That One Commercial

If you’re living in the subcontinent and are even on one social media website, you’ve probably seen it – the commercial about the father apologizing to his daughter because he never did household chores, and thus ingrained the idea in his daughter that chores are a woman’s work.

Which, okay, is a nice message and all, and it’s palatable enough that even anti-feminists but pro-liberals agree with it; but honestly, I am so tired of it and of the discourse around it. It’s, frankly, childish and reductionist.

Like, thanks, Generic-Desi-Dad, for finally understanding how shitty of a person you were and are – but only when it was your own daughter who had to face the problems you happily dumped on your wife. As if your wife wasn’t someone’s daughter. As if your wife wasn’t a person who deserved to have her feelings heard and her needs met and maybe, just maybe, a weekend the way you got one.

But what’s the point now, man? You’re one foot in the grave and so is your wife, and your daughter and her husband are just going to repeat the cycle. It’s not going to give your wife, or the countless other women you helped put down directly and indirectly throughout the years. You can cry all you want, but there is no redemption for you.

It’s not just the commercial that’s terrible, it’s what people say when they share. “Help your mothers/sisters/wives with household chores” – as if it isn’t also YOUR house, you selfish, arrogant, misogynistic man; as if those chores aren’t YOUR chores to do as well. No, when you do them you’re “helping”, wow, so good of you, so kind, so liberal, so revolutionary. When you don’t “help” then no problem. When we do them, it’s our job apparently. It’s our lot in life and aren’t you a dear for making our lives easier?

You don’t get to make the work excuse – do you think you would be able to perform as well as you do at your job unless you had us around to make sure your home is neat and tidy and clean? To quiet the children and soothe the in-laws and make the food you eat and clean the place you live in so you’re not rolling in filth? You think household chores only involves physical labour? Hah.

Fuck you. Fuck your politics and fuck your world view. Fuck your very existence, because in the end all it does is make more work for us – to pick up after you when you don’t do chores, and to praise you when you do do them.

I am old, I am disabled, and I am tired.

Be More Gentle

I know this isn’t a new idea at all, what with all leftist writers espousing how being gentle in the face of capitalism is radical, but it is something I learned and something I try to follow in my every day life.

And unlike most of my leftist ideologies which come from my father, this is one of the few that are unique to my mother – along with honesty and humility and forgiveness. And it is even more true in our current cut-throat, dismissive culture.

Yes, people have more access to resources, and yes, after a certain age and certain level of education one’s ignorance is inexcusable; yet even then, I believe that gentleness and kindness are important.

Instead of dismissing, ignoring or ridiculing every misguided or unlearned opinion, I think we should take it as a learning opportunity. Being kind is far more important than being right.

 

DISCLAIMER: I do not mean to be kind in the face of oppression or outright adversity. If someone’s denying rights or being a bigot, I believe we should drag that piece of shit through hell and back.