While caring for one’s parents is the most normal thing to do, for some reason, women seem to get a lot of special attention for doing so.
Indian society is so hardwired to believe that only sons should take care of their parents. Eyebrows are raised when daughters, especially married ones, do the same. When Ash asked her mom to move in with her, the first question people asked was, “How nice of Abhishek. Will Jaya Bachchan be okay with it?” Why should such questions arise when a daughter is as much a child as a son?
Talking about how such selective scrutiny is quite unwarranted, Dr Aparna Rayaprol from the Department of Sociology, HCU, shares, “We need to understand that a child is always a child irrespective of their gender. There’s nothing unusual or special about a child taking care of their parents. The fact that a woman’s love for a parent is scrutinised is just because our society is so sexist and patriarchal. People forget that they may marry into another family but the responsibility as a child is something they continue.”
City-based sociologist Rukmini Rao echoes her opinion as she shares, “For a husband and wife, most things are done together and each of them will have personal familial obligations. But when it comes to women, people tend to highlight and talk about it more because our society is highly patriarchal, especially middle-class families, where a girl’s responsibilities seemingly shift from her home to that of her parents-in-law soon after wedlock.”
Actress Mehreen’s mother, Paramjit Kaur says, “It is normal for a kid to want to be able to take care of their parents. Mehreen might work tirelessly the entire day but once she comes home, she craves for love and attention from her mother. And I try to travel with her as much as possible so that I can give her that time when she finishes a long day of work. At times when I can’t go with her, I know she will ring me up the moment she wraps up work.” Moms and daughters share a strong bond which marriage cannot change.