Patriarchy is quite deeply rooted in our society, and At the Moment episode 8, titled “Head of the Family,” makes us privy to it. Especially in Asian societies, we are still not accustomed to having a house husband, and we often see that such men are looked down upon by the very people who advocate equal rights for people, irrespective of gender. Our society still holds onto the ideology that cooking food, looking after the baby, washing utensils, and doing other household chores are the duties of a woman. A mother is criticized when she leaves her baby and goes to work, the same way a man is criticized when he is financially dependent on his wife. These gender roles need to be changed, as without them, equality cannot be achieved. But you know, preaching about such things is one thing, but at the grass-roots, it becomes very difficult to deal with such situations. You can reason with the outside world and ask them to be more informed and non-discriminatory in their approach, but when you stand in front of your own family members, it is not an easy debate to win. For someone who has had that kind of ideology ingrained in them for all their life, it is not easy to change overnight. Change takes time, and sometimes, you have to make peace with the fact that your people will probably never accept you. A similar thing happened with Wan-yu and Su Pai-jui in episode 8, and it was then that they realized that before convincing others to understand their equation, they needed to make peace with it themselves.
What happened after Pai-jui lost his job?
Pai-jui got stressed after he learned that he had lost his job. He didn’t know how he was going to handle the finances or if he would be able to meet the needs of his family. His wife, Wan-yu, supported him and told him that as long as he didn’t have a job, she would make sure that she earned enough for all of them. Wan-yu was a real estate agent, and she had left her job to look after her babies, who were really young. She had been told by her mother from a very early age that it was the mother’s duty to look after her kids and feed the entire family. But evidently, Wan-Yu never liked staying at home, and she always felt like someone was sucking out all the energy from her. Wan-yu loved her job, but she never took a stand for it as she herself was brainwashed from a very young age. She went back to work, and she performed fabulously, while Pai-jui stayed at home and handled the kids. Pai-jui came to the realization in At the Moment episode 8, that he kind of liked staying at home and being with the kids. He started finding new hobbies that interested him, and very soon, he decided to join a cooking class as he felt that it was his calling. Slowly, Wan-yu became dependent upon Pai-jui for all the household chores, and they not only swapped their roles and found things that made them happy.
How did Wan-yu’s mother react?
A problem arose in At the Moment episode 8 when Wan-Yu’s mother came to stay for a few days at her home. Wan-yu and Pai-jui knew that if she came to know that the latter was staying at home while the former was going out and earning for the family, then she would be very angry. They didn’t want to hurt her sentiments, so they faked that everything was in order. Pai-jui got dressed every day and went out to work, while Wan-yu stayed at home and pretended to not have a job. But it was impossible to hide the truth for a very long time, and one day, when Pai-jui was in the supermarket shopping with his colleagues from the cooking class, Wan-yu’s mother accidentally bumped into him there. She got very angry and disapoi, and she was not ready to hear any explanation. Wan-yu and Pai-jui tried to make her understand, but all their efforts went in vain. Finally, Pai-Jui told her that she could not force her ideals on them, and if his wife was fine with him not working, then she had to accept it, too. It took time, but Wan-yu’s mother made peace with the fact that her son-in-law was a house husband. It was a hard pill for her to swallow, and until the end, she kept offering to come and stay with the family so that Pai Jui could get time to apply for jobs.
Did Wan-yu accept her husband?
The bigger problem was that Wan-yu herself had not made peace with the fact that her husband liked staying at home, liked spending his time cooking, and probably didn’t want to be the highest-earning member of the family. Wan-yu felt embarrassed about telling others at work that her husband didn’t work, and she lied to them. She had actually shown her resentment when she learned in the past that instead of looking for jobs, he had joined a cooking class. Wan-yu was doing great for herself, and financially, she didn’t need Pai-jui’s assistance in supporting her daily, but still, she felt that every husband should go out and work, as her mindset was trained to look down upon stay-at-home husbands.
One fine day after crossing all the barriers and hurdles, at the end of At the Moment Episode 8, Pai-jui went to Wan-yu’s office to deliver a dish he had prepared for her entire office. That’s when he got to know that she had been hiding from her colleagues that her husband was not working but instead that he was taking cooking classes. Pai-jui was a great human being, and even after knowing what his wife was up to, he did not get angry. He knew that it would take time, but people would understand. Wan-yu also realized her mistake, and she didn’t know what she had done to deserve such a great husband. It all ended well for the couple, as Pai-jui became the teacher of the cooking class he was attending since he was so good at it, and Wan-yu kept achieving new heights in her career.