of the house. The entire role which he has to play, the decision maker, bread winner, liasioning agent and many petty other responsibilities, obviously necessitates to brutally show his power over the subordinates at times.
What if she has to attend the house, with the same patience, fondliness, determination with which he handles the work at office! It’s just some petty house chore and that’s his work; What if she spends the entire day doggedly cleaning the house hunting for the concealed cobwebs, piling the clothes, arranging for the needs of the family, he is the tedious one who works under stress from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. So what if she is committed to work from dawn to dusk on endless petty missions for the family, the family which constitutes her and him: she still has the time to sleep, to catch with the neighbours, to gossip, to shop, to entertain herself; so much leisure time to spend! How can she even think to be on the similar coin where the efforts of the poor husband is engraved!
The poor he: one who wakes up calling her for laying the breakfast, one who after finishing the newspaper hurries putting on the attire she has cleaned and pressed for him to wear, one who while leaving for office entrusts her with the responsibility to take care of the house, one who expects her to be ready with a cup of tea and some snacks along with her comforting smile as soon as he enters the house in the evening, the one who frowns at her if the dinner she had prepared is salt deficient or otherwise, and sometimes even uses his arm to bounce the plate with the food back to her if served cold because he had a tiring day at office. How could she even excuse herself being weary neglecting her duties even for one day; at the cost of comfort of that distressed, tired, exhausted, over-fatigued person!
What if she has to laundry the big bed sheets, draperies any other giant clothing’s without any aid, he is still stronger as he can slap and demean his wife whenever and wherever he feels. After-all he is masculine and she is feminine. Masculinity is indeed more powerful, so powerful that it enables a man to enrage upon that petite woman: the women who loves him, takes care of his needs, and solely depends on him for her every decision. His virility gives him right to decrease her every now and then. He is humorous enough to make a jest of her parents and of her too; but sensitive too to not tolerate any comments made on him and his parents. If he interferes in her homely chores he care for her, if she interferes in his worldly transactions, she doesn’t respects her enough.
How the stereotype image from the ages had bonded with us humans. Two distinct genders, though both have a mind of their own, still she believes it to be appropriate that the authority to be the police for her choice of clothes, her mannerisms should be in someone others hands. He cannot be termed as wrong, why one would willingly give the authority to command when it is dutifully bestowed upon him. The dominance, the decision makes him powerful and it can’t be seen as his fault if her consent is not involved in anything. It’s not justified when some women revolutionary agencies call him to be patriarchal. It can’t be called as his fault ever. When he has been given the power, why will he disempower himself on his own, if she doesn’t speak for herself?
Though there seem to be some change in scenario in modern setup; the increasingly number of women have started working while a considerate number of husbands take care of home too, but how much scenario has changed is still a matter of concern. However it seems that people have begun to understand that war in every house is not about women empowerment, but it’s about being understood in one’s own house, about acceptance, about respect, about the struggle to retain her dignity.