44 Comments

As a male guilty of so many of the above, I want to add another Weapon to the list, which I am again guilty of. It is called "Weaponized Guilt". This is where the men accept they are incompetent/procrastinating/ignorant and that they should improve but never do. It is when we accept that women of the household work disproportionately and unfairly, recognize that we men should do better, but then delay getting better. This is made worse by accepting this guilt openly in front of friends do. I have said things like, "She does everything, runs the house and is awesome. I dont do anything man, I know I have to help her". But that helping eventually never happens. I am taking small steps to improve, but far away from being an equal. I hope to keep doing better and not considering it a favor.

Expand full comment
May 3, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

touched beyond words. as a woman standing at the cusp of her prime youth, i’m tarnished for life, at least when it comes to the institution of marriage. i hope my cynicism gets better with time, however, till then, i’m happy with my individualism.

Expand full comment
May 3, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

One of the most hilarious and deeply saddening pieces. Hilarious since it makes you wonder how similar journeys of most married women in India are and yet no one talks about it. Sad because women are supposed to put up with this bullshit even in 2023

Expand full comment
May 9, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Excellent analysis. Superb article. I am sure one of these days some of the Raja Betas graced with their privileges of weaponised incompetence will have a brain storming session and solve the problem with their weaponised problem-solving skills by giving out a supaari for Mahima. "She is putting words in our innocent wives' mouths!" because you are making the women assess their situation and realize the predicament they are in. You are turning the unspoken into speech events.

As a working woman I too had needed/longed for a wife. In 1995 I had written an article 'Wife's Wife' encouraging all the Bhabis and madams that their maids are their wives and should be properly taken care of because they are the only ones who make the home, the existence comfortable for you. Your husband may never, your children may be later may realize the drudgery you faced but your life is gone doing the repetitive domestic chores.

As a woman if you want to fight patriarchy raise a feminist son.

Expand full comment
May 7, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

man im only halfway through but the Salman Khan gifs are so funny and i like how they're ONLY bhoi

Expand full comment

I really like the analogy of running through the house holding knives making something an unintended weapon.

I say this to my students at school ‘it doesn’t matter if you hurt someone by accident if you weren’t behaving appropriately’. Malicious intent is worse, of course, but hurting people by negligence and inaction is so disrespectful.

A great piece, thanks for writing.

Expand full comment

This is really validating to someone like me who had to fight her entire family against this quality by my ex. Yep, divorced him. Thank you for writing this!

Expand full comment
May 3, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Add weaponized lack of automation :) doing lots of unnecessary manual labor till wife is compelled to step in. Great companion post to mental load

Expand full comment
May 3, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

truly amazing letter

gave me womens pov and motivated me to change this stubborn attitude that has been gifted in generations

we need to end this guys

Expand full comment
May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Mental load is highly underrated. Remembering to look if groceries are getting over, calculating how many days supply you have of atta/rice/dal is no easy math. I think we should have a rule that every person should live alone in a rented accommodation without maid/cook for 1 year. Then he will learn to remember to pay electricity bill, maintenance, buying groceries etc.

Expand full comment

Truly enjoyed this piece. We are an Indian couple living abroad which means we don’t have maids to insulate us from the weaponisation that you so beautifully captured. My solution has been to drop my standards to new lows rather than bow down and do the work (where health and safety of the family permits).

Expand full comment
May 14, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

One of the most relatable piece. The irony is that, if I share it with 10 men only 2 will read and understand whats' being conveyed. 😑

Expand full comment
May 14, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

All the stories are quite relatable, especially since I moved overseas I can tell how much help it is to divide household responsibilities. Reading this made me realise that I should be more appreciative of the men in my life. My dad and brother ran the household, including jhaadu pocha and dishes, during peak lockdown while my mom and sis-in-law were stuck with me for 2 months. I am even more appreciative of my late husband who even during his cancer treatment days would order groceries (extra when he couldn't decide how much is appropriate bless his soul) when he couldn't sleep from the meds. Of course they all weaponized incompetence at various points in time but the scale is much smaller and my takeaway here is to count my blessings. Sometimes my brother jokes that I'm too feminist, and I get irked by it but I realize my home is more supportive than I thought it was. It's still a work in progress but I have hope!

Expand full comment
May 10, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Yes I can relate it with my mom and dad and also I had not given a thought about the small household activities and how much my mom does for the family i will truly try to contribute from me

Expand full comment
May 10, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

This is such a infuriating, frustrating but at the same time wonderful and important piece. Thank you Mahima.

Expand full comment
May 8, 2023Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Love this piece 🙌🙌

Expand full comment