55-er: Sibling Discrimination


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They came home from college. She wasn't feeling well. He thought he'd help her with the dishes.

Their mother snatched the dishes from him. “You men shouldn't be doing kitchen work”, she snapped.

He left the kitchen quietly. However, he couldn't get himself to look his sister in the eye for the next few days.
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10 comments to 55-er: Sibling Discrimination

  • This is so common.

    A friend of mine had to leave her books to make snacks or cool drinks for her brother :(

    Mothers feel guilty if they let sons work at home, they feel he won't feel confident amongst his friends if he is treated like a 'nobody' at home :(

    The attitudes are changing but very slowly...

  • @kiran & @IndianHomeMaker:
    True but things are kind of changing. And again, I have to say - Be the change you want to see in the world.

    And, yes its very common, even my home (native) sometime it happens, but not only because of gender but also due to the the fact that I now became a visitor.
    Secondly, I don't take the things as it is, and I try to be part of kitchen work. I try to do things which I can do if not the best atleast ok enough :-)
    Thirdly and more importantly, sometimes its not only about gender, its also about expertise, and we should respect that too.

  • I would have loved it if the brother had put his foot down and worked. At least I wouldve done that.

  • This attitude must change.Why mustn't the boys do a bit of kitchen work?

  • I disagree with Kiran in that such situations can exist. The boy must educate the mother that there's nothing wrong in him doing the dishes since sister is tired. Today's world where most youngsters have to leave home and settle in different city for a job, it is quite handy that the male folks know a few chores.

  • Once again a good one Kiran. This happens in most houses. The attitude of women must change. I know for a fact how I am looked down upon because I don't snatch the duster off my husband's hand and say that I will do the cleaning, but instead let him help me! I have been told pointedly by other ladies to take my baby son form my husband as he, poor man, has been holding him for long. Lol.

    @Deepak, Regarding the third point, expertise comes from experience. And if one gender is not allowed to do something, where will the experience for the expertise come from??

  • It's 1 woman making the other woman's life difficult!
    Men are sandwiched!

  • Mum there's something seriously wrong here. Why must I, the brother, do the household chores all the time? :D

    Call it my love for my kid sister or her terror. :P

  • Nice one Kiran... this concept of 55-ers is interesting!

  • @IHM: Its not only about mothers feeling guilty. Their attitude is - she has to grow up and serve her husband, so she might as well start practising serving her brother. He, on the other hand is going to grow up and "rule" over his wife. Makes my blood boil every time I think of it.

    @Deepak: The factors you mentioned are valid - but I think these situations are not the point of this post. I have personally seen from close quarters, families which have a son and a daughter; where the daughter sacrifices even her studies and careers for her brother. You examples showed cases where the sister willfully does the kitchen work. This post is about cases where she is forced to do so.

    @Abhi, @BKChowla, @Vikas: Yes - that would have been the ideal case. But I wanted to showcase the reality :(

    Further, imagine this from a young boy's point of view. One moment he may feel sad for his sister. But, his conditioning will ensure that his guilty feelings are swallowed soon. He is being given all the importance - why owuld he throw it all out for his sister?

    @Shail, @JScinro: You brought up the other aspect of this post - that the boy is sandwitched. He is torn between his feelings for his sister on one side, and the luxuries he is following on the other. I dont see why men need to shy away from doing "household" chores if they are good at it. I would stay miles away from cooking; but I certainly would help with the clothes in the washing machine and the dishes in the sink.

    @Chet: Heehee .. ya thats a welcome comic twist to this tale :)

    Sharvani: Thanks! It is really satisfying if you are able to fit all that you wanted to say about a topic in 55 words.

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