Festive Season Is Highly Likely To Take A Toll On Women’s Mental Health. Why Is It Based On Women Toiling?

Festive Season Is Highly Likely To Take A Toll On Women’s Mental Health. Why Is It Based On Women Toiling?

The festive season is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me you’re more anxious than excited. Firstly, the festive season warrants too much socialising with people I’ve not met in over a year and my introverted self cannot and doesn’t want to handle all that drama. But going further, I don’t even enjoy the expectations around such days, especially for women. I’ve been lectured by men in my family for not having showered early on some festival when they themselves are lazing around in their pajamas before the TV. 

I used to have Ganpati celebrations in my home for around 9 years. And after the first 2 years, the novelty of it all wore off. And the older I grew, the more I started disliking having celebrations in my home. And no, I have nothing against the festival or religious sentiment of it. But, it was just 2 days of me, my mother and the other women in my family scrambling around in heavy desi outfits cooking, plating, and serving food. We would entertain the guests. After hours of slogging in the kitchen, the women would first serve the men who had been sitting around doing less than the bare minimum. And this also includes my cousin brother who is younger than me, FYI. And I hated every bit of entitlement the men in my family had and didn’t want to be on the receiving end of it.  

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I also remember not enjoying Ganpati because of how drained it left me. After the visarjan, we would finally get to breathe a sigh of relief as we finally were able to allow ourselves the luxury of feeling tired. What irritated me was how avoidable all this was if only we women had some help from the other half of the household.  And that’s the thing, I believe that somehow, the festive season turns into this odd chore for women. While the rest of the household is enjoying their holidays, eating delicious foods, and going out, women are supposed to make food for them, get them ready, deep clean the house, decorate and most importantly, make sure they look impeccable. I cannot stress enough how much pressure the festive season puts on women in terms of their appearance, their clothing, their cooking, housekeeping etc. It’s like an open invitation to every Tom, Dick and Harry to come and judge the woman of the house based on all these factors. And she’s expected to do all with little to no help from the men she lives with. No wonder women tend to be more tired and drained around this time.  

Also Read: Getting Ready For Navratri? Here Are 7 Serums To Add To Your Skincare Regime This Festive Season

Then the question comes around, why is it this way? Why is the foundation of almost every festival in India based on women working their asses off every year. Why is no responsibility of any of the physical labour put on the men of the household? I remember this one Taarak Mehta episode where Jethalal begrudgingly helps Daya in the Diwali cleaning when Bhide walks in and ridicules him for the same. Like…why? Is it so out of the ordinary for an adult man to take responsibility for his household too? And also be just as enthusiastic for the festivals as women are expected to be? I don’t get why the pressure of the success of such household events fall mainly on the women of the family. If everyone is enjoying the festive season equally, why not contribute similarly too?

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Priyadarshini Malavia

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