What misogynists dream and joke about.

What we find funny, what we joke about, what we put down and what we glorify – don’t they indicate what we think and why we think like that?

Sharing an email. 

Hi IHM,

I just happened to read this blog post, which a friend of mine shared on facebook as humour.
While reading this what struck me was how almost nothing was expected out of the dad. (Probably because “he was too busy working for the wife and daughter’s future”. That is the excuse we generally hear from men who do not spend time with their families.)
Jayalekshmy Nair

Bangalore: In a shocking incident in the IT hub of India, 2-year old baby Neha is refusing to identify her own mom, who left her at a creche called “Your Kids are our Kids” 2 days back before leaving to office. The baby is now gesturing to the aaya of the creche, Shantaben, and mumbling “Amma.. Amma”. The unfortunate mom, only known to us as Mrs.B, landed up in this weird situation after she failed to get her baby back from the creche because of a pending release at her office which resulted in 2 straight night outs.

The creche authorities are refusing to hand over the baby to Mrs.B as she had lost the receipt that the creche issues when the baby is deposited left with them. It seems that Mrs.B wipe up her hands with the creche receipt after having Pizza with her colleagues at Office during their night out. “What receipt?” Mrs.B fumed “Is this some vehicle parking at a Mall that we need to present bills and receipts to get our vehicle… eh.. baby back?” (Read more)

144 thoughts on “What misogynists dream and joke about.

  1. Maybe I’m just not reading it right, but I don’t get vibes that the working woman in the joke is being villified or subtly made out to be the villain. Of course, my wife and I don’t have kids so perhaps I’m missing something. To me, it’s just a story that I don’t find particularly funny, but I guess I can imagine it being so to some people…

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    • so would the same people who you can imagine finding it funny, find it funny if the piece was about a software engineer father. May be you can enlighten me on what’s funny here even for those who might find it funny?
      The whole satire on ‘Kalyug ki naari’ how can you miss it? And that’s what is offensive here. So if I leave children for a week with their father for work does it also mean that I wipe my hands with important receipts and pick other children from work and all I care about is work? And If I am having dinner at work, its not called a night out!
      Why do I have to explain this to you Bhagwad? Please tell me you get why this is offensive and regressive

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      • “So would the same people who you can imagine finding it funny, find it funny if the piece was about a software engineer father.”

        I think so…I didn’t even register the gender of the parent here.

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    • Warning: Long-winded answer. Because I feel strongly about this topic.

      I read the post and the follow-up post as well. I do not believe the author of the post is a misogynist.

      I didn’t think the joke (if at all it can be called that) was just on the woman. The husband doesn’t pick the wife’s call and instead replies with an SMS. The story may not have made the man the focal point but I think it narrates the sad state of today’s world – Mom and dad work long hours at office. They don’t have time to talk to each other. Baby is in daycare and prefers the caretaker. The society (manager) is blaming and faulting the kid. The mom does not remember which kid is hers.

      The problem here is not just the mom, not just the dad. It is the attitude. Once you have a baby you need to give up certain things, even if it is for a short while. Career, for instance. I have all the respect for moms who work even after having a baby because of a financial need (as in the family cannot meet the needs unless both mom and dad work). But I don’t care much for parents that are busy at work to make more money. The first few years of a kid’s life is important. A mom can provide the best care, better than a dad. That’s biology, not a preference. It is the dad’s job to support the mom. Not just financially but morally, emotionally and physically.

      I don’t understand this supposed new age feminism where women have to prove themselves by doing everything a man does. If career is so important then don’t have kids, it is as simple as that. In today’s world, there are lot of opportunities for women to gain knowledge even at home – blogs, free courses online, reading, empowering women in the neighborhood and more, all while being a mom. Why not utilize that? Is it just me or are there others that feel the priorities are messed up here when a woman is alright with relinquishing her time and having a boss manage her instead she can be her own boss and raise an amazing child with values and principles?

      I am not saying dad’s should be given a free rein on this. I do not condone gender bias or discrimination. I am saying that each gender has its own strengths and weakness and there are times when you should play your strengths and others where you need to be aware of your own weakness.

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      • Your idea that mothers can give better care is faulty. A mother’s care is only needed as long as the baby is breastfeeding. After that, the father is equally capable of changing diapers, feeding the baby, giving it a bath, and playing with it. Even during breastfeeding, mothers can pump the milk and leave it with the father to feed the baby. There is no biological necessity that only mothers can be good with babies. And what pearls of wisdom would you have with homosexual parents who want to adopt children?

        You ARE condoning gender bias and discrimination because the traditional ‘strengths’ of the woman actually put her at a financial risk the day she is born and that makes her desires subjective to the males in her family, which is what gender bias is all about.

        Every person has their own priorities and as long as their child is able to get quality time with them, they are not answerable to you or to anyone else. There is literally no need for women to “use opportunities to gain knowledge even at home – blogs, free courses online, reading, empowering women in the neighborhood and more, all while being a mom” because hey, DADS can do this too! It’s not a biological impossibility for men, you know. How about DADS getting empowered by reading blogs and doing free online courses and getting ’empowered’ while being a DAD? Why don’t you consider that option is available to people? If you are disregarding this as an option for dads, but are pushing it as a good option for moms, you ARE discriminating and the word for it is ‘misogynist’

        The one thing I do agree with you is that parents must find the time to take care of the children, dads can do this as well as mums. What is important is that the child bonds with BOTH parents. If one parent is required to take time off for dealing with special needs, it ought to be a discussion on whether it’s going to be the mum or dad. Let’s have no such shit that only women must look after babies. Sorry for being rude, but pffffttttt!!! Frankly, given a baby in my hands, I will run a mile, while I know many men who positively coo over any baby they see. In other words, you are wrong.

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        • I think only father and mother can decide what will work best for their family and they should negotiate beforehand how the child rearing will be managed. I really do not understand what biological compulsion people talk about when they say only moms can be good in rearing the kids. Do they mean moms feel love more naturally for the kids. I think that would be a little offensive for the dads and counter to all the hard work that millions of dads put in for their kids. If both parents are working and it is important for them that only a parent should manage the kid in early years, they can alternately take breaks from careers so that neither of them is hurt or misses out on child rearing. They can also decide this issue based on whose career is on a more critical stage.

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        • BTW, I have been hands on dad for my first daughter and really can’t think of any skill that I lacked in taking care of her. Its not rocket science anyway. Just preparing the bottle, feeding, helping them burp, changing diapers, playing, singing, baking pizzas. Its mostly fun things ( well at least for me how it was). All you need is two hands, a little patience and lots of love for the child.

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      • Gender discrimination is exactly what you are supporting in your pious comment where you convey that raising an amazing child with sound values and principles is clearly a mother’s job who must leave her job and stay at home to do the honours. I can’t decide which statement of yours is more offending .where you say the new feminism is proving yoursrlf by doing everything a man does??? So clearly having a flourishing career is a man thing to do while having well brought up kids is a womanly thing to do? I detest this glorification of motherhood where supposedly women are wholly responsible for bringing the kids up, teaching them stuff and all.I would like to ask that other than breastfeeding, what is it that a woman can contribute as a mother that a man can’t as a father? Why they can’t chip in 50 50 for kid while keeping their careers on track? I have with my own eyes seen new mothers utterly depressed with nothing to fill their days other than changing diapers and cries and wails of the baby..they long to get back to work, meet people of their age,carry on with their lives..this whole myth that the whole world ceases to exist for a woman once a baby is born, d baby is her whole life; all this is just social conditioning.
        Further on if a woman is immature, crooked and is a stay at home mom, will her children have ‘amazing’ values?

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      • I didn’t even notice the part about the husband because it was given so little play in the narrative. Because probably the author shares your view that ultimately child rearing is the mother’s duty and thus she has to take centrestage in any case of neglect. The fact is, though, how many mothers actually forget their children in daycare? There may be children that call their ayah’s amma sometimes by mistake, but so what?

        ” have all the respect for moms who work even after having a baby because of a financial need (as in the family cannot meet the needs unless both mom and dad work).” And yet nothing in the story indicated that the family did not need to money that came from the mother’s income.

        ” A mom can provide the best care, better than a dad. That’s biology, not a preference. It is the dad’s job to support the mom.” Hmm, some of us must have read a different biology textbook.

        “I don’t understand this supposed new age feminism where women have to prove themselves by doing everything a man does.” Even feminists don’t understand it and are critiquing it. In the meantime, parents find that they are trapped in a capitalist system that presumes that workers will be available at all hours and that “someone” will take care of the children.

        That said, in my view, kids need a loving and stable environment. Many people can play the role of caregiver besides biological parents and for time immemorial have done so.

        “Is it just me or are there others that feel the priorities are messed up here when a woman is alright with relinquishing her time and having a boss manage her instead she can be her own boss and raise an amazing child with values and principles?” Unfortunately, it’s not just you. Lots of people of people think like you. Some of us though believe it’s possible to “raise an amazing child with values and principles” and still go out to work because we enjoy it.

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        • When I was young, I used to call the maid mom because all the adults told me not to call her by her name and when I asked her what I should call her, she told me to call her mom, and I did.

          Was everybody else absent in this case?

          And parents forgetting children?! What bakwas? Clearly the person was never a parent.

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      • “A mom can provide the best care, better than a dad. That’s biology, not a preference.”

        No, that’s preference, not biology. There are plenty of women who are not fit to be mothers, biologically dictated or no. Similarly, there are plenty of fathers who are exceptionally good parents, fully capable of providing the best care during those early stages. Biology is not a dictating factor in a person’s destiny. Not to mention, such “biological observations” have long been debunked as pseudo-science. To believe them would be the same as believing the sun still revolves around the earth.

        “Is it just me or are there others that feel the priorities are messed up here when a woman is alright with relinquishing her time and having a boss manage her instead she can be her own boss and raise an amazing child with values and principles?”

        What makes you think that simply because a woman chooses to have a boss manage her, she is now rendered incapable of raising an amazing child with values and principles? There are many, many people on these forums, and people around the world, who are mothers, who have bosses, who have raised much better, much more self-sufficient children than mothers who have stayed at home and sacrificed it all.

        The onus of raising an amazing child does not solely rest upon how much time a parent has with them. It is a factor, but merely because there are parents out there whose priority lists have things other than their children at the top doesn’t make them bad parents. If I’m ever a parent, the first thing I would make sure that I do is go out and continue to chase my dreams as if I were still nineteen and stupid. Because those are the amazing values I want to impart to my child, that it’s okay to have many different priorities on the same ranking, that you can do it all and more if you commit yourself to it. That it’s okay to continue to dream, even as big life-changing events occur, that you simply have to learn to accommodate them.

        As for “being your own boss” when you are a mother, that idea is ridiculously laughable. I assure you, when you’re a mom, you’re not your own boss at all. Your child is definitely the boss in the situation. Your needs are being rearranged to fit those of another human being. Pretty sure that falls into the very definition of a boss.

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      • Prior to women being brainwashed by new age feminism, all moms stayed at home and raised ‘amazing children with values and principles’. Does that mean Men are incapable of imparting values and principles or they do not have any to begin with?
        If you do not ‘care for parents that are busy at work to make more money’, then you are free to not tread that path.But those who chose to make money while outsourcing childcare,ought to be free to do just that.Without everybody judging them,making fun of them.Right?

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        • Your first line echoes my sentiments too Aarti!

          I really don’t understand the logic that “women who stay home raise amazing children”! So, if the said “children” were so amazing, why do you have such sorry excuses for the men they have turned out to be?!
          Or are we wiping out an entire species of human beings (men) by calling them incapable of imparting good values to their children?!
          As far as I know, the misogynistic men have mothers “who stayed home”!

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      • Wow, can you sense the incredible misogyny wrapped under the covers of cuddly cute babies here..

        “Once you have a baby you need to give up certain things, even if it is for a short while. Career, for instance.”

        Why should only women have to give up her career? No one is expecting that from a father. And please, career is not just a “certain things”, similar to giving up meat on xyz days or not drinking during pregnancy. My career is what I have worked very very hard to achieve right from back when I was a kid. It is an essential part of who I am as a human, part of what I contribute to society and what gives me an incredible sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in life. Yes I know most corporate jobs as soul sucking ultimately making some rich CEO even richer but paid work is still a meaningful endeavor not to be belittled against cute babies. Staying out of work for a year or two WILL derail your career especially in ambitious powerful career tracks (may be not for secretaries or other low level workers).

        “A mom can provide the best care, better than a dad. That’s biology, not a preference.”
        What has biology got to do with changing diapers, feeding a baby and playing with him/her when awake? Why can’t men share such honorable task? As for breastfeeding, one can always pump ahead of time and baby can have that milk from a bottle.

        “It is the dad’s job to support the mom. Not just financially but morally, emotionally and physically.”
        What if this honorable dad looses his job, leaves you for a younger women, abuses you or dies early ? Why hand over your financial security over to someone else and remain at their mercy and goodwill?

        “If career is so important then don’t have kids, it is as simple as that.”
        Oh please, don’t give me this silly ass excuse, men get to have kids and keep their careers intact, then why not women? Why all this “pick one or the other” only for women when men get a fucking platter full of all the goodies in life.

        “there are lot of opportunities for women to gain knowledge even at home – blogs, free courses online, reading, empowering women in the neighborhood”

        No offense to women who do this (great job IHM on this blog) but no I would not find fulfillment in free online learning courses. I already have degrees from top colleges, why should I let that go to waste? I very much want the recognition, money and prestige that comes from rising in your professional career, that is nothing to be ashamed of or guilty of. No one says that to a man, in fact he is worshiped as god for being successful and woman are given these infinite guilt trips.

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        • @Sowmya,

          I’m afraid you are giving mixed signals all over the place, so that was unclear to me. Let me make my points very clear:

          1) Linking women’s careers with bad parenting is baseless. Poor parenting can be done without a career, there is no relationship there. Time together is not equal to parenting quality. An abusive parent can do more harm at home!

          2) You seem to think that women’s careers are secondary to men’s. There is no basis for this belief other than cultural and gender bias. If you have an issue with working moms, feel free not to be one yourself, but you cannot impose that on all women. Childcare just seems an excuse for this issue. Not all SAHM are great parents either, you know.

          3) Feminists are not ‘making’ women work. Many many women want to work.

          You say: “I do not condone gender bias or discrimination.” and then you also say “I am saying that each gender has its own strengths and weakness”.. somewhat contradictory. Considering that this toddler has been born already and may not even be breastfeeding now, what is it that the mom can do better?

          ” But once a kid is in the picture someone HAS to raise the kid. It can be the mother or the father.”
          Or it can be both. In which case no one person needs to be at home all the time.

          “But I AM judging women that have their priorities mixed up.”
          So… motherhood excludes all other vocations in life? Does fatherhood exclude all other vocations in life? A career for the woman or man does not mean ‘mixed priorities’. Life is not a zero sum game.

          ” If your husband is earning enough for the family AND you have a kid, what then are you doing at an IT job working for worthless cause?”
          A woman’s career and income is only supplementary to the man? Wow, I find that offensive as a working woman. A woman in a ‘worthless IT job’ can change her job and her financial independence is extremely valuable. What happens in case of death or divorce? Jobs aren’t 24/7, they allow for parenting time.

          “How does the kid learn not to use violence? How does a kid learn not to disrespect women?”
          Women in previous generations were SAHMs and yet their children learnt patriarchy and disrespect for women and violence. Because they had no exposure, no opportunities to work, no independence. I’m sure many aware working moms/ dads have done a better job of teaching egalitarian values.

          You have a strange discomfort with women working IT jobs, perhaps you yourself didn’t like them? I LOVE my job. I don’t see how I will ’empower women’ by giving it up, as you say? If you don’t want to work and can afford not to, I support your choice. Not all working moms are poor parents, not all SAHMs are good parents. People have the right to their own choices.

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        • Ugh.. I commented at the wrong place. This is meant for Sowmya further down this thread, in a reply to my comment starting with ‘I think people don’t…’.

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        • @AnnonDiva. Well of course everybody is entitled to make his own choice. If career is the main focus of your life, then put career first. Personnally, I have always chosen to put children first, because I feel better that way, so when I got kids I took only certain kind of jobs, often part-time.

          You mention recognition, money and prestige as what comes from pursuing a career. To me working means money and independance, but it also means being in the rat race and having to put up with tantrums and jealousy from people I don’t really care about, having to conform to shallow values. What I mean is ; taking time for your kids probably means sacrifices, but taking time for your career also means sacrifices. It is a matter of personal preferences.

          And by the way, in Europe, some dads put their career on hold to take care of their kids.

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        • AnnonDiva, whenever I made a case for women being economically independent and made the same arguments about what if the husband was abusive, if he died early, or left the wife for someone younger, the answers I got was “Why think negative?” and “Bad things do not happen to good people”. People genuinely feel that if one thinks negative, negative will happen. Also they feel that if misfortune falls on a person, he/she must have done something wrong to deserve that.

          When I was a kid a relative of mine decided to do her BEd because her children were not so small and she had time on her hands. But unfortunately and coincidentally her husband died in an accident as soon as she had completed her BEd. She took up a job immediately and started taking care of her children. Instead of being happy that she had empowered herself and would not be a burden on anyone, people started to say that she was preparing for her husband’s death by doing BEd. What does one say about such creepy thinking? As a child I believed all this because that was the kind of environment I grew up in.

          India has not changed much after so many decades. I see this kind of thinking even in the highly educated, and those who have migrated to the US decades ago. Has nothing of that society rubbed off on them and made them evolve? We are stuck in our age old superstitions and so called traditions. What we drastically need is a scientific temper.

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      • I think people don’t understand biology and hence use it for their gender=fate thinking.

        The mother can give birth to the baby and breastfeed the baby, which the father cannot, but everything else can be done just as well by both father and mother. Please don’t insult all fathers by saying ‘mothers can do better’. That’s completely baseless. Either parent can neglect children for whatever reason, career or not, and it is wrong for both men and women to do so.

        “I don’t understand this supposed new age feminism where women have to prove themselves by doing everything a man does.”
        – Women don’t HAVE to do anything a man does in new-age feminism, but women should have the CHOICE and opportunity to do everything a man does.. just like black people should have the access to everything that white people can do.. because gender or colour should not determine your life. Sounds pretty straight forward to me. Again, that’s not why parents neglect children, neglect can happen even when the mother/father is at home all the time.

        “If career is so important then don’t have kids, it is as simple as that.”
        – Careers are important for men too, why do you not give them the same advice? And in that case, should the family not earn any money and all starve to death? Don’t you see how biased this way of thinking is? Is this child not as much her husband’s responsibility as hers?

        My cousin once refused to recognise her father and cried for a day after he shaved off his moustache. Does this mean no man should ever shave off his moustache?

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        • @carvaka
          Your last para drives home the point much better than any long comment written here.
          Plus, it left me in splits🙂

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        • “I am not saying dads should be given a free rein on this. I do not condone gender bias or discrimination. I am saying that each gender has its own strengths and weakness and there are times when you should play your strengths and others where you need to be aware of your own weakness”

          What part of the above is unclear?

          I did NOT say women cannot do everything that a man does. I did NOT say women have to give up their top paying career. The discussion here is based on the 2 year old child in that specific post. It is MY judgement call based on that particular story. I have no respect for a society (or a man or a woman) that has made it so hard to place value on child rearing that women take up mediocre jobs and be pushed around by bosses for an unfulfilling job than take pleasure in raising kids.

          Assuming a woman knows she wants to focus on her career before she gets married, it is NOT that hard to decide not to have kids. But once a kid is in the picture someone HAS to raise the kid. It can be the mother or the father.

          Having said that, I am not talking to men here. I am choosing to ignore men here just for a minute, (as in I am not delving in to what men’s roles are etc) and directing my discussion at all the supposed feminists or moms here, only for the sake of this discussion.

          Now, the way I define work or career is by three things – creativity, independence and learning. Is your job creative enough? Do you have the freedom to try different things? Are you constantly learning and growing?

          Do women get all of the above in their career? If not, how do you justify that time away from your kid? Money? That doesn’t cut it.
          How does the kid learn not to use violence? How does a kid learn not to disrespect women? How does a kid learn not to discriminate? How does a kid learn compassion? Schools are not teaching that. Day cares most definitely are not.

          I am NOT judging the previous generation moms or even the current generation moms that HAVE to work to make a living. I have the utmost respect for them. (if your parents worked and you are fine with that, good for you).

          But I AM judging women that have their priorities mixed up. As feminists you talk about rape, men staring, abuse, discrimination etc etc. If your husband is earning enough for the family AND you have a kid, what then are you doing at an IT job working for worthless cause? Why aren’t you empowering other women by NOT taking up the IT job while raising your kid? Men don’t know how it feels when a woman is stared at, men don’t understand a lot of things, isn’t that true? Aren’t you then a better person to spread awareness, empower and enlighten? Why not do that while raising a kid, now that you decided to HAVE a kid?

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        • “Now, the way I define work or career is by three things – creativity, independence and learning. Is your job creative enough? Do you have the freedom to try different things? Are you constantly learning and growing?

          Do women get all of the above in their career? If not, how do you justify that time away from your kid? Money? That doesn’t cut it.”

          How did you come by this rule? A contemporary version of the manusmriti? *rolls eyes*

          You seem to be missing a very fundamental point here. Women don’t have to “justify” their choices to people who presume to sit in judgment on them because they don’t follow arbitrary rules of dubious origin. If they choose to work a dead-end job in preference to sitting at home and “imparting values and principles” to their children, it’s STILL a valid choice.

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        • What is this? Third grade? For every sentence it is almost like a rule that is followed here in the comments comparing “Why don’t you ask the man that question?”.

          Let’s for a moment keep aside what is wrong with men and what more they can do. There’s plenty wrong, everyone agrees.

          As bloggers/women/feminists that are accusing people randomly of misogyny with such passion and no evidence, ask yourself is there something that the women do wrongly (given that there is plenty wrong with men)? Can the moms of this generation do things differently to make things better in society? Or is there nothing they can change and they are ALL perfect as they are? Go ahead make the list of top five changes that moms need to make. (Don’t worry there is plenty of time after that to find fault with men. Once you do that list honestly, I will join hands with you in the process of finding faults).

          I am judging the mom in the linked article. I am not calling the father a saint. I am reserving my opinions on how I judge him for a later time for the sake of simplicity.

          The way I see it, there is a burning house and there may be water available. The owner of the house is thinking “why should I throw water? One more person lives in this house, let that person throw water.”

          The society as projected in that article is like a burning house. Question is “Who is going to save the house?”

          The concept of “All SAHMs are saints” is not MY projection. It is some of the commenters own doing. I never once implied that.

          I have nothing against IT jobs or working moms or women or men or even humanity, just so I am clear. If you are an IT person that finds the job fulfilling, as much as I want to call that denial, good for you. If you are a mom that has found the world’s best full time daycare, good for you. If you are raising a kid with great values despite being a working mom, good for you. Then my response shouldn’t bother you.

          Does your kid greet even the watchman in your building the same way she greets her teacher? Boy or girl, is your kid taught to pitch in with the housework? Is your kid taught to thank the person that is helping out? Is your kid compassionate? Can your kid respect both genders in the family equally? Are you trying these things among your busy schedule be it at home or work? If the answer is yes, then my response shouldn’t bother you. If not, it is my intention to judge you.

          SO, once again, irrespective of anything else, I salute you if you are toiling hard to make ends meet. If not, I AM judging you. I am calling your priorities messed up. I see more working women around me that have no time for things that matter than the ones that do.
          If there is a cloud where things are better, GOOD FOR YOU. From where I stand I am not able to see the cloud. May be some day I will come to my senses, huh? Perhaps “decondition” even, who knows? :))

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        • @Sowmya: You can NEVER leave men out of the equation because they are 50% of the population, even more in India because of female foeticide. If you want to talk about creativity, independence and learning, I agree that many people in India are stuck in dead end jobs which seem to suck out their life force -to ME. For them, it may be exactly what is making them thrive. Also, men too must have the opportunity to have creativity, independence and learning in their jobs, so would you give them the advice to take it easy in their careers? You are being highly discriminating.

          If you think that women should stick to blog posts and online courses, the problem is that they won’t earn as well as men nor have any job security, and that will lead to their jobs being looked down upon because they aren’t bringing in the moolah, their contribution becomes secondary and their worth becomes less. Now this in itself is not a problem because people have a right to decide what job they want to do. But who exactly are you to judge?

          And one question, what do you think of men who work long hours? Or are all these restrictions applicable only to women?

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        • “Now, the way I define work or career is by three things”

          And this is where we run into issues. The way YOU define work or career is by three things. Where did you get the idea that 3.5 billion other women are bound by those same rules, and that if they are not, they are doing something wrong and should be judged?

          “Do women get all of the above in their career? If not, how do you justify that time away from your kid? Money? That doesn’t cut it.”

          Yes, money does cut it. I would work for money. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why I chose my career, aside from the fact that I like it and the fact that it stimulates my brain cells. I chose it because I know that I will be compensated fairly for doing hard work. To me, money, a position, a PhD are all signs that I have worked damned hard (a lesson that my WORKING PARENTS taught me) to succeed in my life. This is how I find fulfillment. This is how I thrive. I’m sorry, but you are the last person who gets to define what a job or career means to any woman other than yourself. So please take your self-dictated rules and apply them where they are applicable, which is your own life and not mine.

          “Assuming a woman knows she wants to focus on her career before she gets married, it is NOT that hard to decide not to have kids. But once a kid is in the picture someone HAS to raise the kid. It can be the mother or the father.”

          Here’s an impossibly novel idea–why can’t a woman do BOTH? In fact, why can’t all people do both? Why can’t all people focus on their LIVES, which includes careers and children? Why can’t people realize that giving both an equal measure of attention is entirely possible? And why is it, that people can’t realize, that even if there are times when career takes precedence over the children you have, that this is OKAY? That you don’t always have to be bound by your reproductive success. That it’s okay to do things that make you, and only you, happy? Why is it that automatically after you have a child, everything that has to do with focusing solely upon you and your own life must become non-existent? When on earth did we start thinking that wanting to be a single human being with unique goals and aspirations is something that is incompatible with bringing another life, and raising that other life?

          Here’s my two cents–I think you’re the one in denial here, stuck in an impossibly narrow perspective of the world that allows for either one thing or another. Sad really.

          “How does the kid learn not to use violence? How does a kid learn not to disrespect women? How does a kid learn not to discriminate? How does a kid learn compassion? Schools are not teaching that. Day cares most definitely are not.”

          I learned not to use violence from my mother and father, who both worked. I learned not to disrespect women from my parents, who BOTH worked, from a father who never put down my mother for doing better than he did. I learned not to discriminate from my parents who worked jobs that were well beneath their intelligence levels in a country that refused to acknowledge how highly qualified they were. I learned compassion from my parents who both worked, who took me along to interviews and taught me the importance of being kind and writing thank you notes to everyone from the secretary to their interviewers.

          The fact that you think that just because both sets of parents work automatically equates to not raising good kids is insulting to every single one of us who had working mothers and fathers. Especially working mothers, who often felt the stigma from people like you. Who stewed day and night over the perceived neglect they were doling out to their kids, when what we saw was nothing but selflessness and kindness, and extremely exceptional parenting.

          Like

        • “If the answer is yes, then my response shouldn’t bother you. If not, it is my intention to judge you.”

          The fact that you see fit to judge others bothers me, period.

          Like

        • “If your husband is earning enough for the family AND you have a kid, what then are you doing at an IT job working for worthless cause? Why aren’t you empowering other women by NOT taking up the IT job while raising your kid? ”

          Maybe she is working at an IT job, for a worthless cause, BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO. Because to her, working at an IT job for that worthless cause is something that gives her life meaning. Because it is empowering to her and other women when she exercises her choices and desire to do something for herself rather than ascribe to the desires of other people all the time. Empowerment is doing what makes you happy, period, because you want to do it, and not because other people are telling you that this is how you should be happy.

          If you find it empowering to refuse that IT job and raise a child, go ahead. More power to you for exercising your right to do what makes you happy, and I hope that you find your venture fulfilling. No doubt you will, because this is what makes you tick. This is what makes you get up in the morning. This is not the same for all other women. Telling the rest of us that we should give up the things that we love, that we would endure any amount of discomfort for, simply because you, personally, don’t find it empowering, is ridiculous. You don’t get to define such things for others.

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        • @Sowmya,

          “I salute you if you are toiling hard to make ends meet. If not, I AM judging you.”

          You are so missing the point. Moms should only work to make ends meet? Because all SAHMs pay constant attention to their kids, do they? Perhaps all women should be burnt to death once their kids or husbands die too. After all, they have no other purpose in life, do they?

          Does it make you feel better about your decision if you attack others for choices different to your own? Are you confident you’re the best parent around? I could probably pull up many articles about negligent abusive SAHMs, because bad parenting can happen anywhere. It depends on the person, not their job.

          It’s so narrow minded of you to think that every woman in an IT job fulfilling is in denial. Do you really think you know about every IT job in the world? I LOVE my job. My boss loves hers. Steve jobs loved his. I’m afraid you have ZERO authority to act like you know what all jobs look like.

          How ‘generous’ of you to leave men out of the equation. Except you are not speaking of single mums, so men are half of the equation. Sharing chores and childcare means that no one person needs to do it full-time, so how can you ignore men? Some say that your most important career decision is who you marry.

          Being judgemental is not something to be proud of. I think there’s no point replying to you beyond this because you are blind to any views other than your own. Otherwise you would have spotted many women in the comments who are doing great as moms and who have jobs they like.. and realised that not everyone is you.

          Like

      • @Sowmya
        My mother worked even on the day that I was born , took 3 months off afterwards, and went back full time. By your theory, I should have sustained some serious emotional damage right?
        Yes, our house wasn’t the neatest, and our meals were probably repetitive and simple, and maybe my sister and I had to learn to to things for ourselves(like getting ready for school,or braiding each other’s hair,or making bournvita) fairly soon-BUT here’s the thing-
        I never felt anything but love emanate from her. Sure,there was a caretaker in the early years, but it’s laughable for people like you to suggest that our bond has been weakened by her life choices. I do have certain difficulties in my relationship with her as an adult, ALL of which stem from her ‘traditional’ worldview, and if anything, these difficulties would have been only exacerbated had she been even more traditional and decided not to work!
        Saving the best for last- I have yet to meet a person-male or female- more enthusiastic about their work than my mother. This role she essays, is hers and hers alone-not mother/daughter/sister to someone- and she TRULY ENJOYS what she does for a living. I’ve not met anybody who revels in their 9-5 like her and in that way, she’s a great role model for young people like me🙂

        By choosing to paint women like her as greedy ambitious money-hungry people ‘trying to be men’, your own biases and discomfort with choices different to yours are revealed.

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        • Seconded! I’m the child of two working parents. Both my parents worked and I had a happy and well adjusted childhood. BOTH of my parents sacrificed to make sure that their jobs were flexible enough to meet their parenting duties. I never felt unloved or uncared for and I have an amazing relationship with both my parents. Sometimes when I was sick or needed help with something mom took care of it and sometimes dad was the one who took care of it. Sometimes, when neither mom or dad could be there it was grandma, or an uncle and aunt or very rarely friends of my parents. Thats what family and friends do…they take care of each other. The saddest thing about your worldview, Sowmya, is that your kids may never have the experience of dad or grandma taking care of them when they’re sick or attending their school play during an occasion when mom can’t make it. I have wonderful memories of being cared for by my mom, but I also have wonderful memories of the other amazing adults who have cared for me in my life, especially my dad.

          And I’m sorry, but I fail to understand why its bad or immoral when a mother is working for money or self-fulfillment. A woman doesn’t cease to be a person with her own dreams and ambitions when she has a child. A mother who is happy and fulfilled will make a better mother than one who feels discontent and resentful of what she’s had to give up. Staying at home or continuing to work are both wonderful and valid life choices for mothers AND FATHERS. There is no one size fits all solution to parenting. Family circumstances are different, children are different, parents are different. People should be able to do what’s best for their family situation without unnecessary judgment from people who have no idea what is going on in that particular family.

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        • Thanks for writing what I wanted to write. Sowmya clearly thinks that my husband(and his brother) and myself(and my brother) have not learned to not use violence and disrespect women around us because our mothers were working women. I am 26 now, my mother retires next Monday. I am proud of her. Not for a minute did I have an inkling that my mother was not wholly dedicated to us. Just as her career did not define her, having us for kids does not define her, either. She is her own person. A totally unique personality that is a sheer joy to be around.

          I totally agree with this, desidaaru – “Yes, our house wasn’t the neatest, and our meals were probably repetitive and simple, and maybe my sister and I had to learn to to things for ourselves(like getting ready for school,or braiding each other’s hair,or making bournvita) fairly soon-BUT here’s the thing-
          I never felt anything but love emanate from her. ”

          You know what else I resent in your post, Sowmya? This – ” Men don’t know how it feels when a woman is stared at, men don’t understand a lot of things, isn’t that true? ” – You are accusing all those extremely sensitive men in my life of not being capable of understanding the things I face and you think they are entirely incapable of teaching their children to never be disrespectful.

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        • @Sowmya I agree with you about the modern work culture being soul sapping, neither women nor men enjoy sitting in a cubicle doing the same monotonous paper work staring at computer screens. Their is no learning or creativity here, Human beings were not made to that, a quote from the movie “office space” put’s it better..

          “we don’t have a lot of time on this earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.”

          Many people are waking up to that, in the US people are leaving their high end salaried jobs for a more satisfying simpler living in the lap of nature. They learn to become self sufficient, they save money and buy land, learn how to grow their own food, rain water harvesting producing electricity through solar panels etc and hence becoming truly independent of the state and have all the time in the world to raise babies and love each other. They call it off the grid living. I suggest people to save up money and do just that, it is good for the planet.

          Money is not god, you don’t have to sell your soul for it. Watch this movie to open your eyes to a new paradigm….it is written and directed by a lady who thinks just like you sowmya. enjoy it

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        • Sowyma,

          “Creativity, learning, independence” are nice to have in a job. Some men and some women are lucky to have those. For the rest it is about baser things like money. Money also brings a kind of independence that along with emotional independence is very important for a married woman to have.

          Do you know what happens to SAHMs if they are widowed or divorced? Most struggle to even have a lifestyle that is half of their married lifestyle. Take a look at India’s property & asset distribution laws.

          Bringing up children takes about 15-20 years, there is a long life after that. It is not so easy to take online courses and blog during the children’s growing up years and then get back to work once they are out of the house.

          Finally, even in the most amicable and modern Indian marriages, it does matter whether both are earning or not. Earning money brings a certain independence and confidence that no A+ in child’s report card or beholding the most well-brought up child can bring.

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        • @Sowmya-
          “Why aren’t you empowering other women by NOT taking up the IT job while raising your kid?”
          How will my child being raised by me empower other women? Seriously wondering -HOW? Because a childless woman will get my job? Or I’ll have ‘free time’ to empower others?

          I can be a mom and work in the most dead-end, low paying , uncreative job while being married to a billionaire and still not have to justify it to anybody.
          Why?
          Because NOBODY asks a man to justify why HE deserves a chance to earn his own living.

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        • I loved your comment, i feel you just wrote about me and my sister. My mom also worked in the banking industry for 30 years, however, she was there for us always. We turned out to be toppers with degrees from ivy league schools and hold top management jobs and are loving and caring moms ourselves..

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      • A woman is still a woman even after becoming mom. First 6 months of baby requires the presence of mother and not 24/24 hrs in day. The best thing that a woman can do after these 6 months is to return to work. In this way she can handle more easy her post birth depression. There are many other benefits. Being a mom don’t mean end of life like woman. If a man think woman should be only a mom then he also should understand that is not his wife anymore. Is just a mom. Did you saw a man thinking like this? I didn’t! Having a job is not only a way to learn or to expand your knowledge. Having a job means to socialise, to have your own identity, to have your own financial independence. Is this disturbing for most indian men and their familie? Yes. Indian man is affraid that: his wife will be financial independent , his wife will cheat. Being financial independent is the biggest problem because that will make woman confident, will take her out from slavery, will give her oportunities, will give her a voice, will make her to divorce if the things go wrong.
        If the universe of a woman will be only her child then mental problems occur in time. Woman will start to think that child is her possesion, her achievement, her best thing. She will start to have feelings that never should have a mother. Also child will became 100% dependable of mother. Later in life conflicts appear. Is exactly what is happening in Indian society from years. Woman can be mom if she wants but first of all she is an individual.

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      • You said:
        …I don’t understand this supposed new age feminism where women have to prove themselves by doing everything a man does. If career is so important then don’t have kids, it is as simple as that.

        That issue was resolved in 1980s women are not competing with men to prove anything, feminism advocates everybody get an equal chance to do what they want to without encroaching other person’s rights. Who told you parenting is biology? Birthing is parenting is not. What if a man wants to raise his kids from the moment they are born, shouldn’t that be his right, shouldn’t it be our as a society job to support him in pursuing his goal?
        What do you have to say to these new dads on the block? http://newdadsontheblock.com/

        You said: … I am saying that each gender has its own strengths and weakness and there are times when you should play your strengths and others where you need to be aware of your own weakness.

        What do you have to say to Matt and Josh?

        According to your definition they should have nothing to do with early childcare but just work and make money to support childcare. Couples have to decide who is going to be the primary caregiver not based on the sex of one parent. Who ever chooses to be the primary caregiver or even if both share it equally that has to be their choice and we should be supporting them.

        Peace,
        Desi Girl

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        • I don’t agree with you DesiGirl, the issue was not resolved in the 1980’s and in Europe we have all these irritating women who despise and pressure women who chose to stop working, breastfeed, use washable nappies etc…

          I know you are very much into political feminism, while I’m more interested (nowadays) in exploring the feminine through other paths. I believe a woman and a man are equal but different, and a woman trying to behave like a man because she pursues equality, is exposing herself to the risk of being unhappy and unfulfilled. She may find this out by developping illnesses or addictions or getting burnt-out. I am not saying women should or shouldn’t do this or that. But I think it is important to find out about the way to do things in the feminine way. It is quite subtle. It means finding your own path. That’s the true feminism, in my opinion.

          That’s why I find it interesting that Sowmya is focusing on the notion of creativity and fulffillment.

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        • What is ‘feminine’? Some women might want to pursue ambitious careers, some might want to have babies. Some men might want to pursue ambitious careers, some might want to have babies. Some men and women might want to do both. It is up to the couple and the individual to decide what suits them best. I do not think it has or should have anything to do with your gender.

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        • @Victoria,

          What is feminine way of doing dishes, floor and changing diapers?

          Yes, it was resolved but every decade or half new generation of women will keep asking the same question not because they keep coming out of woodwork but because they did not get the exposure a whole movement. The issues raised on this blog are exactly what women raised in 1980s around the globe including India just in 30yrs five different generations of women garnered benefits outside the homes and homes (besides miniscule changes) more or so remained unchanged in the name of preserving culture and tradition and family values, rather gender role status quo.

          Anyway you are entitled to your opinion and stay stead fast to it.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • @Fem and DG. I was sure you would react that way. No pursuing the “feminine” does not mean adhering to gender stereotypes.

          You can be a feminist who decides to stay at home, because you feel that’s the best thing to do at one moment in your life, and you can also be a submissive working woman. I reject all tyrannies including feminist tyranny. But that’s my opinion only. And maybe it’s irrelevant regarding Indian society.

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        • @Victoria,

          You still haven’t explained what you mean by ‘feminine’. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a social construct and as such includes stuff like dressing up, make up, etc. I have nothing against these things, but I don’t think people not interested in such things should do them just because they are born female. Of course, I quite realize that not everyone defines feminine by the same criteria, so why don’t you share your definition of feminine?

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        • @Fem. I am placing myself from the perspective of authors like Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of “Women Who Run with Wolves”, from an archetypal /soul perspective. To me, although men and women are equal, there are also different ; it is important, in a certain kind of work, to explore the similarities but also the differences. So, bypassing the social construct, a movement from the individual to the archetype/soul.

          In my country where there are few women politicians, women ministers are often mocked by male politicians for the way they dress – as if you could take power, only if you mimick men, dressing in dark suits – it was especially the case for a minister who likes bright colours and another one who likes flowery dresses.

          I was also once reading an article on how women are subtly prevented from accessing executive roles at work (in my country), because all important meetings are scheduled at the end of the day; past 6 or 7 pm ; since women often pick up children from school, women with children could not attend or had to sacrifice their family (same applies for fathers). The article told how one female manager changed this when she got the job ; scheduling short meetings in the morning or early afternoon. Most men wouldn’t dare take such a decision. Often women are worse than men in the office place because they are afraid of appearing weak. Actually I know see trainings for “being assertive the feminine way”.

          Personally, it took me many years to stop playing the man, I had to go through a bad breakdown, to finally get in touch with my “feminine side” and realize how I had maimed my soul. Now that I am a scarred old tiger, it makes me feel sad to see pictures of the soft cub I used to be.

          Is there any solution in this world to be yourself without becoming a ruthless warrior, when you are a woman, and what do we lose in the process of fighting, what do we have to give up to get more power and social freedom ? I often wonder about all this.

          As DesiGirl says, Peace to all.

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      • You said: Is your job creative enough? Do you have the freedom to try different things? Are you constantly learning and growing?

        DG vaguely recalls you have posted this argument few months back. Anyway just asking
        the woman who slogs in the fields sowing the paddy in a back breaking job that brings rice to your table and some in on her is definitely meets the 3 requirements you put forward. Oh, the domestic help who comes and cleans and cooks for many what about them, they are definitely learn and grow into become super maids from molly maids. Ok she works out of need and you are saying if it is not a need for a woman to work then she should not want to work. Rather once they are done childcare they should devote their time to uplifting other women in need. Great we are back to square one, women need to uplift other women and men should remain oblivious to the plight of 50% of humanity. So it is to each their own kind… That is definitely learning and growing.

        Oh, what if a man is not getting the 3 things you said then what is his choice, give up and sit at home or keep slogging in that hamster wheel just because he is a man?

        Isn’t it we check the priorities as why are we working for and who are we working for? Don’t the companies people slog for have any responsibilities towards the employees or they can just write a CSR cheques and be done and let the employees slog company has done a kind deed of uplifting someone some where.

        If in 2013 people cannot decide what they want to do then it is a shame that we haven’t moved a bit forward since 1920s coz’ these were the same points Indian women raised when they went to factory work.

        Every few months bringing the same argument isn’t doing anything here.
        Peace,

        Desi Girl

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        • @ Sowmya “Having said that, I am not talking to men here. I am choosing to ignore men here just for a minute, (as in I am not delving in to what men’s roles are etc) and directing my discussion at all the supposed feminists or moms here, only for the sake of this discussion.”

          That’s the core problem with both the original satirical piece and your comments. They are primarily addressed to women. Why is that? Why is this kind of advice and these kind of jibes primarily addressed to women?

          There would be problems with the piece even if it was more gender neutral because it seems to assume that people always have a choice in how many hours they work and that there are a plethora of opportunities that offer stable working hours (let’s not get into the unpredictability and stress of the commute in Indian cities) or maybe that families have a choice of being a one-income household. The latter choice is not available to most Indian families. The stereotype of the modern working woman is bandied about as if it’s a new thing, when the majority of women in India who form the middle, lower-middle and poorer classes have worked for ages. If the piece was truly critiquing working conditions in corporate India, there would be more about that than the mother’s relationship to the child.

          Your definition of a “career” is utopian and elitist. Few people in the world have the pleasure of such a job.

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      • Woah, a lot of mistaken assumptions here –
        “A mom can provide the best care, better than a dad. That’s biology, not a preference.”
        I disagree. I know a lot of single dads who take wonderful care of their kids, make their meals, take them to soccer games, help them with homework, give them tons of confidence and inspire them to be good kids. I also know some stay at home moms who are terrible at parenting – one mom watches soaps all day, another mom I know pushes her kid so hard in academics the kid now has serious emotional issues. There are good and bad parents among both men and women.

        “I don’t understand this supposed new age feminism where women have to prove themselves by doing everything a man does.”
        What is new age feminism? If you mean equality, it isn’t about proving, it’s about exercising choice. Women don’t have to prove anything. They can choose to do what they want and desire. For example, I don’t smoke because I don’t want to. I don’t have to start smoking to ‘prove’ I can ‘do it like a man.” If another woman smokes, she isn’t trying to ‘prove’ anything, she is simply choosing to smoke. Why are the choices women make seen as ‘trying to prove something’?

        “In today’s world, there are lot of opportunities for women to gain knowledge even at home – blogs, …… etc.”
        This sounds extremely patronizing. This is no different that parents asking their daughters to be ‘thankful’ for being given an education, in-laws asking their d-i-ls to be ‘thankful’ for being allowed to wear jeans, for being ‘allowed’ to work. Thanks, but no thanks for this little gem of advice regarding reading blogs etc. If I want to pursue a career, I will.

        Please know that I’ve been a stay at home, part time working, and full time working mom at different stages in my life. Both my husband and I share our parenting duties. My husband is a good parent (even though he’s a man, surprise!) We have juggled various duties over the years as needed. We are always involved with our kids and make sure we are there to both discipline them as well as have fun with them and enjoy their childhood.

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        • I agree with you Sowmya on your overall concern over the attention given to children – children must be raised in a nurturing environment – when I see children being neglected, it bothers me too. I just don’t agree with your solution – that for children to have love and attention and support, moms must give up careers. I think for this to happen, both mom and dad need to share parenting duties. Also, they both need to be smart, aware parents.

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        • @Soumya
          These are seriously patronizing, judgemental comments ..may be you/we should reflect on general (our own, others) life and choices before judging other women’s messed up priorities and worthless IT careers. As a IT professional I was one pissed person when I read that comment. I strongly feel that ppl who are happy with their lives and choices are not judgy and hoity toity about others’ lives n choices and vice versa. I could go into a page long ranting session about your condescending statements… but I’ll just say this

          1)Random people/you have absolutely no right to judge a person or make sweeping generalised statements about people whose life they know zilch about

          2) My being a woman does not give any person a right to nitpick, analyse my life choices.. scrutinise if my job is creative enough, house is clean enough, child is cared enough, my priorities are non messed up enuf.. none of random people’s effing business..period!!

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      • Sowmya –

        My husband is the primary caretaker for our baby. My son is a very happy kiddo and he could not be in better hands.

        I continue to work after having my baby not only because of financial reasons but also because I WANT to work. Having a family and working has never been an either/or condition for men. Why does it have to be so for women? As long as the parents want the child, can provide for the child, like spending time with the child and can make time for the child, more power to them. In the long run, a child would be better off knowing that his/her parents have a wide variety of interests and that their life is not centered around him/her. I would want my child to be a well-rounded individual.

        Also, if reading blogs, doing online courses etc. is fulfilling to you, pursue that by all means. But please don’t use that as a golden standard that all “good” moms should be held to.

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        • Aarti,
          Your one liner is both insightful and enlightening at the same time! My spiritual guruji said this would happen. He said “A woman named Aarti will ask you to live in Afghanistan, you should pay heed or bad things will happen to you”.

          I am packing my bags as I type.

          Oh wait, I worry about one thing. What if there is a woman in Afghanistan that doesn’t like my opinion and says please go live in India, your ideals seem fit for a life there? What do you think? Should I still live in Afghanistan? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I guess I’ll just visit Afghanistan. Perhaps shuttle between India and Afghanistan, then.

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        • The lady gave her opinion, and if you are free to not agree with it.
          Taking a cheap shot by getting personal like in your comment above ain’t cool.

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    • @bhagwad- same here. I don’t find it funny, I don’t find it offensive either. It seems to satirize working conditions in the IT industry and pre-release madness in the office apart from obviously the woman who works in the industry, her distant,uninvolved husband and the kid in daycare. If the writer claims his intent was not malicious, and has nothing against working women, I’d prefer to believe him.

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  2. Ah yes, the evil working woman. Notice how the evil working man is conspicuous by his absence in the “satire”.
    My mom was/is a working woman. She even would go out of town for trainings and such. My father worked full time too. And yet somehow, me and many of my friends in the same boat not only managed to grow up just fine, we even have deep meaningful relationships with our parents.

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  3. I’m confused as to whether the author is making fun of the misogynists with this satire (as in, hey everyone look at the kind of nonsense that misogynists believe) OR making a very misogynistic
    ‘joke’ that mothers who work are somehow neglecting their children. Unfortunately, I’m more inclined to believe the latter.

    Maybe this should read–sad, pathetic man who fears his own inadequacies in the work place decides to make a dumb joke about ‘working mothers.’

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    • I sometimes wonder what every thing has to do with others inadequacies… what about our own incapability to handling the things? perhaphs, enough of hype that women are effective multi taskers…. everyone is human and mistakes do happen. no basking in a pseudo competency and undue moral pressures

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      • I think it has to do with this particular author’s (not some unknown ‘others’ that you refer to) inadequacies, as in his own insecurities regarding his professional life, because happy, secure men do not make ‘jokes’ like this regarding ‘working mothers.’

        “perhaphs, enough of hype that women are effective multi taskers…. everyone is human and mistakes do happen. no basking in a pseudo competency and undue moral pressures”

        If this was the message the author was trying to convey then I believe he would have added the father in the ‘joke.’ Instead, he writes a ridiculous story about a kid not recognizing his own mother. We, the readers, are not informed as to whether the kid recognizes his father. That right there, *that’s* what makes this joke misogynistic.

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  4. who “checks in” their kids like this for 2 days!? Am not blaming the mom, am blaming both parents. If they didn’t have time to spend with the kid, they should not have had one at all!

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    • Kashmira, Obviously it is an exaggeration to drive a point. But do you see how it makes the mom evil? How about the dad go attend to the kid while the mom slogs away?

      I do agree with this – “If they didn’t have time to spend with the kid, they should not have had one at all!”

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  5. See, picking apart things like this is a personal pleasure of mine. Whenever I visit India, the third or fourth aunty who comes to visit will make this her personal crusade and complaint. “Working women,” they sigh, “don’t understand the value of marriage and family.”

    One time, I piped up with, “My ma worked. We seem to have stuck it out.”

    And it’s true. We’re a family of immigrants here. Both my parents had to work, there was no question about that. And my parents both worked, sometimes really, really long hours. Which meant that for the first few months of our immigrant experience, I was left with the babysitter. Afterwards, I was left with my grandmother. It would annoy me when my parents worked overtime, and as a child, I didn’t truly understand why they had to do that. I would imagine that both my parents worked longer hours than the software professional that is being derided in this comic.

    I seem to have turned out relatively fine. It was through watching my parents slog at something that I realized, for the first time in my life, what it means to work, and what it means to make your dreams come true, and what it means to be selfless. Because they weren’t working for them, they were working for me and my sister, to provide a better life for us with opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have had.

    This is one of the biggest lessons that children who come from families where both parents work learn. They learn the importance of doing well. They learn the importance of money, of life, and hard work. No, my parents didn’t make it to my fifth grade graduation. I usually only had one of them turn up for parent teacher interviews. They didn’t make it to too many band performances, didn’t watch me do that poetry recital. In fact, if there was ever a day I didn’t have to use public transportation to get somewhere, that must have been a day where something went terribly wrong if my father wasn’t working at his usual hours. If my mother was home to make me breakfast, or was able to drop off something for me at school, that was a non-existent day, because she was usually working.

    Did I grow up feeling any less loved, or any less wanted by my parents? Of course not. Contrary to popular belief, people can actually fill more than one role in their life. It’s unbelievable, but it’s true. You can actually be both a mother and a working woman, someone who is there for their children, and is still fulfilling her dreams. You can actually be both a father and a working man. Granted, you may not be there to tuck them into bed every night, or clap for them when they finish their solo, or be there when they win that award. But if this is the sole definition of being a parent, then that’s just sad. Because I know parents who did all that, whose children grew up hating them. I would rather take my workhorse ‘rents any day of the week than someone who is always there but never truly loved you.

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  6. The question is why didn’t the husband pick the child up if the wife was busy? Or is clildcare only the wife’s job? We never hear such hoopla around fathers traveling/ working late!

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  7. In case people didn’t get it, It is a SATIRE.
    SATIRE is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    You either laugh at it or ignore it and not start passing judgement on the author.

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    • We can of course laugh or ignore. But why should we not pass judgement on the author? Some people feel working women ignore children, some people feel a peice of satire is boring/ absurd/ or in bad taste. Why not?

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    • Satire is an expression of the author’s opinions, and as such, we are entitled to pass judgement on both authors and their opinions if we feel they are detrimental to rights of people. If someone is a misogynist douchebag, I am definitely going to call them a misogynist douchebag, irrespective of whether the stuff they wrote is satire or fiction.

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    • “SATIRE is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices,”

      No one is questioning that it’s satire. But if you dig deeper, you realize what type of stupidity and vices this piece of satire is exposing. That is what most of us object to.

      Also, any piece of writing, or creative output that comes from a human being is an expression of that human being’s own thoughts and opinions. So yes, it’s perfectly valid to pass judgement upon the author if these are the types of views they hold.

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      • You can pass judgement on this piece of work but not on the author himself. You don’t know him or his views. All you know is a part of it. Calling someone misogynistic is pretty strong and needs more evidence than just a cursory reading of a piece written by him. I have known him for more than 10 years and I know he anything but misogynistic.

        There is nothing misogynistic about what he wrote. He wrote about a fictitious family where a woman forgot about her child which needed to be picked up from a child care. He has never indicated that it is women’s job to pick up the child or the women should be the one who pick up the child from day care.That is the generalization the author of this blog made. This is probably what led to the author of this blog labeling his as a misogynist

        Let me present an alternate scenario. It is also possible that it was husband who usually picked up the kid but maybe he gets busy sometimes and requests his wife to do it. Lets just say the woman got busy or is just stupid and this incident happened. Does it mean nothing was expected out of the dad as this blog’s author suggests? Is the Dad guilty because he trusted his wife?

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        • What I don’t understand is the hypocrisy here. It is perfectly alright to pass judgement on a random blogger and call the person a misogynist but it is your birthright to be pissed off when someone else passes judgement about working in IT? Why, because “you” happen to be in IT?

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    • In the story, shantaben feels that mrs.B is to be blamed for all this fuss.
      So I take it that the author is making fun of and trying to expose an incorrect and moreover stupid assumption by aayas working at creches?

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  8. I am wondering why he author did not name his article as “2 year old toddler refuses to recognize Software Engineer PARENTS “. I asked this same question over at the original post.

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    • If the baby had refused to recognise the dad, the mother would have been blamed for making the dad do all the parenting, for not helping the dad bond with the baby – and the dads efforts (however unsuccessful) at parenting would have been lauded.

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  9. Yes, it does sound like, “look at these modern working mothers, their own babies don’t recognize them, ha ha, this is what you get for choosing work over family”. The mocking is evident in details like “wiping her pizza hands on the receipt”. If it is strange that the mom left the kid in the creche, then it’s eqaully strange that the dad left her too.

    What actually happened is not clear, no relevant details are given.
    If the wife had to work overnight, that’s completely fine, but why didn’t she call the husband and ask him to pick up the child? Leaving a child overnight at a creche is highly unusual.
    We don’t know the details of what really happened – it could be some misunderstanding between husband and wife, some communication breakdown perhaps?

    Also, I’ve never heard of a receipt for picking up a kid. Each child must have only one or two identified, finger printed, and background checked care givers designated as people who are allowed to pick her up (usually parents, in some cases, other family – but introduced to the creche by parents). The child may not be handed over to anyone else based on a ‘receipt’ or the child’s ability to ‘recognize’. For instance, the child may recognize a neighboring uncle or even an uncle in the family, who could be a child abuser.

    I’m hope they resolved it by now. While whoever posted this misogynistic bit of gossip is salivating over the unfortunate situation.

    Another thing is – being a good parent has nothing to do with whether one is working outside the home or not. You can be a stay at home but terrible parent.

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  10. I didn’t find it particularly funny but I didn’t find it particularly misogynistic either. To me it read more like a “hahah look at those parents they’re so incompetent”kinda thing.

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  11. Why? what is so wrong with it? I am a man I would have equally enjoyed it if he replaced his Mrs B with Mr B ,
    calling one misogynist based on one of his blog article is just too much that too when he has put it under “humor” lable, It is like bathroom humour some like it some don’t but why judge a person just based on one article

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    • Because he didn’t replace Mrs. B with Mr. B. And he probably never will, because people who write this stuff never do. I have never seen an article criticising Mr. B for working merely because he has kids but I’ve seen Ms. A, Ms. B, Ms. C … and so on to Ms. Z being criticised.

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    • ” I am a man I would have equally enjoyed it if he replaced his Mrs B with Mr B”

      Good for you. But you do not create an entire society, and you as one person do not create entire an entire value system. If you are the kind of person who would find it funny both ways, fine. But there are some people who would find it funny when it is only Mrs. B, and when it is Mr. B, would object saying that it’s alright, men aren’t supposed to be very close to their children anyway. This is the prevailing attitude that we’re picking on here. Not just the person who wrote the article.

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      • Ok, I agree as long as you say you want to discuss the general attitude of the people(both men and women),
        But why point that guy by refering his blog id here and call him misogynist? why “shame” him for writing something on his blog that too when he didn’t ask any of the person who are in this blog to read it, so my point is as long as you discuss the “general” attitude/upbringing/culture without directly refering a person should be fine. because I feel one blog entry or comment or an advice is too little information to judge the whole of a person.

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    • Its not just a person being judged here.The entire siciety in which this person grew up, and its prejudices,are being reflected in the article, which is the topic of debate. Dont you agree that a society influences its people?
      Think! If we feel that something which is a serious matter is funny, then it means it does not bother us, we have grown to accept it as normal.Which is what this post wants to highlight.
      Let me give an example.If I see a man wearing pink and call him gay and laugh about it, put him down,it shows that i have been conditioned to think that pink is womens colour, men dont wear it,hence this guy is gay,and i can ridicule him,he doesnt deserve any respect.Thinking he is gay is fine, but disrespecting him, isn’t!
      I started with a beleif planted by society and ended with prejudice and disrespect.And i dont even see anything wrong with this sort of thinking.Because I see it happening regularly. Now isnt that wrong?
      What this author has done is, ridiculed some peoples choices,pointed out that the choices resulted in a mess (via shantaben’s statement).

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  12. IHM,
    Going by the follow up post by the author, I think he completely missed the whole point of your post,which was to make people introspect on how our conditioned attitudes reflect the prevailing attitude in society,how we can educate ourselves and bring about a change for a better society.Instead, he took it personally and went on to defend himself.Sad!
    Coming to your post, I agree with the opening lines of it.When we make a certain kind of joke, it is shaped by our conditioned thoughts.For example, if i joke about the fact that a guy i know does the dishes at home while his wife cooks,by saying that he is ‘trapped,poor chap!’, that means i grew up with gender bias,i never saw men doing chores and i feel women ought to do it.Right? Right.So now, similarly, if i make a joke that a person is so dark complexioned that he or she must definitely be a south indian, it is because i have been conditioned to think that all north indians are fair and south indians are dark.Which is a prejudice, not true, and fed to my brain from childhood.Right? Right again.
    This is exactly what the opening lines of this post convey,people.This was supposed to be the topic of discussion here.Simple.(I wish to convey the same to the author of the joke but his website isnt opening, some weird server glitch probably,which is why i am unable to post it there too,for the time being.)
    So, if people are making jokes about the modern society, its work culture and its impact on childcare, then clearly, it is due to the conditioning they have been through, regarding these issues.They were raised to beleive that, in a family, bread winner is NOT EQUAL to child rearer.Now that things have changed, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves that it is not necessarily always true.Child rearer, can also be a bread winner and there is nothing wrong with it, as long as the roles aren’t shoved down one’s throat.Bread winner,child rearer all rolled into one, need not necessarily result in disaster,as mentioned in the joke which gave raise to this post.And its possible to be both,only if there is mutual understanding and support from family members as well as society.So lets work towards that much needed mutual understanding.But as long as society sticks blindly to existing equation, where will the said support come from? So, it is time to make small changes in the thinking of the people around us,educate oneself and those around us. Thats all IHM wanted to to convey with this post. If only the joke’s author gets that!
    Sorry about the looooong comment.

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  13. I read the post and the follow up post by the author .. and he misses the point completely.
    He can write as many funny (or not )pieces as he likes. But with this particular piece, there is one basic assumption that you need to have made in your head in order to find it funny :

    – That you choosing to leave your child at day care and go to work at a demanding career that occassionally requires you to work late is *obviously* SO wrong.

    So wrong that just writing it , counts as satire.

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  14. “Mrs. B’s manager, when poked by the press about the strict working hours at office, placed the blame squarely on the kid ”I think the baby is being adamant. She doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation and seriousness of the release and our commitment to our clients’ success” Our correspondent stopped the manager when he further went on to explain the Six Sigma Strategies for success. But he promised a 2+ rating for Mrs.B in this year’s appraisal.”.
    …I guess this part of the post should have been the center of the discussion.

    Coming from offshore- IT industry, I can sympathize with Mrs B, though its a very very exaggerated version. I once had a colleague who miscarried in her 8th month and the doctor had sited stress as one factor amongst others, she was a team lead and was in the midst of a very difficult release.I know of managers who says no to ‘married woman with kids’ to be included in teh team since they cannot stretch enough!!
    But then there are supportive managers and helpful colleagues, it would be wrong to brand all them as hypocrites.

    Mr B was also mentioned somewhere in the post as not picking up phone and replying in a meeting, so it definitely puts both the parents in the same situation, i guess the mother in a more better position since she took out time to ‘collect’ her kid🙂.

    I guess the author was trying to identify with this marathon struggle of poor IT folks who sometimes struggle to balance work and life :)…but he surely got a lot of uninvited attention..:-P

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  15. Haha. Bichara blogger. I took it as a joke, and laughed it off after making a mental note to click pics of my kid(whenever I have) and make an ID so as to not forget. I have working parents, before I get jumped on and most likely will be like Mrs. or Mr. B if I dont eat my 5 badam daily.

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    • Any harry Potter fans here? Remember how Percy wouldn’t recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby’s tea cozy?

      Seriously guys! The post was a joke, and needs to be taken in that spirit. Why the uncontrollable urge to rip apart every line we come across?

      Confused humanity was right, the post takes a dig at the sorry state of affairs that prevail at most offshore IT offices. The author happened to portray it with the help of a mom and her kid. The post also mentioned the dad and the manager. Sadly, that seems to have gone unnoticed.

      Anyway, need more fodder to fiercely chew on? How dare the author write about the aayah at the creche?? See how the misogynist in him named the aayah Shantaben and not Shantabhai? Here the author was only reiterating his patriarchal misogynistic belief that ONLY women need to take care of kids.

      And oh goodnees gracious, the kid was a girl! No wonder she was left to the care of unknown aayahs! had it been a boy, the mother would have DEFINITELY not left him at the creche for so long….nahi?

      So my fellow angry young women, do bring up the above points too!! Do not limit yourself to just harping on how the women was expected to pick up the kid. Its unfair to the female kid and the female aayah! The injustice meted out to them is also dying for your undivided attention!

      Yeah yeah, go ahead, call me Shravani Kumari…lol.

      PS – Im KIDDING.

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      • @ Commone sense-
        Before dismissing the commentators on here as unable to take a joke, and being angry young women, do you not think that it is worthwhile to pause and ask the logical question-
        why did they get offended by this piece of writing?

        Perhaps when one is actually a woman working in IT who has been ‘blamed’ and had fingers pointed at by all and sundry, when the conditions described in the satire are one’s real life, it would be natural for one to have a defensive reaction to what would be perceived as one more mocking comment at their parenting.

        There is ENOUGH flak for working moms in real life, and when one’s parenting is always judged, and one gets sick of hearing how they are ruining their child’s life- such satire can be quite unfunny.

        I am not a mother, nor do I work in the IT field- but I can see both sides. I can see where the writer who perhaps wrote an outrageously exaggerated story (and says he didn’t mean any harm) is coming from.
        But I can also see where the working moms are coming from.

        The best jokes are ones where the ‘butt’ of the joke finds it funny as well.

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      • @Common Sense
        Ok, wait. It’s ok for the author to be entitled to his views and for those who like it to be entitled to their views but it’s not ok for someone to dislike his post and find it un-funny? Err what? I don’t need share anyone else’s sense of humour just as they don’t need to share mine.

        You find it funny? Good for you. I don’t. You think a joke should not be dissected? Cool! I don’t. I think jokes and other internet memes especially deserve to be dissected because they reflect the core of our society. Remember the Hindi saying “Saahitya samaaj ka darpan hai”? (literature holds up a mirror to society). Well, blogs are as good as literature in the digital age. What good is a mirror if we don’t take a good look in it occasionally?

        ps: IHM notice that people who agree with the author keep telling those who don’t to “lighten up” while there’s not one comment from a dissenter telling people who find it funny to “serious down”?

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    • The thing with jokes, or any satire, or any creative output from any one in our society, is that it is never “just” something. It is never “just” a joke, or “just” a story, or “just” a song. They are indicators of how we, as people, define our world. To dismiss something as “just” a joke and to deride the people who like to take things apart and look at why we as a society think this way is a pretty anti-intellectual way to go. It’s like saying, “Why are you trying to think?! Don’t think! Just get on with your life already, why are you wasting your time?!”

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  16. Gender stereotypes affect us all: men AND women. When people digress from stereotypical gender roles (male = breadwinner, female = caregiver), ignorant people make jokes. However, it is more than a little dishonest to label such people as “misogynist” because the terminology clearly suggests that only women and not men are victims of gender stereotypes.

    Not only is this evidently false, but men are usually much worse victims of gender stereotypes.

    1) In this post you are complaining about ignorant people who try to insult working women, i.e. women who digress from their gender role. Fair enough. These people are jerks.

    2) But let us turn this around. Consider a man who breaks his gender role. That would be a stay at home dad. Are you saying people don’t make jokes about that?

    3) Now take a look around. Which do you see more often? Working mothers or stay at home dads? Despite all the social pressures, the insults, the jokes, it is undeniable that at least among educated urban Indians, working mothers are not that uncommon. Most people can name at least one they know. But what about stay home dads? They are a miniscule minority. How many of you can name one…even ONE dad who is voluntarily staying home indefinitely to raise kids and take care of the house ?

    Working mothers don’t just vastly outnumber stay at home dads in India, they vastly outnumber stay at home dads even in the West.

    So, who is really feeling more pressure from gender stereotypes? Men or women? Is it fair to talk about “misogyny” here? What do you call people who joke about stay at home dads? “Misandrists”? By this token, don’t you think misandry is vastly more successful than misogyny? Only people rarely joke about stay at home dads, because the social pressure on men to be breadwinners is so intense that stay at home dads are a minority too small to be noticed enough to be openly mocked.

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    • ” men are usually much worse victims of gender stereotypes. ” No. Men are victims of some gender stereotypes. Funnily enough, it is often feminists who try to dismantle gender stereotypes that are stifling for men, including that of men being forced to be the breadwinner. The attitude to stay-at-home dads, including jokes, has been discussed widely on feminist blogs, including this one. You can be sure that those “jokes” were taken as seriously.

      The issue of staying at home to look after children is just one area in which both men and women face stereotyping and shaming. On the whole, I would still say women have the worse time when it comes to stereotyping because cultural policing of women is so strong.

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    • “Not only is this evidently false, but men are usually much worse victims of gender stereotypes.”

      No, they aren’t. Both genders are equal victims of gender stereotypes. But women, and females, are vastly and categorically FAR more oppressed than men as a result of these gender stereotypes. You cannot equate mere prejudice from gender stereotypes with systematic oppression that is constantly being perpetuated by nearly every culture, worldwide. Women are more likely to be denied their basic human rights on the basis of their gender. Women are denied access to health, denied access to basic sanitation, education, housing, equal employment, enjoyment, and control of their life in a scale that men simply are not. There is no systematic cultural precedent in place to abort male fetuses for being male. There is no denial of opportunity for men because they are male. There are, in fact, few spheres that men cannot enter without having to fight for their right to be there. Their right to be treated as human comes in-built when they are born as male. Women are not offered even that. So no, don’t equate those two things.

      Prejudice and gender stereotypes are an annoyance for men, but they almost never result in outright denial of their humanity. You might get taunted for being a stay-at-home dad, but you will never get treated as less than human for it, and be denied human rights because you choose to not work. As for jokes about stay at home fathers, it is usually the mother who winds up being the punchline in most of those, because her absence is seen as something abnormal and outrageous. See the original blog post for more proof of that.

      “Only people rarely joke about stay at home dads, because the social pressure on men to be breadwinners is so intense that stay at home dads are a minority too small to be noticed enough to be openly mocked.”

      Have you met a stay at home dad? I can assure you that the fact that they are minority in no way inhibits the way people joke about them. Most often, these jokes are about how “womanly” they are, about how “feminine” and “unmanly” their chosen vocation is. This is misogyny, because the underlying assumption within these jokes is that these men have somehow lowered their status by taking on “women’s work”, an assumption that inherently states that being a woman is somehow “less” than human. So yeah, jokes against stay at home dads? Quite misogynistic, and very telling of how prejudice against men who buck the trend is often just sexism against women.

      Yes, you may get jokes. But most often, what I see is that stay at home dads get vastly larger amounts of sympathy than stay at home moms do. SAHMs, when they are unable to keep their obligations, are derided and ridiculed for not fulfilling their supposed destiny in life and are time and time again called bad mothers for simply making human mistakes. Stay at home fathers, on the other hand, for missing the same obligations are given leeway and excuse. “Oh, it’s not his JOB to be taking care of children. Why is his wife never around to help the poor man? Is this the state of family these days?” Once again, the onus of being a “family” becomes the responsibility of the woman, and the blame falls on the woman. This is misogyny. Men after the initial ridicule, are exalted and applauded for doing such a “difficult job”. For women, it’s a duty, which should come naturally to them, and they are not allowed to complain about it, because it’s their “job”. This expectation is misogyny.

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      • I was only asking a fairly simple question. Is it true or not that working mothers vastly outnumber stay at home dads? So who is a worse victim of gender stereotypes: men or women?

        The number of men who are able to beat the social pressure to be breadwinners is extremely small compared to the number of women who are able to successfully beat the social pressure to be caregivers. This is true whether in India or in the West: working mothers massively outnumber stay at home dads.

        So who is being more crushed by gender stereotypes? Men or women?

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        • @Sumit,

          The number of men or women who are able to beat gender stereotypes does not necessarily relate to who is more ‘crushed’ by them.

          Male gender stereotypes in a patriarchal setting like India offers men many advantages. They get power, social control and financial rewards. They are the ‘head of the family’ supposedly because they provide. They are meant to be rewarded through service by women in their lives (mother, wife, sister, daughter). They don’t have to choose between having a career or having children and are paid dowry to marry women and so on. Working outside the home is generally considered ‘better’ than women’s work in the home.

          Female gender stereotypes in a patriarchy lead women to be financially dependant, in servitude, being controlled by others and generally having very little power on their own lives. Financial independence and education directly improve the lives of women. So more women fight against the stereotype because it is naturally oppressive. Perhaps fewer men fight against the stereotype to be a bread winner because they see more rewards from it?

          It’s like there are ‘positive’ racial stereotypes as well but you don’t see people fighting against as much as ‘negative’ racial stereotypes. Indians don’t mind being associated with IT as much we minded being associated with taxis.

          I personally absolutely agree that gendered responsibilities and even misogyny hurt both men and women. Men should have the same opportunities to choose a lifestyle as women, because one cannot happen without the other.

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        • “So who is being more crushed by gender stereotypes? Men or women?”

          Still the women. Like I said, stay at home fathers are derided for being “feminine” and “womanly” as though being either one of those things is bad and demeaning. This very idea, that if you act like a woman, you are less than human, is a gender stereotype that directly affects women on a far larger scale than men will ever be affected by. Think about it. The worst insult stay at home fathers face is when they are called women. “Women” is an insult. When your identity itself is used as an insult, come back and tell me that you’re being crushed by gender stereotypes on a larger scale than women are.

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        • Also, another thing. When men face prejudice, they rarely have to fear for their lives because of it. You will never be killed for being a stay at home dad. You will be disowned by your family for being a stay at home dad. The worst thing you will face is judgement from other people in your society.

          As for women? Women who choose to work and go to bars are branded as “whores”. Women who make independent decisions are often subjected to abuse. Women are the ones who are overwhelmingly killed and maimed as a direct result of gender stereotypes.

          Misandry might irritate you as a male. But misogyny might kill me for being a woman. There’s your answer.

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      • “Most often, these jokes are about how “womanly” they are, about how “feminine” and “unmanly” their chosen vocation is. This is misogyny, because the underlying assumption within these jokes is that these men have somehow lowered their status by taking on “women’s work””

        This is such an important point. Love your whole comment, it explains the daily misogyny which affects both men and women really well.

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    • @Sumit
      Your facts:
      Stay home dads… “They are a miniscule minority.”
      “Working mothers don’t just vastly outnumber stay at home dads in India, they vastly outnumber stay at home dads even in the West.”
      “So, who is really feeling more pressure from gender stereotypes? Men or women?”

      After doing the math, I would have to say it’s the women, no?

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  17. The irony is that while the author is making fun of the busy Mrs B in the garb of a ‘satirical’ blog, he seems to have conveniently forgotten that even the Ayah worked for more than 48 hours at a stretch, and so-called neglected her own family. Taking care of Mrs B’s baby was work, wasn’t it? Shouldn’t she also give up her job, stay at home and raise amazing kids and fufill the ‘ideal’ goal of all women?The author doesn’t link the fact that Mrs B was doing her job when she worked overtime for an important assignment, just like the Ayah did her job working overtime to take care of the baby. Thats comes as part of the deal when one is working. Why is it that when it comes to women, such jobs are glorified and other careers, like Mrs B’s, are criticised? Both are equally important and deserving of our respect.
    I resent that most people in our country easily dispense off with women’s careers and dismiss them as meaningless when it comes to social and familial obligations. Everybody, regardless of gender, works hard to realise their career goals, it is a continuous process that starts from a very early age. Our education system certainly doesn’t give us concessions for raising children as a full time career. Before commenting on the necessity of giving up hard-earned jobs in favour of raising children full-time and studying free courses online for women, people must look into their own lives to see whether they themselves would be prepared for such gracious sacrifices!
    I am a regular reader of your blog and appreciate the wonderful work you are doing in encouraging so many women to rise beyond our petty social boundaries. Keep it up IHM!

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    • Very true.
      //The irony is that while the author is making fun of the busy Mrs B in the garb of a ‘satirical’ blog, he seems to have conveniently forgotten that even the Ayah worked for more than 48 hours at a stretch, and so-called neglected her own family.//

      It seems the only working mothers we see as neglectful of children are those who are empowered by their jobs. Working in fields or at construction sites (dangerous for children), elder care – unless paid work, in Joint Families house work to impress the in laws (fresh meals, all home cooked, dusting, serving hot tea and hot chappaties etc) are not seen as neglect of children.

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        • Many feminists are male and many rational thinkers are male and I generally agree with them. Many women are misogynistic foot soldiers of Patriarchy, I disagree with them.

          You don’t think feminist thoughts are practical? So do you find Patriarchal thoughts practical? Paraya dhan & budhape ka sahara (sex selection seen as ‘practical’ old age planning), doli and arthi (get married, stay married or die trying), ghar ki izzat (honor), moonh kaala kar diya (women’s freedom leads to blackening of their family’s faces), widows being seen as inauspicious while widowers are seen as eligible life partners for dependent paraya dhan – you find these concepts practical?

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        • IHM, though you correctly seem to find patriarchal thoughts to be impractical, you still agree with some people who support such thoughts. There are people on your blog who openly support sex selection (on their own blogs) but you never ever question them. Strange.

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      • “pls throw away your feminist thoughts and start thinking in a practical manner !!!”

        I never knew that wanting to be treated as a human being, just like every one deserves, was an impractical ideal. Wow.

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      • Yep, a job is ‘bad’ for women apparently if it brings power and money. Never mind that women have always worked in fields, as domestic labour and at construction sites, often spending MORE hours working. I spoke to some women who worked in fields decades ago in Maharashtra and they told me that they used to feed their babies opium when they left for the field. So that the baby wouldn’t cry and just sleep through some hours until they came back to check on it. Using opium is certainly not better than using childcare, but this was never an issue for anyone… because it did not bring the women a lot of power or money, which meant they still stayed within the rules of patriarchy.

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  18. “What we find funny, what we joke about, what we put down and what we glorify – don’t they indicate what we think and why we think like that? ” – yes IHM.. absolutely.. they just portray the mindset of the people saying them.. If you read the follow up post the author in the last paragraph mentioned the line – “Since a creche came into my mind, the focus drifted towards women more than men. ” — so when he thinks of creche, what comes to mind is working women hence child in creche.. here is the problem.. it should have been working parents if it was about parents working a lot and not having time for children..and also why cannot a SAHM cannot send her kids to creche if she wants? so this notions that creche means working women has changed.. now when one thinks of creche it can be anything, working parents or SAHM .. anything.. So author’s mindset has not changed.. here lies the conditioning….

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  19. Oh, I hadn’t understood it was a joke. I actually felt sad at reading that post. And of course no one would make this kind of joke about fathers, because it would be too close to home. On my first trip to India, the man sitting next to me in the plane confessed he’d been working in Gulf countries for 2 years without holidays, now he felt apprehensive because last time he’d been home, his wife just had a baby and the child would be big by now… It’s so sad that some people have to live these kind of lives.

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  20. I have a major question in this article. WHat happened to the DAD?? if the mom is busy working 2 nights in a row, WHY is he not picking up the kid inthe eve? why is he not taking care of the kid int he evening? is he dead? why is he not taking a hot meal to his wife or some tea or just some support? is he dead? is he also in the same company doing 2 night outs in a row.. if so, crappy company, one of you move to another place, don’t put all your eggs in a basket, if not then Lazy ass dad, grow up and take your responsibility seriously.
    I find it offensive that the mom after slogging for 2 whole days without sleep is expected to go and get the child who in all probability is well rested and will not allow her to get a min of rest…. again Did the dad die???

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    • No, the dad is there in the fine print. He’s busy and only replies to his wife’s call with an SMS. But per follow-up post those of us with “jaundiced eyes” cannot see it.

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  21. The story sheds some light on the punishing work hours of the average Indian MNC where employees don’t have time for themselves or their families. People over the centuries worked very hard to limit working hours to 8, and here in India it has become acceptable to put 10-12 hours on a normal day, and round the clock when there is a project release, usually without any overtime payment. I hope this will change because work life balance is important for the health and well being of individuals and families. The baby deserves better, but so does the mom who had to work around 48 hours straight!

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  22. I have some points to mention here. I could not read all the comments. But what I see is many comments talk about feminism, misogyny, male and female roles etc. Very few comments talk about the key factor required to make marriage a success – Understanding between husband and wife. And that is the important ingredient required to make a marriage happy and contented. This understanding is all the more important when a couple with both having high profile careers decide to have a kid. What a woman has to do or what the male has to do in a marriage has to be decided based on the mutual understanding between those two individuals and not anyone else or society. What the original blogger meant with this blog, I can’t say. Probably showing the slice of life of a busy couple with a young kid. Nothing is said about what the husband does or how he supports his wife.

    So I can’t say ,anything about him. But the wife. Definitely she has to consider her priorities. I can’t blame a woman if she wants to work in a high profile career and a good husband definitely has to support her. But she forgets her kid which is not good for a mom and the kid is also not identifying her. The creche manager or the wife’s project manager are low profile characters who only see their own priorities and what they say is not important. Still the woman has to ask is she becoming too mechanical with the job and so forgets her kid. The kid always recognizes the parent who is loving whether it is father or mother.

    In india, marriages worked with minimum of divorce for a long period even though there was no understanding between husband and wife because both the persons stuck to traditional roles for long. Now the marriages will work only if the husband and wife commit to improve the understanding of each other and also resolve to be more caring, compassionate, gentle, tender and understanding to each other as each days go by. These are the only key points I will say and not things like ‘mother is more important’, ‘woman can only change diaper’ etc. I am prepared to be the ‘mother’ also when I have a kid and also change my kid’s diaper and do other things necessary when I have kid and also support her career. While I will be gentle, tender and understanding to my wife, I also expect the same from her

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    • I am prepared to be the ‘mother’ also when I have a kid and also change my kid’s diaper and do other things necessary when I have kid and also support her career.

      The fact that you used the word ‘mother’ to describe child-rearing duties tells me you missed the point of all the arguments! These are duties associated with PARENTING, and not just MOTHERING. BOTH parents are responsible for the care of their child.

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  23. Sowmya your views are Talibanic. Afghanistan might be a good place for you.

    Me Sowmya. Me tell you what you should do and what you should not do. You obey me. Me judge you if you don’t obey me. You still not obey me. Me JUDGE you more. You still not obey me. Me kill you. You asked for it.

    (Talibanic – an intolerance to other beliefs, encompasses moral, spiritual, political and emotional)

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  24. Let’s not beat around the bush – in most families, man is the “primary” bread winner. Let us not pretend not to know what “primary” means here. At the same time, a woman is a “primary” caregiver. It’s an arrangement – with its roots in biology or society. Women climb up the economic ladder through marriage. Why women marry men earning higher, we don’t know. But it is very relevant for the division of labor. A high profile high incomer works for longer hours and has to network a lot more with people.

    We, men and women, instead of fighting amongst us, must force some “corporate social responsibility” first towards their own employees. Maternity/Paternity leaves are not enough. Work timings are important esp. for “primary” caregiver – if it is a man or a woman.

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    • I’m afraid your idea of ‘normal’ is already outdated where I live and work. Not just for my family but many others. Men are by far not the ‘primary’ bread winners here. I pay for half of everything and I know many women in my workplace whose husbands work only part time or not at all or make less than them. Many men are the ‘primary’ breadwinners, many women are too and many couples share equally.

      Also, did you know that the Scandinavian countries allow paternal leave that can be shared between the mum and dad? These countries also have the best pay parity between men and women in the world. That’s because they don’t enforce ‘bread winner’ and ‘care-giver’ roles on people by only granting maternal leave like most other places. Women can give birth to a child and breastfeed for the first few months. Beyond that, biology doesn’t dictate that men can’t be caregivers.

      Where is the fighting between men and women? Misogynists can be male or female, it’s not gender dependant (like most other things).

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      • Let’s take on your word that it is mostly women who are earning more than their spouses and that ‘hypergamy’ doesn’t exist. If a woman is the ‘primary breadwinner’, fair division of labor dictates that a man should be the ‘primary’ caregiver and vice versa. I am not imposing my idea of what is ‘normal’ or ‘biological’.

        I am emphasizing ‘fairness’ over ‘equality’ in those individual cases where things are “not equal” to begin with. One might refuse to slap the labels of “bread winner” or “care giver” on men or women. But, glossing over facts, fuzzy thinking and intellectual dishonesty are not a substitute for some basic “fairness” in dividing work. I don’t bring ‘love’ in this discussion, because that is a given, and love doesn’t preclude ‘fairness’.

        Talk of national statistics on pay parity or sociological analysis of gender inequality should not be applied inappropriately on individual cases. In the name of feminism and progressive thinking, who is made to bear the consequences for whose skewed views, attitudes & misdeeds ?

        Let’s stop the bourgeoisie feminist ‘hypocrisy’ imagining morally superior position of suffering bravely under self-defined injustice.

        Let’s advocate for couples marrying equal – equal in earnings, assets, beauty and education. Equality starts there !

        “Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.” -H. L. Mencken

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        • “it is mostly women who are earning more than their spouses”

          Where did I say that? I said that financial contribution is often a lot more evenly distributed than you imply. Most couples I know, where I live, are earning and sharing financial responsibilities equally. It is then only fair that they share other responsibilities equally too, like housework or childcare. How is fairness and equality at odds here?

          I think our main difference of opinion is that you think there is generally a ‘primary’ earner and care-giver. For me, this is a false assumption because in my life and around me, there is no ‘primary’ earner. Both partners earn and contribute roughly on par. However, there is a still a forced assumption of the woman being the primary care-giver, which is then both unfair and unequal.

          We’re talking about division of labour here. It’s simple. I agree with you that if one partner is taking on the bulk of the financial responsibility and this takes up most of their time than it’s fair for the other to take on the bulk of domestic responsibility. The point is simply that if the mother and father both work full time (like in this ‘story’), then neglecting children is the fault of both. The mother is not the automatic ‘primary caregiver’ in this situation, yet the piece views her that way.

          I fully agree that good labour practices are needed to allow people to have a good work life balance. In the situation described in this post, no one is saying that keeping workers in the office for 48 hours straight is fine. Decent labour conditions help all workers, whether they are the primary or secondary earner.

          “Let’s stop the bourgeoisie feminist ‘hypocrisy’ imagining morally superior position of suffering bravely under self-defined injustice.”: That means genuinely nothing to me. Are you trying to say that since men are the primary earner, women should stop complaining and look after babies? Well there is no ‘primary earner’ in many families now, as I said, so the rest needs to be shared too.

          “But, glossing over facts, fuzzy thinking and intellectual dishonesty are not a substitute for some basic “fairness” in dividing work. ”
          Which facts am I glossing over? What have I suggested that is unfair?

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        • To be very clear, what you seem to think I said:
          “it is mostly women who are earning more than their spouses”

          What I actually wrote:
          “Many men are the ‘primary’ breadwinners, many women are too and many couples share equally.”

          So my whole point was that making generalisations about one gender being a primary earner is false, be it man or woman. So then fair division of labour would mean gender would be irrelevant.

          Equality doesn’t hinder fairness in any way, in fact it makes fairness easier by removing the concept of ‘women’s work’ and ‘men’s work’ and allowing people to divide chores based on fairness and not gender.

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      • ” Both working full-time ” doesn’t mean that both must be sharing the financial responsibility equally in reality. This is where fuzzy thinking creeps in. “…financial contribution is often a lot more evenly distributed..”, “.. Both partners earn and contribute roughly on par …” is all fuzzy thinking.

        Why am I so hyper about ‘equality’ down to, infact, every penny ? It is the same reason why women are hyper about ‘equality’ in every ‘household duty’ that is shared.

        Hypergamy is a woman’s natural preference for a male that is of higher status than other men and also higher status than herself. Hypergamy is a fact. Hypergamy is real and is the one constant in female psychology. I’ve met many many thousands of women, and I’ve never met a woman who married down, ever. Period. Even those women who at first appeared to have married down were, on closer inspection married to a guy with the potential to become higher economic status than her before long – an example would be the nurse who marries a trainee doctor, or a freelancer with ancestral property.

        A business man will date a young attractive clerk in ICICI. A business woman will NOT date an attractive clerk in ICICI. She wouldn’t be caught dead being seen with him. What would her friends say? He needs to AT LEAST be his equal in business power and status…slightly better is much preferred, but she’ll settle. She’s not getting any younger. Equality? Supporting a “house husband”? That doesn’t even figure into it. Women innately want to receive more than they want to give. I think the idea of women still being hypergamous is so repugnant because of the abject hypocrisy in women choosing mates like this.

        Decent, non-hypergamous ladies are rarer than shining oases in a desert of vice, rarer than dogs walking on their hind legs, and are freak exceptions. They are ‘that one woman in ten thousand’, not the norm. Don’t reply saying – that I must have been spectacularly unlucky in the subset of women I’ve had dealings with. Leave fuzzy thinking, do some soul-searching !

        Why are women taught to control their hypergamy ? Instead, among females hypergamy is actively encouraged, rewarded, and socially reinforced. Nothing in the culture as it is now that discourages female hypergamy and in many cases it is rewarded with cash, prizes, and socially recognized victim-hood.

        There is a dangerous deception in the feminist agenda to “optimise” hypergamy as socially permissible as possible. Feminism is a branch of Chivalry, painting everything as victimizing of women in a paranoid way. Feminists merely give lip-service to wanting to take on male roles. They want to be portrayed as doing so. Then they want to rig it so that the punishing burdens of said roles are forked over to men. Men have historically been the inventor, the builder, the genius, the dreamer of great things, the hunter gatherer, the provider. In short, men create and women want a piece of the action. Like we now say, “we have brave women serving in police too,” while virtually all deaths and maiming are incurred by the men.

        Why alimony and child support for no-fault divorces, or even separation after cohabitation, in this day and age the woman can and often does work, and often remarries, just for her to to be “set” financially ? That is the asymmetry that places all the work on the men, and it is enforced in the court system, which is economic slavery. Until we see women working at soul-destroying jobs 24×7, and killing themselves at 4x the rate men do today, and having to work to pay a man to bring up their children, why get so hyper about the just one blog post that is a statistically correct example (or a stereotype as you call it) ?

        Instead, there seems to be a message that girls are better than boys through out these blogs which is okay for you. Boys are BAD. Boys are MEAN. Boys are silly, weak, stupid, clueless, rough. To ‘man up’ is basically to ‘slave up’.

        And the things that most women want, they have been getting from men with the handicap of “love”. Why should not they pay too ?

        No more sacrifcing for the family/society. No more labouring long hours to produce for the family. If men do not work to their full capacity then society/government loses out. The tax base suddenly shrinks. Why do men have to man up? Why simply care anymore ? And even if they are producing, why not spend it all on themselves ? Infact, I wish to see – that men live their lives the way they want to live them, not ‘man up’.

        I don’t mean we can’t seek admirable ways to contain and channel gender inequality for the betterment of mankind. We can and we should. But as long as there are human females, there will be hypergamy. It will be powerful, and it will be efficient. All the moralizing in the world won’t change that.

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  25. Quite a ridiculous post IHM, especially given that you are writing about “can someone offend you without your consent”, two posts later. There isn’t much to this joke, and I’m afraid it’s quite bad that you are calling someone misogynist. By that yardstick, I’ve seen some comments on your blog that are far more abusive of men, like “Shoot the bloody catcallers”. How is there a fair comparison here?

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    • Arun, I agree. It’s too harsh labeling that guy a misogynist based on just one post where he was trying to be funny. Misogyny “is the hatred or dislike of women”. His post may not have been gender sensitive, but it was not dripping with hatred for women. When people are intentionally/obviously obnoxious, square with them, but when they offend unknowingly, let them know. No need to denigrate.

      To me, more than anything, he was satirizing our punishing work hours. That said, I agree both parents are equally responsible for child rearing, and the decisions concerning a woman’s life/career are hers alone to make. It’s just that when the tone of this blog is against being judgmental and not labeling people derogatory terms, slapping someone with such a strong label is a bit much.

      Like

  26. Pingback: And maybe it is too funny to even imagine the same thing ever happening to a man? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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