Stand up for your rights

Replacing motherhood with surrogacy

Posted on: April 3, 2011


This is in response to Kalpana Sharma’s dung heap (If mothers and wives were paid) published by The Hindu on Sunday, Apr 03, 2011.

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With the burden of commercial work as well as domestic chores on their shoulders, men spend more time doing unpaid work for the family than women around the world…

Unrecognised contribution to the economy...

Unrecognised contribution to the economy...

All in a day’s work

Regardless of illness, tiresome, lack of interest, abusive boss or coworkers, millions of Indian men will have to work day in and day out in order to feed their families and look after children and elders financially medically socially and also to satisfy their entertainment needs. Such an invaluable contribution to the family has never been given a monetary value. No one knows what they contribute as they do a range of unpaid work — from household chores in the home after their routine job at workplace and running a small businesses to earn some extra bucks, to home-based work (that is not always paid), to helping out in a variety of tasks that they are expected to do only because they are men. Not even a single country has a monetary value been placed on such unpaid work.

No international organisations have ever come out with a study that looks at this issue: men’s unpaid work. Dr. Warren Farrell, author of “Myth of male power”, “Why men are the way they are”, “Why men earn more” etc takes a deeper dive into the amount of time men spends on unpaid work as compared to women.

Farrell found that men contribute more money to the family than women, at the same time women own more things than men do. Women have 4 options in life, 1) be a housewife 2) be a professional 3) do part time job 4) be occasional housewife where as the four options that are available for men are 1) work fulltime 2) work fulltime 3) work fulltime and 4) work fulltime. This is not surprising given that in practically all societies, men are expected to bear the maximum burden of formal as well as domestic work with women helping out if and when they can. Yet at the end of the day, it is the man who is automatically expected to take care of all the financial responsibilities, leaving kids at school, fixing broken stuffs etc; precisely, bringing home food shelter clothing and entertainment.

A current TV advertisement for insurance sums this up rather well. It shows a husband, obviously exhausted, working for his family who returns home and had a chest pain. The advertisement takes it for granted that the man should have taken insurance to protect his family EVEN AFTER HIS DEATH. There is nothing in the ad to indicate what the woman’s role in the family or her responsibility compared to her husband, one can well imagine. It would never have occurred to the woman to figure out a way of relieving her husband of this particular responsibility even if she is more educated or her earning potential is equal or more than her husband.

Huge differences

The ILO study found another element of concern, what the report calls a clear “gender gap” in working time. (http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/press-and-media-centre/press-releases/lang–en/WCMS_082827) The study says men tend to work longer average hours than women worldwide, with women working shorter hours in almost every country studied. This is very true in Indian society. Women take advantage of employment at home and also take advantage of family at workplace. For example a typical Indian woman wants her husband to drop the kids off to school early morning as she wants to reach office on time because of an “important” meeting; at the same time she wants to leave the office early in the pretext of pick up the kids from school in the evening, handing over the critical responsibilities on male colleagues. And while the men work late, Indian wives and daughters spent time shopping, sleeping, eating, chatting with friends, watching television and relaxing.

Apart from the gender difference in time spent, the value of such unpaid work was not factored into economic calculations that assess a country’s development. “When we focus our binoculars only on discrimination, we miss opportunities available to women, such as the 80 fields (e.g., financial analysis, radiation therapy, statistics and most engineering fields) in which women now earn more than men” says Dr. Farrell who is the only man in the U.S. ever elected three times to the board of directors for the National Organization for Women in New York City

To many, this would appear to be a non-issue along with the issues that men face in terms of violence, inside and outside the home, many forms of discrimination, sexual harassment and assault etc which he has absolutely no available option of legal recourse. Yet, there is a good reason for assessing the extent of unpaid work men do, the gender gap between women and men on this count, and the value of their labour.

Quantifying the value

Men’s groups never advocated assessing the value of unpaid work until 27th march 2011 when they were forced (by the government of India) to come forward in large numbers sending memorandums to Law commission of India with regard to THE MARRIAGE LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2010. There is no world conference or even national level commission to address the issues of men and they remain as second class citizens even in this 21st century!

A strong reason for not putting a monetary value to such work is that it puts a price tag for human relations where everyone lives and dies for money minus all family and social values. In India, such women — and they are mostly women — who are well paid to advocate such absurd demands of putting price tag for housewives are reducing the value of motherhood and even womanhood. Setting a standard for the amount they should be paid for the kind of work they are expected to do is tantamount to reducing motherhood into a surrogacy; reducing nurturing care and love into a paid service. What is even more disappointing is that women, who is said to have good education and earn well in the formal sector, seems to have replaced all their moral, family and social values with M O N E Y, and they dance on the tunes of Rothschild’s International banking dynasty.

Gender assumptions

Ultimately, the issue is not the amount of time spent on unpaid work, or whether men should be paid for such work, but the expectation that they will do it unquestioningly and for all time to come. Surely, with so much changing around us, this is yet another arena where gender roles must be questioned; why would the physically easy and non-hazardous household work should also be shared with men after his regular and mandatory hours of job at risky and dangerous workplace, and where those who work silently to run millions of families around the world, should be given the honor, recognition and appreciation that they deserve.

 

7 Responses to "Replacing motherhood with surrogacy"

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In Dwaparayuga there was only one Lord Krishna, but in kaliyuga there is a Krishna in almost all the houses. Gettting an affectionate husband is rare is an admitted fact then where is affection in the men going to ? like cauvery water it is getting distributed to all housses not like tap water which will restrict one house.

when a man is drunk no initiative is required they themselves will talk every thing in the world and pick up a fight. what to say for such men? who will take the responsibility of preventing such men from abusing ladies? there are many ladies who are suffering in India even today. when it comes to the question of showing affection by husband it is rare very true because they have affection for someone else except wife. That is why they do not want to show affection. No husband would like to do chores for their wives but would like to do chores for the person in whom they have interest in; if the same work is told by the lady whom a man has liking for he will happily do it, but not for the wife he will not it is because he has no liking for her or ego will dominate or somebody will instigate not to do for her under such circumstances he should not marry a lady whom he is not interested in, to harrass her and to make her slave. There are some families which are sustaining even today it is because both men and women want to share the responsibility equally by understanding each other. Most of the families are coming to roads beacuse there is a lack of understanding and men want to dominate instead of acting as a balancer for the healthy growth of family which their fathers would have done it, become imbalancer as a result of which families are becoming imablanced and are falling. In the present day it is the lady who is doing one man show be it a daughter, wife or mother, not the man because the men want to have comfortable life without any responsibility and spend lavish time.

the article published speaks about men working for ladies after their hours of work at home,in india there are so many who will physically abuse after consuming alcohol and one can see them lying on the road, and now a days it has become a passion to physically abuse a wife after listening to their parents then the question of men sharing the work after their hazardous hours will not arise. Gone are those days where men for thier wives with the bond and affection used to share the work after their ofice hours, now a days one can see men fighting with women by listning to his parents . This is the present scenerio at each and every house almost in India, there might be some families where this bond is still existing. How many men nowdays are affectionate to their wives? is a question to be answeresd. in a family whether it is a man or a woman work should be equally shared because they are considered as two tyres of the bullock cart for the smooth functioning of the family. unless people adopt this theme it is very difficult for the families to survive. there should not be any competition between husband and wife to not to share any work.There should be an understanding between a husband and wife to share work.

I have a secret formula to eliminate physical abuse due to alcohol – “Don’t initiate an argument when the spouse is drunk“.
Regarding the answer for the number of affectionate husbands, its an open secret – “Rare“; and the solution is “Quit Nagging“.

No husbands in this world would like to do chores; because they have no interest in doing it; not because they don’t want to help. Those women who do not want to do any chores should not marry in the first place or employ a maid at their own expense. Or get a husband who wants to stay at home and do those stuffs while women go get food, clothing shelter and entertainment for him. Condemning patriarchy and at the same time enjoying the fruits of patriarchy is a shameless nauseating double standard.

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