I find it ironic that my mom, who runs her own company and whose husband stays home during the day, can be very sexist to her own daughter. I grew up looking up to her, watching her working full time while putting as much energy into raising her kids. Her ability to juggle career with motherhood pretty much denies me the conservative option of being a stay-at-home mom.
But her views when it comes to gender roles are, surprisingly, very conservative. I am often criticized for staying in bed, going home late at night or not cleaning up my bedroom, merely because I am a girl.
“No guys will ever like you, unless you clean up your room,” she would say.
Our housekeeper recently ran away, and Mom has since repeated me the fact that “as a girl, you have to clean up the house.” Now, I don’t mind doing chores, but why does she have to link my gender to the obligation to do domestic work? And why am I the only one household responsible of keeping the house clean when I have three able-bodied siblings (who happen to have been born male)?
It is disturbing how my mom makes me sweep and mop the floor, while seeing my brothers watching TV or playing PlayStation. Not only that it is unfair, I fear that it will also have an impact on my brothers and their future relationship with their wives and kids.
I do not want my brothers to think that keeping a clean domestic environment is their wives' and daughters’ responsibility only. I work full time and I know how tiring it is to come home after work and still having to bear the responsibility to do the dishes and laundry. In addition, I now fear that I will meet some guy who expects me to do all the domestic works.
I am not against women doing household chores. I applaud stay-at-home mothers and supermoms like my dearest mother. But I believe both genders should share domestic responsibility, and I certainly think domestic responsibility should never be divided based on gender.
Hasianti Deamita is a graduate of Universitas Indonesia who is still pursuing the meaning of a purposeful life. She is a Libra at heart, indecisive yet always seeking balance in life. Say “hi” to @hasiantideamita on Instagram.