Gender discrimination and stereotyping was just another discussion topic for me so far. May be it was always lurking here and there in subtle ways never interfering me directly. I have never paid much attention to it or considered it as something which should be talked about until recently. So I had my blinders on for this subject and when the blinders came off, here I am writing few words on it. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg can claim the honour of being the eye opener for me.
Post delivery days,everything was so bright and sunny, but on retrospect I realize now that not everyone around us was as happy as us about a baby girl. Our maid, who is a grandmother of three little girls was instantly disappointed with the news. “Things happen as per god’s wish. Accept whatever he gives” her dialogue with a tinge of sadness was uttered with at-most sincerity and genuinely. Considering her position in the social ladder, its a fact that girl child means more expenditure and less or practically no income and a boy child means hope for survival. In addition to that, there is a burden of protecting these angles from the clutches of ogres as well. Considering the humble surroundings of my maid, her way of thinking is just the result of her hapless situation. We can not change that overnight and it takes a complete social restructuring to change her ignorant attitude.Instilling a sense of self respect in woman is the first step and it can come only via education. I really doubt if that kind of attitude comes from a financially and educationally affluent background. But among middle class, a little pockets of such pressure points do exist. I wish these shadows of these benighted dreams never reach my little one.
My baby girl has been showered with pink colour ever since she has been born. Every time she goes out, her obsessive-stalker-mother make sure she is swaddled in pink. Pink cradle, pink blankets, her room is like a pink castle. And look who is writing this about stereotyping – hypocrisy at its best. (In my defence, I have bought a multi-coloured gym for her which has green as reigning colour). My brain is wired to think like that, I presume that pink looks cute on girls and blue looks great on boys. Oh to top it up, almost every old generation people who come to see my precious advises earnestly to talk to the baby more often since she is a girl, who should be soothed and pampered much. I am assuming poor little boys must be left alone to play alone and soothe himself to make one a tougher build to face the world. Crazy, funny things you come across these days! We seek ways to demolish stereotyping among young woman and men when it thrives in your backyard.Phew!
Physical difference and difference in emotional and psychological levels etc etc, there are many reasons for the stereotyping. Now the society relies upon the intellectual powers than physical strength(I am yet to see a man who hunts in the forest and flight with a hyena to feed his family!). It puts woman and men in an equal platform. To shatter these invisible stereotyped shackles women wear(Took the analogy from a Madhavikutti poem. That’s why she is my favourite author ever!), the effort should start from home. I still remember an anecdote shared by our Product Development professor about how she had to fight with a school to get rid of the “Cheerleaders training class offered exclusively to girls” from her daughters curriculum. Small things which can eventually turn out another big shackle! Hope I do enough not to create any shackles for my precious.
My precious little one is turning three months old tomorrow. Ever since her birth she has lit up our lives like a thousand suns. Hope the light and smile spread everywhere whenever a baby girl is born. Hoping for a day when the blessing changes to May you be the mother of a hundred(oh god …no..too much may be one or two) daughters!