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House Chores Not For Women Only Manasseh F. Paul-Worika

Gender stereotyping has ruined many families and led to several issues in the larger society.

“Baby leave my hair alone, let me watch this movie in peace. You’re rushing to hold the hair as if you were the one who sat down for three hours to fix it”.

“Don’t tell me that oh, when I married you, I paid for everything, besides, if I don’t admire you, who will?”

Diseye almost choked with laughter.

“Okay, just touch it since your hand is scratching you, but please don’t scatter it for me”.

“See you forming good person, when time reach to write market list, you’ll add weavon and attachment too. You will not allow me rest”.

Diseye looked at Pere, pretending to be angry.

“So because I dey try manage you, you dey run mouth abi? Don’t worry, nothing for you again, bet me! She said stretching out her hands”.

“If dem born you well, make you try am, I will just cry till the whole neighbors will wake up and ask what the problem is. I will tell them my wife is tormenting me”.

Diseye laughed hard again and gave him a mild peck.

“Oya see, just make me my favorite food, by the time the meal is ready, I will be done with the movie”.

Pere quickly runs to the kitchen and puts on his apron as he proceeds to make her favorite food of jollof rice and fried plantain.

Just then, there is a knock on the door and diseye opens the door to welcome Ebi, Pere’s friend.

They exchanged pleasantries and she tells him that Pere is in the kitchen.

“Kitchen?” He asked with a surprise look on his face. “What is he doing there?”

“His he planting mangos in the kitchen sink? Of course he is cooking’’

Diseye said with a smirk.

“So your husband is in the kitchen cooking while you are watching TV?”

Just as she was about to reply Pere comes out from the kitchen.

“You make it sound like it’s a bad thing men”, Pere said. Ebi drags Pere aside.

“But bro, this is wrong by all standards, how can you be cooking while your wife sits with the remote, watching TV? This isn’t normal. This kind of thing cannot happen in my house. A whole man like you, do you know how many girls used to rush you back in those days?. “Desides, don’t you know women belong to the “Other room”?

Pere wipes his hands on the apron as he shakes his head.

“Ebi, Ebi, why did you come here sef?”

 “I came to inform you that we will be meeting later at the club, “I called you didn’t take your calls, now that I have seen you on your apron, I’m not surprised”.

“Ebi my good friend, first thing first. I am not you and will never be you. What works in your family might not work for mine and I don’t even want it to. My wife cooks every day for me so what’s the big deal in cooking for her just for today? I am always with my wife in the kitchen everyday to help her out, and so you know, I wash my clothes and hers when I have the time and I don’t leave to do the chores alone. She’s my wife, not my slave”.

Stood, transfixed as Pere continued, “Look Ebi, no two marriages are the same; do what you like but don’t kill Becca in the process”.

Ebi brings out his handkerchief and wipes his face.

“I won’t come to the club today. My wife doesn’t like clubbing that much and since she gave up her modeling career because of me, I need to let go of something’s too. I need to get back to the kitchen, my regards to the boys”.

Ebi hastens his steps as he walks out of the house.

“My husband my husband, double ration for you this night, correct man wey sabi”.

The story above is a representation of a typical Nigeria home. One in which young men are  raised and trained to see certain responsibilities and duties (household chores) as strictly for “Women” and hence consider it a “taboo” to carry out such responsibilities.

Reports indicate that woman still to the bulk of household chores and that they are perceived to be useful in the “other rooms”.

Studies indicate that girls are asked to do more work around the house than boys. In fact, one study found that on average, girls did two more houses of chores in the week, while boys got to play during this time.

In the year 2019, gender stereotypes still exist, with “girls should learn to do household chores” being one of them.

But think about it, neither males nor females are born with a genetic predisposition to wash dishes or do the laundry. So why should one gender be picked over the other to do these chores?

Gender stereotyping is a dangerous thing as it places pre-determined notions and ideas in the heads of boys and girls. And when they grow in adult, it limits their ability to develop their personal skills, pursue their dreams (professional and otherwise) and make wrong choices about their life plans.

Parents play an important role in their children’s to upbringing, regardless of whether or not they are to council every factor in their development. Parents are responsible for imparting important skills to their children such as how to clean, how to cook, how to shop, how to budget, how to manage and keep a good home and conduct themselves in public.

Consequently, in many families where financial resources are limited, girls are often the first to sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow, and enjoy their childhood. While their male counterparts are relaxed, and show no sense of responsibility or concern in attending to domestic chores.

As the society is evolving and their need for mutually beneficial more support and responsibilities. It is important for males to be trained to do basic household chores to complement the efforts of the female in counterparts.

Parents should do more in teaching their sons to perform certain household chores as it will teach them to be responsible men.

Getting boys to do household chores, can make a significant impact on how they view responsibility and value women.

Mrs. Mercy Okocha, a mother of three boys said, “Some children regardless of their gender naturally jump to work without parents nagging them but it is rare to see boys cooking or taking care of younger babies in many families. It is our responsibility as parents to nurture good habits. There is nothing a girl can do that boys can’t do. The matter lies in the poor mindset that we need to change”.

Mr. Innocent Ellah, a father of two said, “I believe in the saying that children should be protected from hunger, but not from chores. Teaching your son today how to make his bed or clean up toys or taking out bin at the end of the day, means that someday when your boy is a husband, a dad, he won’t think twice about pitching in with household duties”.

Mrs. Golda Ukamadu said, “This issue of gender stereotyping when it comes to household chores begins from the home. If we instill in our kids from a young age that no household chore is gender sensitive, then we’re half way in changing the mentality of our sons. And parents have a whole lot of work to do. If the same energy and vigor used in training the girl child is put in training the boy child, I’m sure we wouldn’t have a generation of men who’ll see it as a taboo to fix dinner for their wives when they (men) arrive home much earlier”.

Negative gender patterns should be addressed lest they become issues in adulthood. Boys need to be introduced to domestic chores and not see it as statutory responsibility of the girl child.

One great importance in teaching the boy child to handle domestic chores is the virtue of empathy and kindness. Back in the days, a boy would think nothing of seeing his mother work all day doing various household chores. While he probably wouldn’t think to help, neither would his mother have expected him to. The same boy might grow up to be a husband who yells at his wife for not having his meal ready on time, or criticize her for allowing the laundry to pile up.

If we want our men to be kind and sensitive, rather than aggressive and unsympathetic to others, then a good place to start is the home, through chores.

And while at the beginning, getting your boys to do chores might be a “huge Chore” in itself, eventually, you’ll see them willingly jumping to help you prepare dinner or tiding up the house.

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