“Social Diary brings you an account of
what it is to be a woman in our society.”
By Mahvish Akhtar
Since childhood, we are trained to serve, whether as sisters, mothers, or wives. We have been told as women that our place in society and a household is as nurturers and caretakers. We have always been given the impossible job of being everyone’s everything. Why do I say,impracticable? Let’s think about it for a moment. Explore what we are asked to do.
As a sister in the family,she isa direct understudy to the mother. She picks up the slack and takesimmediate orders from her. Anytime she misses any work or has a bad day at school,both are unforgivable. “What will you do when you get married? Is this the kind of food you will feed your in-laws? How will your husband feel when you can’t even wake up on time to make his breakfast?” Now that we have started to focus on education,it’s double the burden with zero appreciation for the fact that our girls are learning all these tasks to jump into the unknown without any compassion from the surrounding environment. They are constantly reminded that they have to be perfect or else. What exactly is that “or else”? This is such a vast question and such a burden on our women that just the unknown of it keeps them from straying from what they have been asked to do.
On the other hand, their male counterparts have no stress other than to study. They are told to focus, which is the absolute right attitude to have with your kids. Sadly though, our girls are deemed unworthy of this unconditional support.
Men grow up watching their mothers and sisters. They have always seen their mothers waiting for hand and foot on their fathers. They have watched their mothers train their sisters to take care of their husbands and in-laws to be. Now here comes a woman that is in the same position as every other woman that they have ever known. No doubt, this may be a loving relationship, and most of the wives do take care of their husbands and home happily. They consider it their responsibility.
There is nothing wrong with that at all. The problem occurs when this woman who is ready to give her all, who is prepared to make sacrifices and commit with her emotions and actions is treated like she is only there for the job.
Wives have a tough job. They have to make sure everything runs smoothly, and everyone is happy at the end of the day. They have to ask their husband and the in-laws what they need and want every day or just know what they need. Who is asking her? Who is caring for her needs and wants? Many times if she is lucky enough to have someone in her life who asks her if she needs something, let me tell you that she has been trained and conditioned quite well not to utter a word. She has beentaught to keep her feelings to herself because she doesn’t want to trouble other people.
This is the real problem; The general misconception is that women are trouble makers, gossips, and are always chattering about every big or small issue. In reality, it’s the opposite. They are keeping so much inside. They are protecting their families. They are making sure no one gets hurt because of them, and they feel the burden of all of that because they know no matter how the situation goes wrong, all the blame comes on the woman. After all, they are women, and everyone believes that it is in a woman’s nature to talk.
This is where all bets are off for most of them. What is it about becoming a mother that everything is worth the trouble all of a sudden. The world doesn’t change for women, but the woman changes. The women look at everything differently. They just want one thing from the world. They only want their children to have the best of everything. All of a sudden, everything that they have been through or are going through becomes very small and unimportant in comparison.
The world still doesn’t see it that way. The world doesn’t let her decide how she wants to priorities her time. She doesn’t get to choose what she gives more importance to and what she leaves for later. Women are still expected to do everything else just as well, maybe even better because now, “you are a mother, you should be wiser and better at everything.”
What happens if a mother asks her child to make his or her breakfast? That mother is racked with guilt. Other people only add to it. Even though she doesn’t need a reason, but she might have done it because she has to cook, clean, do laundry, take care of other children, in some cases, go to work. Asking the older kids to make their breakfast is not unreasonable. Asking other adults to make their breakfast is also entirely reasonable. How would that work out for her? She can’t even get a thank you for doing everything she does. She hasn’t yet gotten a thank you for all those nights she stayed up with the babies also though she had to be up early the next day; making breakfast is nothing.
They say women need more sleep than men. Scientists. Scientists say that. As a mother and a wife I can tell you that sleep is an elusive, beautiful thing that I long for. There is so much to do that even when I get to bed, there is a burden of what I didn’t get done and the guilt of not having finished everything that I was supposed to; I know most women can relate to this. When this idea of guilt is presented, the argument usually is that this is a construct of a female mind. They say, “women feel guilty for things theythink they have to do and haven’t done, how is that anyone else’s fault?”
Well, if women were told that they were good enough as they are, that they are loved without having to try so hard maybe they wouldn’t feel like they have to keep going. If they didn’t feel that the approval of their family and loved ones come from completing their chores and getting everything right, they wouldn’t feel guilty and not spend their nights tossing and turning to torture themselves.
All they are asking for is acknowledgment and awareness that women are more important to society and how it’s run than they are given credit. It is painful and frustrating to be a woman and be aware of what they are doing for their families and society without getting any credit for it. This just goes to show you how strong and stable womenfolk are; even after all this neglect and adversity they do what,they have to do.They overcome and hold everything together. This world would be in shambles without women. If no one else will acknowledge it, at least women can give ourselves that acknowledgment.