It was a cool night, with a glowing full moon. Was way past midnight, but a bunch of us sat around the campfire sipping on our cognac and cracking up on silly jokes. One of them said in jest pointing at my husband , “And, he is the leader of his family!”
Everyone laughed. Except me.
“Leader of the family?”, I questioned the crowd. “Who appointed him the leader? There’s no leader in our family”
“Haha. Come on…”
I looked straight and said , ” No, am serious. I believe my house has no ‘leader’. As husband and wife we decide on all aspects of life together. We are a ‘team’, nobody leads or is considered higher authority.”
Laughing stopped and silence fell. While some of the men started fidgeting with obvious discomfort over the topic, the women had a confused look.
I asked one of them, “You tell me. Do you have a leader in your family?”
She hardly gave it a thought before saying, “Yes, of course. My husband”
“Okay. Why do you say so. Any reason?”
“Well. Be realistic. If there is a thief trying to break into the house, my husband will be put in the front line to safeguard the rest of us in the house. Isn’t that what the leader does?”
“Hmmm. I don’t think that alone is a good reason to be termed a leader.” I turned to another woman and asked, “What about you. You think your husband is the leader of your family?”
She took a second and said , ” Yes, I do”
“Because it is his surname the family takes on. For example, a bank official will ask for “XYZ Family” where XYZ is his surname”
“Then, what about people like me who don’t take up the husbands surname?”
I continued. “Forget the societal norms. Do you truly believe he is the leader? Which means he has full authority to overrule any decisions made for the family?”
“Well…no, that’s not what I meant”
“That brings to my point – where I think families of this age and generation do not have a ‘leader’. A family runs on team effort, mutual understanding ,conjoined decisions. It’s not like the old days when women stayed in the kitchen and meekly abided by the words of the husband , gave him supreme authority. Don’t you agree?”
The conversation was flipped over by another random joke and the topic met an untimely stop.
But, I keep wondering if my thinking makes sense.
Sharing here to see what you wise people out there have to say.
Am happy if you agree with me. More power to us!
But, if you don’t agree, I am here to listen. Tell me if there is a leader in your family. If so, on what basis and why?