About 3 decades ago when I was born (Yes, I am 30 years old!), it was customary in most families that the men went out to earn the bread while the women stayed back to cook, clean, wash, look after the kids, help them study, etcetera, etcetera. The responsibilities were clearly defined in black and white.
It all seems quite fair, except that the men worked 9 hours a day during the weekdays, while the women worked round the clock, round the year—yet didn’t get paid for it. The fact that it was an unsaid expectation of the female class to run the house cultivated a mindset that good women must brush their ambitions aside, let their career take a backseat, and embark on a ridiculous journey called I will be a Superwoman who will do everything and please everyone, for nothing, disguised in the name of selfless homemaking. This notion of Homemaking gradually evolved (from when it started long before I was even born) into an absurd practice of women being treated as sheer slaves born to run the kitchen and bear the kids—especially speaking from an Indian context.
And while some ahead-of-their-time modernists slowly became advocates of female education and career, they were outnumbered by the flagbearers of our patriarchal society who put forth all the more reason as to why it was irrelevant and unimportant.
Nevertheless, over the last couple of decades the women education and working women revolution took a big leap. Women started working, earning, and contributing financially to the household—in most cases, a bit less (thanks to gender pay disparity) or equal to the male counterparts and in few cases, way more than them. However, what they did and how much they earned made no difference to what was expected of them, back home. Not only did they continue cooking, cleaning, washing, etc. (with self-sponsored domestic in the recent past); but they are now also stepping out to earn the bread and make an identity. But amidst all of this, I see a fundamental problem. They can only do so much. They too have only 2 hands and 24 hours to do everything that is expected of them—which now, for obvious reasons, also includes earning money. They have slowly graduated from playing one superhero to playing two.
Growing up I did and I still do have a serious problem with all of this. Almost always and everywhere, I found myself demanding a fair and equal treatment as a woman. I wanted to make a change—however small or big—in how women were treated or thought of, in how women took on life, and in how life took to women.
The Modern Homemakers is my way to try and put an end to their being a superwoman ordeal. It is my way of propagating the notion that a house is the responsibility of everyone who calls it a home, that everyone can and should be a homemaker, that happy homes are not made of superheroes but real homemakers sharing an umbrella in the storm called life.