WTF: Male of the House

I admit I am looking forward to this film. Even as big shots in Hollywood declare that they’re strictly off making movies with women in the lead, there seem to be at least some films with women in focus in India.

But reading Rani Mukherji’s interview in Rediff, I am deeply puzzled by this statement she makes.

It has everything that a Hindi film has. It’s the story about a family. In our society, there is always pressure on the firstborn — even a girl — because she is expected to be the male of the house.

It is the journey of a girl into womanhood and her sacrifices for her family.

Err.. ? Oh, you mean I got it wrong all this time? Being responsible, or making sacrifices for the family you were born into is somehow the preserve of men? I don’t know about Rani Mukherji, but in the families that I know the firstborns aren’t expected to be male. Whatever that means. Most of the female firstborns I know don’t whine that they’re expected to be manly. But maybe that’s just because I know only dysfunctional families.

Firstborns are definitely the donkeys of the house. They are even the jokers. But males? WTF. Please excuse me while I go deal with the society’s expectations of me being the male of the house.

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14 Comments

Filed under Music, Film and Art, wtf

14 Responses to WTF: Male of the House

  1. Pingback: music » WTF: Male of the House

  2. Haha… Why do people put their foot in their mouth while trying to appear “progressive”? No, actually, if a man said something like that I wouldn’t be as surprised – but for a woman to say it is strange, because she is reinforcing the same stereotypes that she’s trying to shatter.

  3. Inky

    If you were a Bollywood star whose life practically depended on the audience’s verdict, then in an interview meant for the janta’s consumption, would you ride a stereotype to get your point across or make bizzare statements that uncleji and auntyji would not even comprehend?
    When I read the statement, my first reaction is “I know what she’s talking about” and only then do I think “but why does she think those responsibilities are male”… she gets her point across, and most firstborns know the burden of PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS that are USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH MALE CHILDREN… bas! kaiko bechari ki jaan lene ka? :)

  4. chitra

    Unlike Inky, my first reaction was of bafflement. Even if Rani did want to get across a point, there were more articulate ways of doing it. “Male of the house” sounds very strange.

  5. “male of the house” and firstborns being expected to be the “male” of the house – certainly sound pretty weird.
    Guess she’s trying to say that the responsibilities rest on the shoulders of teh firstborn – but to say “male of the house” is baffling.

  6. Ah, I did not get the memo on this one. Had I known, I would have atleast developed a manly swagger along with my tomboyish-ness, to completely represent the ‘male of the house’ persona. Sigh.

  7. I think, the sub editor is to blame for possibly not understanding idioms and phrases. Rani Mukherji probably said ‘man of the house’ which got written as ‘male’.

    Now don’t jump, asking if idioms and phrases that are sexist are justified — because you’ll then have to answer why we call head a head and not foot.

    Moral of the story: aathira karanukku buthhi mattu.

  8. Inky: Why would just be saying pressure on firstborns be bizarre? I think we seem to assume that the unclejis and auntyjis of the world are somehow wired to not understand the aspirations or capabilities of women. Anyhow, I think it sounded awkward, and strange. And bechari? Eh?? :)

    Megha: Wait, I will teach manly swagger.

    Nilu: Who said anything about sexism? Nee confuse aayitiyo? And your last line is somewhat Jagadguruish. Eeeeks!

  9. Nee sollala, naan solren.

  10. As a firstborn and as a joker, I take immense offense (heh, rhyme in the making) to your calling us Donkeys. Especially me. Ithu adangaadhu.

  11. /* Firstborns are definitely the donkeys of the house. They are even the jokers. */

    this is true.

    moorthathu mozhai ilayathu kaalai

    komaali aakitaanga ba nammala.

  12. aye aye to first borns. Such guinea pigs too! :D

  13. donkeys yes, jokers yes, at times even guinea pigs :)

    Let all firstborns stand up for their right!!! (sorry, got nothing better to do today, so thought i can start a revolution ;)