Friday, January 14, 2011
Stop helping your wives
Language is powerful. Historically, it has been a patriarchal tool. Atrocities against women have always been given cute names, thereby reducing the shock value of intrinsically chauvinistic and criminal activities. An example to point is that disgusting euphemism: eveteasing.
Women need to recognise how powerful language can be and take ownership of it. They need to understand it and use it effectively if they ever want to be taken seriously.
I hate when women and men mouth the words “help the wife” as if it were a virtue. On the one hand, women say “My husband does not help out.” or “My husband helps me out so much.” On the other, men too talk about how they are willing/unwilling to help with the chores.
Help is defined as “To furnish with strength or means for the successful performance of any action or the attainment of any object; to aid; to assist.”
When a couple share a home, meals and children, why is keeping that home tidy, cooking those meals or raising those children predominantly the woman's job with the husband getting away with “helping her.” When the wife works outside the home, does that mean that she is “helping him?”
It is little nuances in our language that reinforce the stereotypes which exist in our society. Perhaps if we stopped using them, someday we may have a more fair world.