Monday, January 31, 2011

Irritating House Wife

Since the rest of the post will be some irritated angry rants, I would like to start with a small incidence which happened in my friend's team. My friend's team was having a casual conversation when they went for an team outing. Their manager asked everyone about what their expectation about their future wife and one guy told, 'I would like to marry a house wife' and everyone burst out laughing when the manager replied 'It will be illegal to marry a house wife'.

Now, actually coming to the post, I don't know how many of you thought 'it is not house wife, you idiot, it is home maker'. I was watching some stupid music channels where people call and blabber for sometime before we can watch a song. For the sake of asking the anchor asked 'what do you do?' and the lady replied 'I am a house wife'. Then the BFAH said sarcastically, 'So, you are not doing anything? You will simply be in your home?'. That lady got confused and he explained, 'you have to say "home maker" and not "house wife"'.

I was really pissed at that comment. I don't know when was this phrase 'home maker' invented. I think it was very recently started to be in normal usage. I think it was made normal because 'home maker' projects more esteemed sense than 'house wife' and people thought calling 'home maker' is better than calling 'house wife'? I don't really know. It does not matter how people call, whether 'house wife' or 'home maker', but what matters is, how they are treated. The term home maker actually means someone who is doing house keeping. A maid/servant could be called as a home maker, I think.

This applies mainly to the new phrase which is coined very often for handicapped people. First they were called 'handicapped', then they were called 'physically challenged' and then they were called 'differently abled' and I think in some places they are called 'special people'. I think they invented these new phrase so that such people are not hurt when they read handicapped/physically challenged etc. But IMO, it does not matter how it is written or how many new phrases government and other organization invents to make them feel better. What matters is the people's attitude towards them.

People should treat their 'house wife' or 'home maker' with respect, but not just in calling with fancy phrases. People should learn and treat handicapped people with as much respect as it would not hurt them. Giving too much respect/attention will only hurt them. People should be educated in that sense, instead of simply coining fancy phrases once in a few years and spend millions of dollars to simply change the phrases everywhere in the world.

8 comments:

Dobby Severus Salazar said...

wuahh! nothing special about them.... those phrases...

Jency said...

Good thought!!!

Sindu said...

This post inspired me to do a Google search on what the grammatically correct usage is. House Wife is an acceptable term. Home maker is the gender neutral American term for housewife and househusband collectively. Nice! All along I was led to believing that housewife was wrong English!

As for your main contention against such phrases, I disagree. What we repeatedly keep uttering has a lot of impact on the mind. So, which 'handicapped' subconsciously suggests weakness, 'physically challenged' kind of says, there is a limitation in just their bodies. 'Differently abled' means 'fine, there are not the way normal people are but their strengths lie somewhere else.'

The language has a lot of power. I think these terms are not just for those concerned. It is for us....because somewhere deep down, maybe it does bring a change in the way we perceive things.

amudhan said...

@Prabakar:
Sathiyama puriyala nee enna solla varanu :)

@Jency:
Thanks Jency...

@Sindu:
I forgot to write the most important part which I wanted to write and thanks for reminding me that... the point is, people can say 'handicapped' and still see/treat them as they should be and people can say 'differently abled' and still be sarcastic and bully them... What I wanted to say is, though words influence people's thought, you can't correct people with just phrases... Whether you read the phrase 'handicapped' or 'physically challenged' or 'differently abled', you know what it means... based on your intrinsic value your feelings will be affected and not by the phrases you read... right?

If suppose a child who reads the phrase 'differently abled' asks the parents what it means, how will they explain? They may say 'they are handicapped...' or something like that... whenever anyone reads the phrase, they will always relate to the effect of the phrase, but how their feelings get affected or how they think about them does not have anything to much with what they read/say... IMHO...

I would be interested to know what is your thought on this...

S.Gunasekaran said...

Perhaps using politically correct words is the first step towards changing one's attitude.In somes cases it is necessary. But how far it can be stretched is debatable.
For instance can prostitutes demand to be called morally challenged, or better still people
with different morality? I don't know.

Kavitha said...

amudhan i feel it should be corrected both by phrases and in action ...both should be given equal importance bcos action speaks of our thoughts and the phrases(homemaker,special ppl) adds more respect to our thought about them...

Shyam said...

hmmm... Good thought.Sometimes i feel, if u see in our public transportation we have this special seat for both elderly people and physically challenged people.There is no point in reserving those seats and finally denying to give it up to people who actually need it.I am working in a IT firm, the place i work has limited transportation facility as most people come in their private vehicle, we still have people like me using the public transport.One day the bus was late, the bus station was full of people, the moment the bus came, every person was rushing towards the door, and irrespective of the gender/age pushed each other off the door, one person was shouting what's the point in calling us educated.I was startled and took a few steps back waiting for the crowd to get in.I felt bad, i want my country people to have a little more civic sense in first place.If u know any of ur friends doing this, the least we can do is tell them, educate them.

amudhan said...

@Appa:
Teaching the children properly in the very young age and changing the educational system accordingly will be useful than spending too much time in creating politically correct words.

But as you said, using politically correct word also has a remote chance to teach the children subconsciously...

Thanks for your comment dad.

@Kavitha:
I agree... my concerns was to see some action taken instead of simply changing the phrases.

Thanks for your comment!

@Shyam:
I can completely understand your feeling... Though it is sad to know the rock hard truth about the 'aggressive' behavior of the people, I am glad that you show genuine concern...

Thanks for your comment Shyam...