I read somewhere recently that a helpless man is considered most unattractive by women. Well I certainly endorse that sentiment. I find the male patriarchy of the feudal system that traditional societies desire to perpetuate, in which men consider any domestic work to be something they cannot get their brain around , to be absolutely absurd. It is for this very reason that right from his infancy, I taught my son the value of being a man around the house who is capable of doing everything as good as, if not better, than I could. I set high standards of work ethics for all that I do, without any separating line that creates hierarchies of importance. All things need to be attended to, and attended to well!
All things related to life and its survival are to be respected and comprehended as essential life skills for every individual to insist upon having. This must take in the entire spectrum of home management from stocking your larder, cooking, sewing, cleanliness and orderliness of laundry, space management and hygiene in the home, budgeting, health management, wise food and nutrition planning, maintenance of all appliances,....well the list is long! Above all there must be an understanding that living together involves collective consensus on all important issues and no autocratic selfishness. Factors like personal savings, efficient and effective banking, filing and maintaining tax matters amongst many other things, all must be self managed and handled from ones young adulthood. Besides all this ones professional obligations must be met at all times, within which high standards of self application must be adhered to always.
I am very emphatic that personal existence must be with the learnt abilities from a young age that make you truly independent; and where we consciously cultivate skills that allow us to be human beings who have comprehend the true meaning of "living a full life" not merely theoretically but practically. Experience, observation, exposure and common sense must co-exist at all times as the guiding factors of learning.
What I will add to the starting point of this discourse is that I find helpless women equally unattractive too! Women who flutter their eyelashes and feign round-eyed innocence about the realities and demands of the world of survival make me cringe.
The problem in India is that we have no really respect for the dignity of labour whatsoever. We exploit the needy who we like to believe to be the "unskilled" labour force (which is untrue because they possess amazing skills that we depend upon). We employ them as our domestic staff and then refer to them as "servants" (!) despite pretending to have a political correctness about issues of discrimination! The farce is that we do not even acknowledge our dependence on these amazingly skilled home organisers, who often remain faceless if not nameless people in our elitist worlds (!!); and whom we often keep "assigned" to the shadows when in fact they should be given their due importance. They offer us the comforts of a pampered lifestyle where we hardly ever soil our hands with the dust or the grime of all the various jobs that they do for us tirelessly; and the funny thing is that we assume we are doing them a favour by giving them employment, when instead it is actually we who need to be grateful for their services!!
Unfortunately it is to this example that we consign the formative years of our children, where they believe that no job around the house is for them to do. "Leave it for the servants to do"is the refrain like a bad chorus line, repeated too often in the homes where domestic labour is employed. With male role models who mostly conform to traditional stereo-types of helplessness on the domestic front, it is no wonder that we are a nation of messy cupboards and exhausted women!
Mithun is someone whom I consider to be what a normal male should be. Fiercely house proud way before getting married, he is a great cook on a daily basis. Prudent with money, he is a smart saver who knows the fine line of balancing generosity and stringency, with finessed practise. Neat and efficient in every aspect of his life, he manages a home with his wife Samera with no fuss or calling undue attention to the effort of the consistency it requires.
I like it! This is the way it should be!
I like the new metrosexual male and we should see more of them please. For this to happen we need to put out the right role models for our children to learn from, and break the stereo-typical macho image of men who leave their clothes in an untidy dirty pile on the floor for others to attend to, and who do not know how to look after a cranky baby or run a load of washing, or put a nutritious meal on a table each day.
For me such men are down right boring and misfits in my personal world.
I think I speak for thousands of Indian women, don't I?!