Real Men Don’t Do Chores: How Gender Bias Plays a Role in the Home
Gender bias is a phenomenon inherent in every society and the Gambia is no exception. Gambian society holds certain backward and limiting beliefs such as gender roles in high regard. Gender roles are a byproduct of patriarchy. Patriarchy, as we know, was set up to give men the upper hand while keeping women trapped in the kitchen and on the birthing bed.
Gender roles are still imposed on Gambian women today and are mostly apparent in the workplace, and obviously, the home. Many Gambian mothers assign household chores to their daughters while their sons just go around doing nothing meaningful.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like it is a bad thing. After all, it is a woman’s duty to care for the home, right?
Even if a little a part of you agree, such perceptions are behind the problem!
Disadvantage of Assigning Gender Roles in the Home
The only time I see boys do chores at home is if their mothers have no daughters or if they are from highly conscious families. In such cases, you will see that when a boy reaches a certain age—maybe 11 or 12—he begins to launder his own clothes, sweep, winnow the rice and even follow his mother to the market. All families should follow such an example no matter how many girls are in the family.
#1.Limits Female Potential
One of the disadvantages of gender roles in the homes is it takes away the identities of the young girls and women doing all the chores in their homes and reduces them to domestic help thereby seriously affecting their schoolwork.
It is for this reason that some girls are discouraged to do anything academic especially when they are always reminded that they’ll be married one day.
“Is it your books that will cook for your husband?”
Such are the poisonous words of illiterate submissives.
#2.Fuels Patriarchal Thoughts
Every man by way of being born a man was also born with male privilege. Society puts precedence on a male child and subliminally, we all absorb all of that information by way of the media. The last thing Gambian parents should do is to make their homes Petri-dishes for such toxicity to grow and thrive. Our Gambian sons should be raised in homes where they are seen as equals to their sisters and with the same chores. If we don’t do that, then we should be the last to complain when they begin disrespecting women and you know what they say: CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME! Before any boy goes out to disrespect a woman, he will first begin at home. What then, huh?!
#3.Makes Them Inconsiderate
When I was in school, a lot of my female classmates would talk about their brothers’ collective bad behavior: bringing muddy shoes after the floor had been cleaned, not cleaning the table after eating, not taking the trash out etc. I can say—with the utmost confidence—that if such brothers are given chores, they would be a lot more self-aware and considerate towards their sisters.
#4.Creates Lazy Boys and Men
From what I see, when a lot of Gambian boys and young men wake up in the morning, all they do is take baths, eat breakfast and “kampeh”. Very few launder their clothes or at least clean their rooms. They expect (the word here is “expect”) their sisters and mothers to do all such work.
What do you think will happen to such boys and young men when they grow older and become husbands? Imagine!
Gender roles are outdated and as such, should be left to lie within the bosom of past, uncivilized societies.
What’s your view? We’ll love to hear from you through the comments sections below.