×
Comic strip perfectly depicts why it isn’t a level playing field for men and women at the workplace
ADVERTISEMENT

Comic strip perfectly depicts why it isn’t a level playing field for men and women at the workplace

Many on "team patriarchy" condemned the comic, claiming that women have it too easy already and that men are the real victims here.

Cover Image Source: Twitter/ Anand Mahindra
ADVERTISEMENT

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 6, 2020

In today's world, women find themselves with much more on their plates than their male counterparts especially if they're trying to juggle raising a family with a career. Sure, things are better now than they were a few decades ago but only when we stop lauding men for doing the bare minimum and start recognizing the insurmountable challenges faced by working women can we say we've achieved true gender equality. However, many on "team patriarchy" are of the opinion that women have it too easy already and that men are the real victims here.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Those people should take a long hard look at this powerful comic strip by Peruvian political cartoonist Carlin. It went viral across social media last year after being tweeted by Indian businessman, Harvard grad and billionaire Anand Mahindra, who shared the image with a very important message. "I’ve been helping to babysit my year old grandson this past week & it’s brought home to me the stark reality of this image. I salute every working woman & acknowledge that their successes have required a much greater amount of effort than their male counterparts," Mahindra wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Although the cartoon appears rather ordinary at first glance, a closer look reveals a number of subtle yet striking signs of how it isn't a level playing field for men and women at the workplace. It depicts three men and three women positioned at the starting line of a track that presents a clear path to the finish line for only one gender. While the women are blocked by a never-ending pile of housework, including laundry, cooking and ironing, the men are presented with a path that's completely unobstructed. And just to make things harder for the women, they are dressed skirts and heels in contrast to the suits and comfortable shoes worn by men.

ADVERTISEMENT



 


ADVERTISEMENT


 



 

According to Scary Mommy, a number of studies have found evidence that backs Carlin's observation on workplace inequality and work-life balance. One published by the University of California Riverside last year found that dads are happier than moms when it comes to parenting. This, of course, might have something to do with the fact that women have to manage the lion's share of the housework while men are free to enjoy more "me time" and space to function as real people walking around in the world without constantly worrying about soccer practice or laundry or grocery shopping.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Meanwhile, another study reportedly found that women are responsible for most of the emotional labor in the household. They put in up to 98 hours of labor a week on average to tackle all the household chores both inside and outside. Moreover, a third study published in the journal Sex Roles found that the stress of juggling motherhood and a career is so immense that the invisible labor that goes into running a house in ship-shape—from knowing your kids' shoe size to bringing the dog to the vet—often results in serious mental health concerns like depression and anxiety in women.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Despite all this scientific data backing what literally everyone knows to be true, Mahindra's tweet was met with mixed responses from the Twitterverse. While the female population on the microblogging platform appreciated the recognition for their hard work, some male tweeters screamed, "Hey, we struggle too, OK?" For example, one guy tweeted: "Dear Mr. Anand, you too are becoming influenced with #misandry There has been a redefinition of roles for men and women. Men are owning up responsibility beyond that of a provider. #FeminismIsCancer." Another male Twitter user went ahead and edited Carlin's comic to present an alternate reality that showed how the men are the ones having a hard time. Sigh.

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Recommended for you