Saturday, January 17, 2015

#IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob ???

My blog is based on the following statistics, especially that 77% of Indian men depend on women for doing their laundry and that 85% of working Indian women feel that they have two jobs, one at work and another at home. Refer to his image for all the stats from a survey conducted by Ariel:

Imagine an Indian man putting clothes to wash in the washing machine, putting them to dry in the veranda and folding them and keeping them in the wardrobe. You just can't picture it, can you? I at-least have not seen any male I know, be it my father, brother, husband, cousins, father in law or friend do this.

Why is laundry a woman's job? Who defined this parameter?

If you see in countries like the USA, men will do their weekly laundry on Sunday or any holiday. They usually have to do it outside at one of the laundry places. They will know that you should not mix whites with colors, or how much and which detergent is required. But most of the Indian men will be clueless about this (sorry guys). But it's not just the men, a lot of working women might also be relying on helping hands for this task (but that again is going to be a woman only).

Men, will you become less manly if you put your own clothes to wash? Why do the wives or mothers have to pick up the dirty undergarments, stained shirts and smelly socks of the men in their families?

 (Image Source:

I asked around a few people in my family what to they think about this.

My mom said that if the woman is a housewife and has time, laundry should usually be done by her only. But if the husband can take up the task on holidays and give her a break on weekends, it would definitely take some stress off her back. Also at times when she is not feeling well or has to go out, if she knows that her husband or son etc will take care of it, she won't be constantly thinking about the task all the time.

My grandmother said that it is an Indian mentality that needs to be changed. At most, if the wife or mother is out of town, the men may take care of their own clothes. But they will never touch women's clothes, which is a little backward in thinking. But if they do their own laundry also it is good enough for a place like India.

There are men who will re-use unwashed clothes or get frustrated because their favorite t-shirt or shirt is still lying in the laundry bag. And then there are gentlemen who will do the laundry for their wife without asking. Both are extremes. :)

I personally think it should not be a gender based job. Whoever has the time should do it. Maybe take turns alternately if both are working. And thanks to the technology of fully automatic washing machines, all you need to do is put the clothes in the machine, and put them to dry or fold them and keep inside. I don't think that is difficult for a guy to manage.

Just like guys can cook at times, or take care of the baby; laundry can be done by the men too and there is no shame or embarrassment in that. Maybe they can do the laundry together and have some time spent together doing the same! I think that's a great idea.

Disclaimer: I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.

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