Men live in 2022, women stuck in 1900s: Study by female scientists
To collect the data, the scientists placed subjects in roles ranging from homemakers, new mothers, new working mothers, high-profile corporate officers and single women living in the capital, among other roles.
The subjects extensively journaled their experiences, which formed the main contents of the study. Below are excerpts of the subjects living out their days in a deeply patriarchal society:
DINU, 60, MATRIARCH OF THE HOUSE
My husband passed away many years back and I basically run the house. The staff, the household expenses are all managed by me. Yet, one day when I asked the electrician to come make some changes to my house, where I live, he called my brother (who by the way does not live with me or in my vicinity) to okay the demands I had made. I was simultaneously dumbfounded and, surprisingly, not that surprised.
FIONA SHAMS, 31, A HOMEMAKER SINCE THE BIRTH OF HER SON
It's incredibly complex to portray these emotions. I don't get much acceptance among my feminist friends who have continued work and are also successful homemakers and mothers. Neither do I get much support from my husband or my surrounding 'support system' because the modern woman CAN handle both family and career. So, why would I need support just to handle my child and the house? And then, I am also faced with the constant barrage of comments ranging from 'your child won't learn to value you because at the end of the day you just gave up everything to be a mom. You won't have an identity. You will toil away and spend the rest of your life in the kitchen…'.
SUHAIBA SHAIMA, 28, WORKING MOTHER
I married my partner under the pretext that we are equals, and he tries. But the system is designed so that men get away with doing the bare minimum. He is hailed as a great father for changing her nappy, taking her on walks or making her milk. Meanwhile, I am criticised for how I made her milk, how I dressed her, for taking her on walks later than her regular routine and all other qualifiers which my partner seems to be forgiven for, and even praised.
They say 'at least he is trying. How can you complain about that? Our husbands don't even try.' Some others say, 'Back in our day, we managed both home and career and our husbands supported our choice to keep on working while we perfectly maintained our shongshar. You modern girls complain about everything. Men need to be coaxed and praised for the work they do. If you complain they won't feel encouraged'.
MONOSHA MODHUSHRI, 27, SINGLE WOMAN LIVING HER BEST LIFE
My mother is very supportive of my choices, to not marry, to move away and live on my own. But does that mean the world doesn't remind me every day that I am a 'failure' for not being married or settled? It's relentless. Every day, I am told by my extended family how strange it is that I choose to be alone. My extended family, by the way, pretends to be modern and supportive. So, they dress the insults by feigning concern for me. They ask me what will happen to me once my mother dies, who will be my family? Who will take care of me when I am old? They 'worry' about my loneliness and keep urging me to settle down with anyone of MY CHOOSING. I write 'my choosing' in capital letters because they make it a point to let me know that I have the full liberty to choose my partner, you know, because they are supportive and won't interfere with my choice of a partner and that is why I should be happy.
This newspaper obtained a copy of the study manuscript which awaits publishing and will be available to public after it is peer-reviewed by a panel of all-male scientists.