Life of a non-earning man is no less than a dog’s life. I use harsh words to describe the problems faced by men and I accept that humbly. Our society has defined a man’s role as a Protector and a Provider – a kind of provider who will live a thankless life because it’s so taken for granted. Society classifies men into 3 different categories
1. Unable to meet his family’s needs.
2. Able to meet his family’s needs.
3. Able to meet more than the needs of his family.
It has to be noted that there is no mention about ‘his’ needs. If a person falls in first two categories, his life will be full of abuses, daily fights and zero sympathy towards his sacrifices.
One of my childhood friends decided to take a different path. He wanted to stay at home and do baby sitting and cooking. He shared this idea with his wife upfront before marriage and she was happy to lead and take the provider role in the family and getting so-called “Free life of going outside and demonstrating her power of having a house husband”. But on the other side, he was always abused by his family and relatives and friends for not taking up a job and being dependent on his wife. After having a son, things started changing from his wife’s side as well. She had to work more so that she can feed family of 5 people, with increasing demands. She had to go out and work for 10-12 hrs in a day with no fun-filled life.
My friend ensured that she faced no work load of home and continued doing cooking and taking care of child and school visits and education with support from maid for washing utensils and clothes. But the daily fights of increasing work load and office pressure pushed wife to ask him to work. He shared yesterday that Dhruv (his son) said “Papa, why don’t you go out and work? Everyone’s father does!”. This was like excavating the wound which society has been giving him for last 7-8 years. By the way, all this responsibility looks heavy for the wife but believe me, this is the life of every other man who is acting as a provider. He met me few days back and asked me to help him in getting a job.
This brings us to 2 important questions:
- Man in woman shoes is ready to take responsibility of the house but, is the society ready to accept if one starts doing same?
- Woman wants to be in man’s shoes but are women ready to take the load which a man carries on his shoulders as single earning member in the whole family?
We sympathize with the woman who stays at home and cooks food and have maids in their houses to wash utensils and clothes but never appreciate if the same is done by a man. Why?
We also like to appreciate a woman who goes out and work to support their family, but the same respect does not come for the man. Why?
So, life for man will always remain with ungrateful accusations whether he does baby sitting or takes a job. So, when he stays at home, society start abusing him for not taking job and depending on wife and when a man goes out, the general thought is as if he is going out for fun and his wife will be just living life in-house (mostly referred as jail by wife parents). But, are men having fun at their workplaces?
Whether he is a farmer who stands in the fields for 8-9 hours under hot sun with 50 degrees Celsius or a firefighter who puts his life in risk when someone else’s life is in danger or a drain cleaner who goes into deep shit so that we can have clean houses or a factory worker who works in front of deadly machines or an IT guy who works in life like hell for 12 hours daily to deliver his work with no mercy, men invariably are going to jobs only because of the lack of alternative.
So the next time when you see man going out for work and his wife waving her hand to say good-bye; do appreciate the man for his hard work and say thanks to your breadwinner because when he goes out to live a thankless life, the housewives or family get to eat and enjoy air-conditioned life at home.
Picture Courtesy: Sean MacEntee / Flickr