Free Press Journal

Role Reversal: Men rocking in women’s job and how!


 Roshani Shinde says that contrary to the stereotypes of gender based occupation; lakhs of males across India are doing well in occupations that have been traditionally dominated by the fairer sex.

Tradition. That is the prism through which the world revolves. Careers, gender role, etiquettes all of it hinges on tradition. It is tradition that lays the ground rule for how one is supposed to function within the so-called normal parameters governing the social system.  On Friday, the movie Ka and Ki tackled this issue addressing the basic premise of what happens when stereotypical gender based career or lifestyle reverses role and progresses on a road less travelled.

Though the movie Ka and Ki is about a woman (Kareena Kapoor) who focuses on her career, while her husband (Arjun Kapoor) becomes a homemaker there are various examples in India of how reel life is documenting real life too

Next time  around , if you are a male  and rushed to a hospital, don’t be too sure that the person who will nurse you  back to good  health will be a nice Malyali nurse; it could be a hefty hairy six feet Marathi man  with biceps who will push that painful needle into your vein. Ouch!

In Russia or the western world, some of the most beau lead 3tiful and oomph radiating ballet dancers are males.  Don’t snort that it’s Russia because in India too, males are increasingly taking up ballet dancing and making a success out of it.

Sanjay Khatri is a graceful a ballet dancer and the very first one in India probably. When Sanjay began his journey he was the only boy among 20 girls. And when he decided to start his own studio, the ratio for enrolment was 30:10 i.e. 30 boys and 10 girls. Just like the students even there are many male ballet trainers in his studio now. Hardly a decade and the ballet brigade in our country are expanding rapidly.

For many, careers happen by accident.  So was the case with Sanjay Khatri who accidently got into ballet dancing.  Khatri who is possible – the first male ballet dancer of India s says that he simply auditioned for one of the dance competitions and a ballet company had a tie-up with the oragnisers of the competition.

“Around eight years back I got my training from that company and that was my first ballet step. I was not aware of how popular the dance form is with both the females and males. I was just enjoying my process and realised that ballet dancing is a good workout. A perfect blend of music, art and exercise ballet dancing looked way more fun than my gym sessions. Gradually my body also started responding well and I decided to take it up as a career,” he explains.

Nursing across the world is dominated by women. There is no bar for man and is a good paying career too. And yet, when young males try to taking up nursing as a vocation, they face number of obstacles’.Kaustubh Patil, a nurse by profession says he chose to become a nurse when at a young age he realised its importance overseas. “I made up my mind to be a nurse as it opens up doors for me to work abroad where it is highly respected. Before entering this field I hardly knew anything about it, but opting for this profession was a choice and not compulsion,” says Kaustubh.

Just like Kaustubh even Arun willingly chose his career. “To be very frank I wanted to be a school teacher. Right in the beginning of my career this opportunity knocked in and I grabbed it. With such innocent souls around I started enjoying my job more and decided to continue with it,” shares Arun Meher.

While destiny chose Sanjay as the first ever male ballet dancer of India, circumstances made Pramod a househusband.  Forty two year old Pramod lives in a joint family and eight years back his father‘s health started deteriorating. Unfortunately, all in his family were working professionals.  Circumstances demanded that someone from his family take up the responsibility because everyone from Pramod to his younger brother, their wives were working. Given his father’s critical health condition, Pramod was the chosen one. It was then mutually decided that Pramod will stay at home while everyone else will continue with their jobs.

lead 1Though the choices were made, the actual struggle began later. Almost all faced flak and were target of pointed jokes and innuendos for their career choice. Pramod says, “My immediate family knew why and how the decision was made. But the extended family and the society weren’t aware. Even when they were informed about the situation they still were not convinced and made rude comments. Both my wife and my sister-in-law are ambitious and always wanted to work.  As I was the closet to my dad and also the eldest one in the family, I chose to take up the responsibility of looking after my father.”

Besides accompanying his father for multiple hospital visits Pramod looks after his mother and two kids. However, Kaustubh had a hard time convincing his parents. “In the beginning they feared   negative reactions from the society. But I was clear and also adamant about my decision and eventually they also gave in. Now I am satisfied with my career, am earning well and making remarkable progress with time, and observing this now they are happier for me irrespective of what the society feels,” says Kaustubh Patil who is set to move UAE.

In the future, don’t be surprised if in the hospital, a gentle nurse turns out to be moustached manly guy resembling a Mumbai cop, a graceful ballet dancer a man with a 36 inch waist and thundering thighs and the person cooking your next dinner and nannying your howling children would be Tukaram bhau instead of archetype Sakhubai.