Life skills, not gender roles.

In every single family, everyone has responsibilities. Your mum takes care of your home, your dad goes to work or maybe its vice versa. You and your siblings go to campus or school. All of us have responsibilities that we need to fulfil. SO WHY IS IT THAT, IN A LOT OF FAMILIES, THE BOYS DON’T HELP IN THE KITCHEN?

I have no issues with being in the kitchen. I’ll cook and I’ll bake with a smile. Most of us will. But what infuriates me is that after we’re done eating, you leave and expect someone else to clean up after you. We all know that there is a great reward in serving your family but there is also great reward in helping said family. 

This concept of women being the ones in kitchen is not one that comes from Islam. Aaisha (R.A) was asked, “What did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)

Why is it that the males just sit and watch us clear the table? What exactly is taking a toll on their ability to pick up a plate and put it in the basin?

If you’re a male and you’re reading this, let me tell you how I feel. Every single time one of you watch as I clean up the table, I feel inferior. I feel like the only reason I’m needed, is to clean up so you don’t have to.

If you’re a female reading this who doesn’t believe that your son needs to help clear the supper table, answer these questions: Why do you allow your daughter to feel this inferiority? Why do you succumb to our culture, a culture that has constantly given boys a leeway when it comes to basic life skills like cooking and cleaning?

All I’m saying is that the next time there’s a family supper, don’t make your sister, your cousin, your aunt or your mum feel like they’re only there to serve you. 

This is a reoccurring fight in our family. I constantly explain that even though I have the same (if not more) responsibilities than the males in my house, I am expected to do more than them. But this is a fight that I’m retiring. No longer will I try to change the double standards, I will simply try to do better with my children. 

I will not let my daughter feel the way I feel, I will make sure my son helps his sister and I will teach both of them that cooking and cleaning are not gender roles but life skills. 

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