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Atharva: No, you are lying; you cannot go over this monkey bar
Sona: no, I really did it.
Atharva: No, it’s too difficult, only boys can do it.
This was the conversation in park between my Son and his friend. This conversation came as a shocker to me. I was wonder where and who is telling him all that. Because I am very careful about these gender biased things.
Atharva: No, I do not want to go inside water; I do not want me to get wet.
Coach: why, you don’t want to go inside water
Atharva: I am sacred of water
Coach: why r u scared of water, you are boy…
After this conversation, coach managed to put Atharva in water, we came back home but something was disturbing me.
Everyone talk about gender biased society, but we do not want to change our mind set.
My son was playing with dolls; one of my friends came and interrupts him saying “Boys don’t play with doll.” He came back to me and asked, mumma why boys don’t play with dolls. I did not have any answers for that.
Basically, it has become part of ourselves that it comes unintentionally.Whenever we see a boy wearing a pink, immediately we says, “why are you wearing pink, boys don’t wear pink.” Whenever we see a boy engaging with colorful bangles, the first reaction comes is “bangles are girl’s things. “Whenever we see boy crying for something, we says “are you a girl? Boys are strong, they do not cry.” Whenever we see a boy not eating, we insist him saying “you are a boy, you have to be strong.” When a boy is talkative and jolly, we tell him, “No, boys do not talk so much.” Whenever a boy wants to work in kitchen we stop him saying “Boys do not cook, it’s a girl things.” Whenever a boy room is clean, people says” wow, your room is clean like girls do.” Your handwriting is neat like girls.
What does all this gives message to our boys, boys do not wear pink, because pink is soft color, boys do not play with dolls because dolls are delicate. Boys should not cry because crying symbolizes weakness. Boys have to eat well be became strong, boys do not work in kitchen because cooking is not a big deal. Boys room should not be clean as cleaning is girl’s job.
Which is turn develop mindset to them that girls are soft, delicate, weak, can do only easy things. Boys slowly start thinking that they are superior, strong and tougher than girls. This mindset later leads to bigger crime against girls.
We always make emphasis on making our girls strong, educated, and not lesser than boys. But is it sufficient? If there is a man and women equal in skill, man will get more credit than women. Because in this male dominated world, man always doubt on girls, is she really can do that? Again same mind set which we only developed in childhood that boys are superior works here.
So along with making girls empowered we have to make our boys aware that women need to be respected. We need to give them a new perspective to see things, girl’s cooks not because its easy things but they care for you. Anyone can weak pink. They do house clean because it’s hygienic and everyone should do that. And crying is not a symbol of weakness rather it is mechanism to vent out emotions and all the emotions are important. There is a very beautiful movie “Inside out” on human emotion. Must watch for all.
I want to raise my son who judged people based on skill not on gender. But I am not able to do it alone, as a part of society , daily he encounter such instances which tells him don’t do you are boy. So we as a society need to change this.