It was an interesting game that revealed our ignorance! Our hostess had hit upon this novel idea to break the ice in the party as she felt that men and women had the tendency to ‘hole up’ together in corners.
Two trays were placed on the centre table. One contained different kinds of lentils while the other displayed nuts, bolts and screws. All the ladies had to identify where the nuts etc., fitted while the men had to identify dishes that could be made with the lentils.
It was a most shameful moment for the ladies when the men were declared winners. It struck me that men, though they don’t hobnob in the kitchen as much as we do, seemed to have a higher degree of awareness than us women who don’t really bother to look into the nitty gritty of the gadgets we use daily.
I must confess to absolute ignorance when it comes to changing the fuse or repairing a leaky tap. I know a number of women who are equally bad. How much we depend on our men folk when it comes to chores like this! Come to think of it, have you ever seen a female plumber or an electrician?
Our education system should equip us with some knowledge about such handy jobs. Our schools still continue to have the usual cookery and sewing classes for both boys and girls, but nowhere are we women taught to change a bulb or replace a worn out washer.
Why don’t we have vocational training courses where girls are taught plumbing and wiring! Once trained, these women can form little groups to service housing societies so that when their men folk are away at work, the housewives can safely admit the female plumber or electrician. Despite our going into many fields, some areas are still male dominated – not because men don’t allow the women but we women don’t venture into them.
We have seen many women as telephone operators but few in the maintenance staff. Here again, from the safety point of view, a trained woman is a safer proposition when admitting into homes. What we need is a total revamping of our employment parameters. This is possible of course only with the cooperation of men and women. On construction sites, women should be banned from carrying cement or any such physically tiring work. Instead, they should be trained to do masonry, floor laying, polishing and brick laying – all these require a certain dedication to detail and patience, both of which are woman’s strength
Both sexes are gifted with certain plus points and these have to tapped rather than fighting for jobs which may not suit them. Our country is large enough – to provide employment for all – it’s because we insist on plugging squares into round holes that we lose out.
There is ample bread on the plate for both men and women. Let us share according to our capacity and not grab to prove our superiority.