Oh C’mon!

A conversation that I had with my housemate, ConfusedBabe (CB) somehow steered towards a discussion on feminism. She claimed she was a feminist and I was glad that I had found a house mate who believed in the ideology. And then we had the following conversation:

Me: So, what do you want to do after your MS?

CB: Hmm… I don’t think I’ll be doing a PhD an’ stuff. I’ll probably work for a while before I head back.

Me: Oh cool, so you have some definite plans of going back to India.

CB: Oh yes. Most definitely. In about 10 years maybe. After I’ve made enough money. I definitely cannot do my laundry all my life!

Me (Perplexed): Huh? Laundry all your life? What about clean clothes?!

CB: No..No.. What I meant is, I am not going to be doing mine, my husband’s and my children’s’ laundry all my life.

Me: Ofcourse! You have your husband help you out an’ stuff… so you won’t have to do it all the time!

CB: I’d rather hire a cook to do all my cooking, a maid for my cleaning etc. instead of me doing it. After all, it doesn’t look good that my husband is doing laundry an’ all na? What will people think? So, I am a girl na? And so I will only be doing all the cleaning and washing and not him.

WTF? So CB here, was worried that her macho husband will fall from whose favor? The scores of nosy relatives who are watching with an eagle eye and are wondering if you are making more money than their son-in-law? Or those relatives whose sole pastime is carrying gossip from one household to the next? And all this because he would help her out with chores? Chores necessary to keep a house that both would be living in and be responsible for? I was disturbed and disappointed to see that a grown woman of my generation would still consider herself to be the ‘lesser’ one and would continue to patronize a patriarchal family where the woman is “supposed” to “bear the burden” of household chores, nevermind the fact that she is financially an equal (if not more) contributor to the welfare of her family.

I certainly understand that one would like to lead a comfortable life as you grow older and I would too. But this painted a picture of the heavy-around-the-belly-husband coming home and squatting on the couch. His wife putting his ‘brief-case’ away and serving him tea even before she has had a chance to freshen up herself. And all this being expected of the woman. I couldn’t stomach it. I have always thought of my partner as my equal and would expect the same treatment from him as I would met out. I wondered what lessons would be passed on to CB’s children whose laundry she would so grudgingly be doing. That, it is still unfortunate to be born a girl?


Game day(s)

It has been a while since I watched a game on television leave alone go to a stadium, and probably would never have ventured out to buy $49 tickets to watch baseball, a game I have only recently made acquaintance of. Coming from a country where football refers to soccer and the nation’s cricket team is revered as much as any of the numerous deities, softball and baseball would definitely take a back seat in my life. That said, yesterday, I not only watched the Astros vs. Dodgers game at Minute Maid Park and immensely enjoyed it, but have been playing softball for my company and am lovin’ it!

Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX - Home of the Astros

Cricket at Wankhede stadium aeons ago having faded from my memory, I had forgotten how impressive a stadium could be… The throngs of people heading toward a single venue, the flags, the music and banners, faces of spectators painted to show their support for a favorite team, the applause and the “Boos”, and finally the green, green field.

Although the game was slower than I would have liked it to be after a long day at work, the catered food and drinks and the people I went with more than made up for it. I would recommend watching one of these games live, simply to experience the sheer energy in the stadium if not anything else.

Softball however, was a whole different “ball game”. I, being a neophyte and oblivious to the rules, had to be led through the entire game by a member of my team. And what’s worse? I learnt it “on the job”, swinging the bat and running for first base on cues of “Run, Rock Star! Run!”. The pitcher of the opposite team felt sorry and actually asked that I move two steps to position myself correctly to “bat”. I cannot help but have a sneaky feeling that I am the weakest link in the team, but I wouldn’t stop going to one of these till the season’s up. The reason? I always, always make contact with the ball! The things that does to my grinning self-esteem! Yaaay! Only now, it rains in Houston everyday with no consideration for the likes of me. And hence, I cannot help but have a sneaky feeling that the Universe conspires against me and my softball. And my free beers after the game.