I Want To Be A Dad. – Radhika Vaz

“The truth is I am a shallow, shell of a person who wants a life with as little responsibility as humanly possible and so, while I don’t think I want to be a mother, what I wouldn’t mind being is a father.

Think about it, a dad has it all. For one thing he does not have to get pregnant, he doesn’t have to sacrifice the joys of drugs and alcohol for the requisite amount of time it takes to bake a baby… If men had to quit smoking, drinking and drugging for even just the 9 months it takes to grow a kid – never mind the whole run up to getting pregnant and then the breast feeding time after wards – just the 9 months – you watch, we’d have a lot fewer kids running around.

People are supposed to tell women we would make good mothers, it’s an unwritten rule. Because if they don’t tell us that we would all stop having kids and there would be no people left.

And finally my favorite part of being a dad – you can become fat and bald and no one will ever say ‘wow he really let himself go after the baby’. Look around you. Where are the hot dads?

… we have a bunch of middle-aged guys in those awful dad-sandals and flappy shorts, swilling beer and not even trying to hold in their gut.

Do you have any idea what I would give for that life?

Link shared by Jeanne and after reading this one article, I googled to find more about the author and found a treasure of hilarious videos – take a look at this one about Virginity.

More irreverent, scandalous videos here.

Most unladylike😀

Don’t you think we need some such intelligent comedians? Most comedians we see on the Indian television seem to go on and on about men wishing to replace their wives with new cars or new wives.

49 thoughts on “I Want To Be A Dad. – Radhika Vaz

  1. I attended a close friends birthday Party yesterday ! and I am very convinced I donot even want to be a dad .. But yea , when I look at obedient , multi talented wives of successful managers around , i don’t mind having one🙂 .. but may then I can always have household help .

    Loved the video .. .. she echos my thoughts🙂

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  2. wow telepathy or what? Just today i was thinking indian dads are so oblivious and so comfortable in their zones ! They are a tad worser than their west counterparts because they are excused from knowing which std their child is, what’s going on in child’s head and if the girl /daughter does something they can absolve total responsibility on the mother.All they have to do is bring home the money and nothing else..and some don’t even do that properly.Yeah i want to be the dad too ! I really cringe when other women and husbands of young mothers bitch about weight and how she ‘doesn’t take care of herself’

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    • Yes, I’m convinced that it takes stupendous amounts of good karma to be born an Indian male.🙂

      If you’re an Indian man, society has virtually no expectations of you, except earning a paycheck (also optional).

      Very few societies celebrate, venerate and deify men the way Indian society does.

      The only thing dad are expected to do is earn a living — everything else is completely optional. Can’t change a diaper? No problem, what’s the wife for.

      Want to be a parent without lifting a finger? No problems, you’re a dad!🙂

      Of course, there are also plenty of loving, caring dads around who get tarred with the same brush.

      The thing is dads can choose how involved a parent they wish to be. Mothers don’t have this luxury in our society.

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    • Indeed. I think it has something to do with the culture. Something I have observed every since I started living in the mainland – Indian people in general seem to be very feudal and very nasty, rude and inegalitarian towards other people, especially people they feel are below them in social hierarchy. Kindness and politeness are seen as a sign of weakness (implied sychophancy) rather than good manners. It is all pervasive – children, adults, elderly, men, women, almost everyone.
       
      So while a white male tourist might have a lot to say about the hospitality of Indians, an African male student or a Manipuri female is going to have different tales to tell, altogether.

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      • I agree. Most Indians I know have an inferiority complex towards Europeans/Americans while they have a superiority complex towards Africans. They get offended if India is compared to Africa for any thing. Like you said, they are acutely alive to the existence of class and caste distinctions. Our culture dismisses equality and fraternity as a western concept not suited for the Indian environment. However, with more and more economic opportunities reaching the (so-called) lower castes, this situation looks to be changing, albeit slowly.

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  3. “The truth is I am a shallow, shell of a person who wants a life with as little responsibility as humanly possible and so, while I don’t think I want to be a mother, what I wouldn’t mind being is a father.”

    Totally get this part!

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  4. OMG I like Radhika Vaz too! Haven’t watched this particular one before, but it’s great we have some funny feminists out there:) Too bad she performs mostly in the USA, we need more of her ilk performing in front of *certain* groups in India!

    Unfortunately becoming a parent is for men sort of separate from their existence- no 9 months of carrying the baby inside their bodies, no painful process then getting the baby out, not being the primary baby dairy- that it’s entirely up to them as to HOW involved they want to get as parents.

    One thing you learn when working with children is that there are many many varieties of dads , but relatively fewer kinds of mothers!

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    • //No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer and crippled by it. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Newton, Faraday, Plato, Aquinas, Beethoven, Handel, Kant, Hume. Jesus. They all seem to have managed quite well. Every woman who chooses—joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of her own free will and desire—not to have a child does womankind a massive favor in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather….// Caitlin Moran, Read more at location 3600

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  5. This is was funny, but very understandable. It kind of shows that while for women, we’re taught to believe it’s our highest calling. A phrase that tossed around a lot is “being a mother is the most important job in the world.” But it’s not exactly the case for men and fatherhood.

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  6. ““The truth is I am a shallow, shell of a person who wants a life with as little responsibility as humanly possible…”
    Or in short…a free spirit. What is so shallow about wanting to live your life on your terms, rather than what is the ‘norm’ in the society you live in? Marriages and the concept of family as the social ideal is rather shallow as well, when you think of it. Having babies and keeping a family doesn’t require cognitive or philosophical though beyond immediate biological functions and hormonal responses; even though it is idolised as something divine in the Hindu, Islamic and Christian world.
     
    Having said that, there will be far more fit dads if Indian women emphasised as much on looks as men did. Fitness is largely incentive driven and Indian men, like a lot of Indian women have no incentive to stay fit and slim after marriage. Once they have ‘phasao-ed’ their spouses, its a one way ticket to obesity and eventual heart ailment/diabetes. Rather than complaining about the double standards, women could have turned the tables, by talking about men’s weight gain as well and getting over the cultural belief that love = food.
     
    Pooja Bedi’s article in Times of India is an excellent perspective on this issue. While she picked women’s weight gain, I feel the buck goes for men as well –> http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-26/man-woman/31100793_1_indian-women-relationships-phas

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    • She was being funny/sarcastic/tongue in cheek about the shallowness.
      For you second point women don’t really get to have a say in men’s fitness. The fatter the husband the “better” he is looked after etc. Any loss of weight even when it’s beneficial is blamed on the wife. I’ve seen this at close quarters. My husband was slightly overweight before we got married and lost weight after. This was due to his own effort and going to the gym etc. But every single person who met him after he lost weight attributed it to me. Most thought it was an improvement but a significant minority, including his parents/ other elders in his family thought it was all due to my lack of care. I never paid attention to this and neither did he but that’s just a sample of how it isn’t easy to say “turn the tables”. In a slightly less liberal set up I’d have faced open snide remarks which would have been a disincentive for me to encourage any weight loss.

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      • I have never understood why wives are supposed to infantilise their husbands under the guise of caring of them.

        Caring for your husband is limited to feeding him, buying/washing his underwear, socks and fussing over him like he was a helpless infant.

        I’d hate it if anybody told me when\how much to eat and washed my undies for me. Yet many men expect it of their wives. Do they like being babied?

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        • I think wives and mothers teach dependence of sorts (including being babied) to men they depend on. They feel insecure and somehow his ‘needing’ them reassures them that they are not useless.

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        • You’re right IHM, I’d never thought of that before.

          Yes, I suppose its to be expected when mothers/wives have no income of their own.

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        • lol.. Each partner lets the other take charge of a part of his or her life. Considering that a lot of people live in dorms, hostels or in foreign countries when they are single, both the partners would have been handling these things themselves before getting married. They are creating interdependence where none is needed. I thought this was how things worked in traditional Indian marriages.

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    • @ sphinx
      “The fatter the husband the “better” he is looked after etc. ”
      I am familiar with that trope. Hence my assertion that the cultural attitude of equating love with food be done away with.
       
      @ biwo
      Familiar with this as well, as a boyfriend, not a husband. When one of my ex- used to spend time at my place, one of our biggest bones of contention was her tendency to ‘arrange’ my books, clothes, etc.; and attempts to dictate on what I should dress like, the length of my hair or that I shouldn’t hang out with some of my friends. I considered it as some cultural practice of bossing around, which apparently is considered a sign of being involved (~caring) but I guess IHM’s perspective puts new light on the matter. Maybe bossing their man around gives women a sense of control that is otherwise missing in their lives, given the patriarchial orientation of this culture.

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    • @ sphinx
      Why not have your relationships on your terms for a change, and not what the society judges you to be like? If you husband loses weight, it is beneficial for the two of you, so why would you let people’s opinion of your chemistry dis-incentivise you?

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      • Agreed. Just tell them they should look into weight related diseases and maybe a comment about how they could use a trip to the gym too.

        Some of my aunts would particularly cook high fat items dripping in sugar and ghee when my dad visited them. We always told them off for it. Polite but firm. Eventually the aunts got the point. No way could they have blamed mum for not indulging him enough.. it was pretty clear that would never fly.

        People do take cues from your reaction and will back off. Just take control. Unless you are in a mega-abusive place where people are ready to strike you for ‘talking back’, in which case you ( not you personally, one in that situation) have bigger problems.

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      • My relationship with my husband is on my terms and as I said I paid no attention to the comments. I was pointing out the incident as an example of what societal norms are like. In my case it was something I could ignore because I did not care about or more importantly “need” anyone’s approval but for someone who did it would be a very different situation. This would have just been another black mark against the daughter-in-law.

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    • Marriages and the concept of family as the social ideal is rather shallow as well, when you think of it. Having babies and keeping a family doesn’t require cognitive or philosophical though beyond immediate biological functions and hormonal responses;

      I suppose that’s one way of looking at it (not exactly disagreeing with you BTW). That’s why so many cultures throughout have maintained gender roles for so long. In regards to motherhood, I know a lot of women who became mothers and didn’t pursue anything else, but for them motherhood defined their entire existence. Of course there’s nothing wrong with devoting your life to motherhood, however I just feel that it shouldn’t be the only purpose in life. Same for people choosing to have families. It’s viewed as something people just do and nothing else. So with that in mind, what’s the point of keeping up one’s appearance? I guess for a lot people they feel they did what they were supposed to do and don’t need to do anything else.

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  7. For once I do not agree with the spirit of the post.

    If I take a random sample of ten women in my group of friends, I find every single husband an involved and equal parent. Having known some of them before they had children, I’d say having kids has rounded off their rough edges.

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    • N, in general dads are not expected to give up careers, alcohol, smoking etc, dads do not go through pregnancies, or changes in their bodies etc when they become dads. Dads are also under pressure to look like ‘hot dads’ the way ‘Yummy mummies’ are.

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      • True IHM. But I do not agree that they *all* fall under the ‘having a good time while the mother suffers’ category.

        Also I don’t agree with the word ‘expect’. If a woman chooses to smoke or drink alcohol during her pregnancy it will harm the baby in her body. That is scientifically proven (the same way that smoking in general is proven to be bad for health – man or woman). If she has a baby in her body she is responsible to him/her and therefore should not smoke or drink alcohol, and not because she is expected to stop smoking or drink alcohol by her husband or folks-in-law or random strangers.

        About looking ‘yummy’, I ‘d say this – being fit is a good idea, helps one in the long run. One should do it for that reason, not because of expectations of anyone else.

        You might say yes all this is good in theory but these expectations are very real. I’d say its about time a woman stood up, thought about the expectations, picked up the ones that make sense (not smoking during pregnancy and being fit after baby) and ask the rest to go for a long hike.

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        • I will tell you an example . There was a couple , dated during college , smoked and drank together .Got married and for 5 years chose not to have baby .spend their time in US , partied some more , smoked some more . Due to recession Guy lost his job , they had to move back to Hyd . wifey got better job in Hyd and they thought its time to have a baby . So , there she got pregnant . she tried her best to stay away from Ciggis , she told her husband that if she get the smell , its harder to control . Now , This gut would still smoke at home , and she would crave for cigiis .. For the sake of baby , she did not smoke or drink for 9 months + 3 months of breastfeeding but she had a really bad time doing this . This guy did not have to . When she was heavily pregnant he used to go out and party . No doubt she left him with the Kid an went to US for 6 months when Kid was 6 months old, of course that made her bad mother but she needed her solitude also , with the job, baby and such idiotic husband around . Baby is both the parents responsibility . half of men dn’t even take their wives to doctors . Half of them yell at mothers when babies cry as that gives them headache ( i have seen this happening to my friend) . And I have seen men dating when wife’s away at her mom’s place for childbirth.when you need your husband most, you are packed off to your parent’s place and only when you are ready to serve husband and have sex you come back ??

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        • @preetiid, I have no doubt that such men exist. But I don’t think this is a socially acceptable state of dad-hood.. this dad is going rogue. A doctor will advice a man to give up smoking at least at home when the wife is pregnant or baby is small too. Passive smoking is worse that active smoking. If he chooses to do it anyway.. well some mums might choose to do it despite medical advice too. This is not a society thing.. this is just irresponsible adults.

          If he’s having affairs while she’s away, does she know? And if she knows, will she put up with it? Society is just you and me. If that man knew that his wife would leave him and sue for alimony if he cheated, he probably would think twice about it. Fact is that most women will put up with it and just blame the women he cheated with. Let’s start expecting better from men in our lives and eventually we will get better.

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        • Carvaka – Alimony is very difficult to get for Indian women, most women give up any claims so long as they get a divorce and custody of their children. Men having affairs or atleast being treated with sympathy during the wife’s pregnancy is not uncommon. After childbirth, dads are known to complain that they do not get the kind of care and attention they did earlier.
          And my cook’s husband smokes bidi, she is due in November. In their case, she claims she tells him to turn to the other side and he mostly does that. He really doesn’t think his doing anything would make much difference.

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      • Why is it that so many women think that the tag of ‘yummy mummy’ is a compliment. I find it really derogatory. Also the ease with which so many urban ‘educated’ guys use the term ‘MILF’.

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  8. At first I thought this was a serious commentary and I had quite a so-called ‘WTF moment’. But then I realized she was being flippant and yeah, it was funny. Quite funny indeed.

    Still, I do think fatherhood can be quite magical. I never planned to have kids, and for me, the adoption route was a very recent U-turn, so the magic did not quite sink in. It didn’t sink in until one windy evening, when on my way out to a formal party, I lost close to a thousand dollars worth of my very best shirt, tie and trouser in a matter of moments to baby puke – and did not even give a second thought to it in the rush of making sure that the originator of that unpleasant mass was quite all right.

    I know Radhika is kidding here, but for some reason, I had a vision of myself in those floppy shorts with a huge beer belly, and it made me shudder. I don’t want to be there, living that kind of life. Ever.😀

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  9. I can only relate to this in parts. My dad has been nagged plenty to get fitter in the past. He equally changed nappies and moved jobs to be more available to the kids. I know my husband is a lot more concerned about our future kids than I am.. he was the one looking out for child-related-hazards when we looked at houses.

    I agree that generally it is more acceptable for a man to smoke, drink etc.. but in my experience a dad is equally advised to give up smoking as a mom because passive smoking is equally bad coming from either. Sure only mums are medically required to give these up when pregnant/ lactating. But they’re also expected to be lavished with food and nutrition during those times, unlike the dad.

    Yes I would totally let my husband do the pregnancy and delivery if I could! But.. that’s just biology. I think it is a pitfall of feminism if we define equality as being exactly like men. It is a fact that it’s women who have babies.. and yes it’s painful.. but again it’s something men cannot do even if they want to. They have grounds to complain of bias there too!

    Females have a very limited number of eggs, they gestate the baby, they then feed it for the first few months of it’s life. They generally ‘care’ more because they simply have more invested in the baby than males. That’s just biology. Human dads are actually much more invested in babies than other primate species because of our social structure and low number of kids. Are we saying we prefer male biology over female? That doesn’t sound very egalitarian.

    I think society pressurises men and women both to have babies. Those famous men were not the norm of their time.. but they managed because they could still have sex and remain childless. Unlike women (birth control wasn’t very developed). When all women have access and awareness about effective birth control, we will start seeing more childless women. My issue related to parenthood is that workplaces should provide equal paternity and maternity leave.. or ‘parental leave’ like Sweden which the mum and dad can split amongst them as they wish. I think most social/ workplace discrimination will disappear if we stop forcing women to take time out for babies and forcing men to be absent parents.

    (I must write shorter comment.. sorry for hogging space IHM)

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  10. I think it’s anindividual choice men make. Some want to be involved some dont . My FIL whom I never met apparently was more involved in my hubby’s life than his mom. And he was a bsy dr. My dd didn’t know if we went to school let alone wat class.🙂. Ane in terms of career success was no great career. Yet he had no time or inclination to be in our lives. He always said he would lay down the framework and moms executed it. Yet now he’s unable to understand why my brothers don’t want to be with him…
    I think every man is different. Even in my young days there were good dads , bad dads and every shade in between. Depended on your luck.
    In our case my husband was more Han on till the boys were about 11-12 yrs. then I loved it I was not so baby happy. I prefer the teen yrs . But their dad is their comfort person . I’m more a girl problem solver, career fixer, growin up issue fixer.

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  11. If men had to quit smoking, drinking and drugging for even just the 9 months it takes to grow a kid – never mind the whole run up to getting pregnant and then the breast feeding time after wards – just the 9 months – you watch, we’d have a lot fewer kids running around.

    This is classic and something which I have been telling men who trivialise moms.

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  12. @ Praveen
    “I don’t want to be there, living that kind of life. Ever.”
    I think most middle class Indian men, if they had the right motivation and approach, wouldn’t want to live that life. If I got a pound for peers or ‘uncle-jis’ asking me for tips on how to get a flat stomach, how to develop big arms OR to reset my gym time to theirs (~free personal trainers), I’d own beachfront property in Goa already.
     
    @ Carvaka
    While I can’t speak for IHM, I do like you comment, as long as they may be – your original, fresh and pragmatic perspective on issues. Keep up the good work!
     
    @ Jay
    On that note, in the last few years, I have seen a lot of my feminist and independant female friends settle down in traditional gender role marriages, on their own accord, after they realised earning a living for a household is more of a cake that they could digest.

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  13. I’ve thought this as well! The first time I thought I might want children was when I considered what it would be like to be a dad. I can do that. Then I read a story about a (fictional) lesbian couple with children, where one of the women went by “Daddy.” So it is a possibility.🙂

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