To do or not to do household chores

Published On: March 6, 2020 09:55 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Chores—you can’t run from them. And yet, sadly, most still consider it to be a woman’s job. Men in the kitchen—cooking or doing the dishes—are ‘helping’ the women because they are the ‘providers’ and chores aren’t their ‘department’. Defying that very idea is one of the core notions of feminism. As Women’s day draws near and we prepare to celebrate how far we have come in terms of equality but how far we have yet to go, The Week talked to six men to find out what men today think of household responsibilities. 

Aafan Khan, Climber
One day, I’m going to be completely independent and away from my family. And one day, I’ll be doing all my household chores with no one to help me out. Which is why now is a good time for practice. I usually assist my mom when she’s cooking. Because of her, I know how to cook a lot of continental dishes. Cleaning and dusting the home is much easier with her help. Thanks to the existence of washing machine, I haven’t had to learn how to wash clothes with hands yet. With shared responsibility at home, it’s much more convenient for everyone. I don’t think it’s a matter of gender but about everyone doing their bit to keep a home running. 

Srijan Prajapati, Potter
I have been doing all household chores by myself ever since I was a kid. When I was a child, my father had an accident and so my brother and I had to share all household responsibilities. Moreover, we didn’t have any sisters and so we had no choice but to do it, even if grudgingly. As a child, it did feel like a bit of a burden but as an adult, I’m used to it and see it as an essential part of daily life. Since I’ve been working alongside my mother since my childhood, the idea that people think men aren’t supposed to do household work never crossed my mind. And I still believe that it’s necessary to do every little thing in your home by yourself, regardless of your gender.

Kelsang Shrestha, Singer/songwriter
I don’t actually do household chores if I’m being honest. The only things I do is taking care of myself and my things. I do my laundry—that is, put it in the washing machine and take it out when it’s done—and keep my room and all my belongings clean. My mother or our house help takes care of other things like cooking and the likes. The reason I said I don’t do ‘household chores’ is because I don’t take these small things I do as chores—instead I consider it as taking small responsibilities now that will make me more independent as I grow older.

Shubham Pathak, Student
I think chores are something that I started doing without giving it a second thought. I love cooking. The usual rice and dal with a special serving of meat is my favorite. Getting the laundry done and keeping the rooms clean are chores that I have come to accept as routine—something you have to do in order to survive. The idea that only women should be doing those works is outrageous. It promotes the idea that women should stay at home and take care of the house. It’s about time we put an end to this inequality and we could start by not defining gender roles. 

Bhumishwar Paudel, Journalist
I do complete a few household chores myself. I’ve been living away from my family since I was 10 years old. So, in order to survive I’ve had to take care of myself and thus to do a lot of chores. The good thing is that I’ve carried that habit of mine into my married life. But unfortunately, I’ve been swamped with work these days and my wife has had to do more household chores because of that. But I’m trying to change and try to do what I can. I like cooking so I prepare the vegetables and the pickle for most meals and, during my off days, I wash all our clothes and clean around the house.

Tulashi Bhattarai, Government official
During my childhood, it was, no doubt, my mother who did all the household chores for me and my family. But it’s been 14 years or so that I started to wash my clothes and also learnt a bit of cooking as well. I left home at 16 and moved to Kathmandu and since then I have had to do everything by myself, as I lived by myself and couldn’t afford any form of help. The transition from staying at home to living alone and doing the chores by myself wasn’t that difficult, though I do admit my cooking was below par at first. Now that I’m married, my wife and I split the housework and take turns in doing all the chores. Safe to say, household chores seem a little less mundane when you have someone else to do it with you. 

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