Gender inequality

Coming from a misogynistic cultural background, Gender inequality is something I am very familiar with. It is ingrained in our culture.

But for the fear of losing my ability to read and understand Malayalam ( a language I use the least in my everyday life), I force myself to read Malayala Manorama.  If you ever attempted to read Malayala Manorama, you need to braze yourself for crappy journalism, mispronunciation of names where Katy Perry became katti pari. ( Somehow Malayalam font doesn’t work here ).  and innumerable amount of pop up ads. There are not many options available to me to make sure that I don’t forget Malayalam. Last year, I did subscribe to Vanitha magazine e edition and stopped reading after the first month because every other page was an ad and it was next to impossible to read it without having to go through all the ads. So once  a week I read Malayala Manorama online.

Sometime last week there was an online poll..Ammamarude madi ano maggi popular akkiyathu ? ( Is it the laziness of moms that made maggi so popular?)

I don’t know where to begin to write a response to such a misogynistic statement.

First of all, does the father play no role when it comes to the food his children eat? Is it written somewhere that only women must cook food for her family? appanmarkku madi onnum ille?

Secondly, how dare the editor of a leading ( questionable)  daily  even attempt to ask such a question?

There are times, I get home at 11.30 at night, especially when one of my kids have late night basketball matches. Often I do have something  ready in the slow cooker, but sometimes, I just wouldn’t have the time to even do that  and on those days the first thing we do is to boil water.. to make maggi mee.  Children and I love Maggi Curry mee ( Malaysian version) and we add some lettuce, carrots and an egg for myself and meat balls for the kids. It is quick to make and very satisfying.. especially on cold winter nights. I would wring the neck of anyone who would dare to accuse me of being lazy. I do my darnedest to make sure that this business called running  a household  and raising healthy and happy children efficient and sustainable especially for my mental and physical health.

The thing is, Indian society is so used to blaming the women for everything. When will we ever have gender equality, if the women  are blamed for the popularity of maggi noodles?

10 thoughts on “Gender inequality

  1. ha ! ha ! you got to be living here in Kerala on a permanent basis …… esp when u get into married life… it just gets all the more filthier … this gender thing..
    If the marriage doesnt go smooth,” it surely has got something to do with the girl’s upbringing and lack of humility”…. not even a single loner … not even a woman for that matter would stop to think if the man involved doesn’t have a hand in it? Men are so glorified … even if there are things wrong with the guy involved which are very much obvious also… the pallavi would be ” oh avanoru analle… chilapo anganokke cheythennirikum! ”
    Leave alone cooking and other household chores… even in this day n time, they are deemed as solely a woman’s job….
    recently there’s a news bit doing the rounds that says that mammooty had declared it seems ” women who cant cook for their kids should not have them”
    And the great malayalam movies of yesteryears have also gone a long way in building up this segregation…..

    • Martha: If you don’t react to this type of misogyny, this will continue. No newspaper here would have dared to run a poll asking if the laziness of women contributed to something. Women here are aware of their rights. Why can’t the Indian women start standing up for their rights?

  2. The article is stereotypical of Indian attitudes in general, and not necessarily specific to Kerala. It missed the essential message that should have been conveyed!
    The context was the puported finding of non permitted additives – in quality or quantity or both- of INDIAN MADE Maggi noodles. I believe many countries , including the US of A and Australia have ordered checks on this variety of noodles.

    • MK: I didn’t write about the contents of Additives issue deliberately. First of all, we are dealing with Indian standards. I don’t trust their findings. Few days ago, there was a photo of a forensic officer taking tissue sample at Karipoor airport. She didn’t even wear gloves. And who is to say the equipment they used to analyse maggi have been calibrated properly and that the staff have the technical knowledge to use it?
      I also read that Singapore govt did the tests on Indian Maggi noodles and it was fine.
      I can still find Indian Maggi noodles in Indian grocery shops here and Australian govt has stringent standards for food imported here. ( they recently banned Paneer from India due to contamination)
      Even if one ought to assume that there is high levels of lead in Indian made Maggi noodles, You do not add lead in to the noodles. There are 3 ways lead could hv entered Maggi. Through the flour based noodles, the vegetables in the flavour packets or the plastic cover. India has appalling bio security standards and only stopped using leaded fuel in 2000. The same with lead based paint. Most of the plumbing still has lead and lead has a very long half life, which means it is easily leached in to the ground water, which is used for every thing…wheat/ vegetables etc are contaminated with lead from the ground as well as ground water. How do you think Nestle should remove the lead from the wheat they use or the water they use for manufacturing? And why blame nestle, when every other product grown/manufactured in India will have high lead levels?

    • Anju: Thank you for the link. I can’t believe a woman could say such thing with impunity. However, when you post a poll, ethics must be considered. The ideal thing to do was to say, recently so and so commented like this, do you agree with Yes or no Option as answers.

  3. It’s not only Kerala, but pretty much all of India except for the metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore (as they’re pretty much modern and less conservative). There’s no balance and respect for women in India and blame always go to families who don’t follow the traditional norms. It’s funny you mentioned this because my parents just returned from a 3 week trip to India and my mom was nagging how we gave the family a “bad name” because my brother and I did not call India EVERY DAY despite calling there once a week. She caused drama because the fish I made for them could have had a little more salt. Also she’s freaking out that I’m still not married, and according to her “everyone in India marries by 25/26”, which is such bullshit, need to properly manage a household, and am not the typical malayalee girl, which I guess is needed before I’m “sent” to India to have marriage proposals shoved in my face. It’s always about the Kerala society and what they expect and want, rather than the welfare of the individual, hence I’m dead set against marrying in India because of this crass, crude mindset. Forget what others think…but that’s Indian society for you where open mindedness and progressive thinking is prohibited.

  4. You took it wrongly my dear. The whole thing you confused.
    Who is feeding child? Mother. starting from the breast milk. Then some cereals or some thing. So mother takes care the food of the children. Decides what food to be given and so on. Father does n’t have much say or option other than listening to mother’s suggestions.
    Here comes mother’s role. She decides what to be given to children and if she is not free or lazy she opts for Maggi type intant junk.
    How to blame men for it? And give lecture on gener inequlity Sarah?

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