Carrying a load of bricks is considered labour. As is sawing wood, or shovelling coal. But zari work? Taking calls at a call centre? And, how about making the daily meal? Washing clothes? Tending to the sick at home?
Today as I write about my mother’s and chechi’s experiences through an intersectional feminist lens, I wonder who will pay for their physical and emotional labour. I wonder who will take responsibility for the loss of their youth. Who will take responsibility for the wear and tear that their bodies sustained from years of negligence? Most importantly, who will silence the mouths that say, “What ever did you do?”
Lisa calls such a model of marriage “sexist, out-dated and unrealistic.” Guess what? This sexist, out-dated and unrealistic model of marriage is the very model in vogue in our part of the world. Such a marriage model that should make parents of about-to-enter-matrimony women lose sleep, but this is the very model most parents are eager to shove their daughters into. Indeed such sexist marriages are the cause for over-the-top, days-long celebrations: i.e. the big, fat, horrendously expensive desi wedding.