Whether it’s by being completely blind to how much work mothers do at home, or by being in denial about the mistreatment their mothers receive from other family members, many men have a distorted perspective about their moms’ lives. And this Reddit thread that we’ve stumbled across is proof!
The thread started with u/fazerdaze01‘s rant about how frustrating it is to see men being oblivious of their mothers’ struggles. Specifically, the OP has described how women are conditioned to sacrifice themselves in order to prove their worth and then questioned men’s empathy for their mothers. Because yes, how is it that you’ve not noticed how you mother has been existing, at home, right in front of you? So, here are some of the comments in response to the post, that give a reality check.
1. “The sacrifices women make for others are always romanticized. I have often heard people giving examples of how women from the older generation kept their lives on hold for the sake of family. The more sacrifices a woman has made, the more worthy she is in the eyes of the patriarchy.
This quantifying is done to shame women today. This is a cycle of internalized misogyny – where women start comparing each other and measuring the sacrifices they’ve made.
I hope for a day where all women wake up and realize that they deserve respect as people, not just because she is a mother, daughter, sister etc. or not because of all the sacrifices she’s made for the family.
Sacrifice is not a parameter for being labelled a good woman.”
2. “I know men who encourage their sisters and partners to follow their passions, while also being blind to the fact that their mothers did what they did because they were heavily conditioned and not because it was their own choice. It’s taken so much discussion for my ex to realize his mother is capable of and would actually love to do so much more.”
3. “I remember there was a video posted by a son when COVID was at its peak in India. The mother was infected with COVID and was wearing an oxygen mask. She was in the kitchen cooking. The caption was something like “This is what a mother’s love looks like.”
So basically no one took over the cooking duties even though it was clear that the mom needs rest. This is peak romanticizing of suffering.”
4. “They deem modern women not worthy enough to be “Good, sacrificing, reliable bahus.” It’s deeply entrenched in our culture. Most Indian boys despite genuinely loving their moms, will never see it. And they will transfer that responsibility to their wives. It’s kinda bleak.”
5. “Here’s the hard truth. They love their mothers to death but would never ever want to be like them. Never. Speaking from personal experience, I once knew a man who adored his mother. He thinks of her as an angel who deserves the world. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s funny how he didn’t see his own mother struggle behind the rose tinted glasses.
Their family was all-male and this lady, she toiled day and night without even an iota of help from any of the men. They didn’t even think she needed help. They assumed she was this superhero. They never offered to help. Mind you these are men aged 25 and older.
These same people would say they love their mothers the most. But never made even a cup of chai for her. Imagine.”
6. “They want to put women on a pedestal as the ten-armed devi, make them think they need to be perfect in taking care of everything. Things would be better if instead of empty words/ praising, men pitch in and share the load. But that would be too difficult, hence the glorification of modern day ‘wonder women’.”
7. “I hate this romanticizing of the ‘Tyags’ (sacrifices) of mothers. Oh your mom eats last night’s leftovers but serves you fresh food? How about you share some of your food or make some for her instead of writing poems on WhatsApp about ‘Maa ka balidaan‘? A woman who refuses to behave like a slave is seen as a failure in a typical Indian household.”
8. “Funny thing…. My husband actually realized this after he got married. I was at my in-laws’ place and my MIL is so nice she doesn’t let me or anyone else do any work in the house. So I kind of force myself to clean and cook when I am visiting and force her to relax when she is visiting me. My husband and I share chores at home. So I was washing dishes for my MIL once, and my husband chimed in and said he will do them. He also said that he feels bad when I do all the chores while everyone is sitting down! My MIL was like ‘Oh so you feel bad when your wife does it but not your mother.’ And he felt so bad, we were shaking our head at him etc.”
9. “I see my father-in-law becoming a little less obnoxious because of me. My mother-in-law had to run home from her school during lunch hour to heat up the food and serve it to her husband before running back to her school. After being shamed for it by me, he has now learned to heat up and eat the food himself, lol.”
10. “Sometimes, they feel that bringing home a wife is their way to ‘Help their mother’.”
11. “I’ve said it once I’ll say it again – they don’t care because it benefits them.”
12. “I was talking about this with a guy and he just blatantly denied it by saying men have more responsibility of the family, they have to earn and prove themselves while women can just ‘Marry rich’… He also refused to believe that the wage gap exists and said that women love to complain about ‘Minor’ things while men just struggle silently…. I mean it must be nice to be ignorant when you’re getting the benefits from the way the whole society works right?
I wasn’t even saying that it’s their fault, I just said that patriarchy is embedded in us so deeply that we sometimes fail to realize that it exists.”
Smashing patriarchy by destroying one messed up belief at a time.