Coronavirus Shutdowns – How They Reveal The Sexist Truth Of Our Households

Coronavirus has successfully interrupted and disturbed the lives of people everywhere. It has forced schools, colleges, and offices to be shut down. It has completely stopped people from leaving their houses. The virus has also done away with people’s ability to order products, be it food or anything else.

People have been ordered to not leave their houses at all. They have also been ordered to self-quarantine at home. This means that individuals have to stay within their houses with the people that they live with for an indefinite period of time.

For some people, this means relaxation and a break from everyday stress. School and college students are being told to join online classes, and office workers have been told to work from home. Even if doesn’t take it away entirely, working/studying from does take away some of the stress and effort involved.

However, this has translated into even more stress and work for some people.


Students and office workers staying at home means that the person responsible for taking care of them has to deal with the additional burden of taking care of them the entire day.

Know More – Coronavirus And Its Challenges – The Mental Health Of Medical Workers

Coronavirus Shutdowns - How They Reveal The Sexist Truth Of Our Households

Earlier, these people would leave for their schools, colleges, and offices. This meant that the caretaker, usually the mother, would have time to rest. In many cases, this also reduces the burden of cooking as various schools, colleges, and offices provide the students/workers with food.

Moreover, self-quarantine also means that no one else can enter your house. This means that the domestic help that would have otherwise been able to help the mother with the household work can no longer do so. Hence, the work and stress are increased even more.

But what about mothers who work outside of their homes?

Even they are being forced to work from home. However, for them, a whole new set of chores have been added. Now, they don’t just have to do their office work, they also have to take care of the family. Now that the domestic help isn’t there, they have to do the cooking, cleaning, and everything else by themselves.

But there’s another twist in this situation.

Because of the way that households have traditionally functioned, the husband is never asked to help with the chores. No matter what the situation, household work is always the wife’s job. Hence, if both the partners in a relationship work outside the house, it is still the woman who has to take care of the house. She returns from the office after working all day, and then arrange for the food.

Know More – Why The Coronavirus Pandemic Is More Dangerous For Women

Coronavirus Shutdowns - How They Reveal The Sexist Truth Of Our Households
Woman using laptop while ironing

Even in a situation where all members of the house are at home and there is no one to help, men rarely offer/agree to help with household chores.

This doesn’t just pertain to the parents. Even when children are involved, the male children are never expected to help. It is always the daughters who are asked to help with the cooking, the cleaning, etc. Even if the sons ever do so, they’re appreciated because “they’re doing it even though it’s not their job”

It is vital that we tackle this behaviour and mindset right now. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and if we don’t deal with it now, we never will.


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Rhythm Bhatia

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