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Opinion
Chandrahas Choudhury

In Defense of the Indian Male

There’s never been a worse time in history to be an Indian man.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes household inequality. Photographer: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes household inequality. Photographer: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development dealt the tottering totem pole of Indian masculinity another thunderous blow when it released a revealing chart of time-use statistics among men and women around the world.

The larger point of the survey is unexceptionable: Gender inequality is global. "In virtually every country, men are able to fit in valuable extra minutes of leisure each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework," according to the OECD. But the sharper (and more sinister) point was that gender inequality is most stark in India, where the average man spends just 19 minutes a day on "routine housework" and the average woman spends almost five hours on such duties. This made for wonderful headlines for the news media to run with and allowed lots of people to get all worked up, including the folks at the Wall Street Journal.