Watch: Indian teenagers explain why boys should do housework

My parents are progressive folks. They’re feminists, they didn’t bat an eye when I talked about my bisexuality in front of my entire college graduating class, and they didn’t vote for Bush, not once, not even in 2001. But from childhood I always did notice one thing: My mother, besides having a full time job, did the vast majority  of the housework. She cooked all the food, did all the cleaning, and did a lot of the logistical work involved in raising us.

Obviously precociously channeling Anne-Marie Slaughter at a tender young age, I always wondered how my mother did it. Could women have it all? Rather than attempting to do so, I resolved to be a sloppy woman, to leave dirty dishes in the sink, and to eat Pringles on the couch while being fanned and fed grapes by muscular men. So far at least the first two resolutions are going alright.

In all seriousness, feminists have long recognized housework and other kinds of domestic labor as a kind female unpaid labor that is often not considered labor at all. Feminists have long pointed out how this longstanding gendered discrepancy in housework disproportionately harms women.

The problem is a global one — and these Mumbai teenagers are onto it.

The video, put out by the Thomas Reuters foundation, is a sample of a longer documentary about the Gender Equality Movement in Schools, a school-based program to inspire Indian kids to think critically about gender roles.

Here in India, where girl children are disproportionately malnourished and are disproportionately likely to drop out of school as compared to their brothers, unpaid domestic labor in the home (and paid domestic labor outside the home) remains a largely female domain, and can prevent girls’ school attendance and, of course, play.

What I love about this video, over all, is the sharpness of the students’ articulation of the problem and the boys’ willingness to talk it over, too. Here’s to a future of mop-holding men everywhere!

Reina Gattuso is passionate about empowering conversations around queerness, sexual ethics, and social movements with equal parts rhapsody and sass. Her writing has appeared at Time, Bitch, attn:, and The Washington Post. She is currently pursuing her masters.

Reina Gattuso writes about her sex life for the good of human kind.

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