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Why should my gender decide my talent? Talent has no gender, and it is misplaced feminism to jeer one gender’s accomplishments to elevate the other!
Entire India rejoiced when the Olympic medal was bought home by a gender they did not expect it from.
This feat would have inspired millions of young girls and their parents to achieve their sporting dreams. A lot of congratulatory messages were shared on social media platforms. However, among the piles of forwards were some messages that displayed misplaced feminism.
“Times are changing, Indian men win beauty competitions and Indian women win sport medal”.
“A nation obsessed with boys, girls saved the pride of our motherland”
“Only women can love gold”
Our boys were criticized for losing. Have we thought – does anyone go on to the playground with the idea of losing? Girl or boy, every sportsperson tries to give their best. Our girls’ winning does not make our boys’ effort less. A medal won by a girl or boy is equally important for the nation.
Similarly, downplaying the achievement of our ‘Mr World’ is equally callous. Both have achieved success in their respective fields. By making the above statements we are not supporting feminism.
Our society has labelled the fields, sports = domain of men, beauty = domain of women! A female flying high in the men’s domain is still encouraged, but when men scale new heights in a female-dominated field, it becomes the subject of some jeering. Is this not sexism?
Then there are comments like, “Women were not made to do everything that men can. They were made to do everything that men can’t!” It makes me ponder, who decides what a person can and cannot do? I had mehndi applied during a festival, and it was a guy who applied it. We were a group of women, and there was some talk about “how boys will now be doing girls work!”
Talent has no gender, so why do we do this? I am a girl, but extremely bad at any creative art work. I am not a great cook, neither do I like cooking. All my packing is taken care of by my husband. I do not have a great taste in clothes and accessories (my husband and sister are my fashion guides). Does that make me any less of woman and my husband less of a man? I don’t think so.
We do what we like and not what we are supposed to or expected to like. I do not think I should be expected to do something like cooking ‘well’ just because I am a woman. The same should apply to men, shouldn’t it?
A girl who is a tomboy (I was one) is accepted to a certain extent by society. However, the same society can’t digest the reverse. Can’t there be boys who do not like sports or gadgets? Can’t there be boys who are sensitive, creative? Can’t there be boys who like dolls rather than superheroes? Why can’t both men and women do what they have interest in rather than doing something they have no interest in.
We have gender-divided qualities. Exhibiting male qualities is a sign of superiority and female qualities is a sign of weakness. “She is tough like a boy”, is said with pride. “Don’t cry like a girl”, is said with disgust. Worse – any male displaying a feminine streak is labelled as a sissy, or thought to be gay. It is time we stop this!
Any quality worth appreciating is worth appreciating whether imbibed by a girl or a boy. It makes no difference. Period. We are in midst of a revolutionary time. Our girls are groomed to break the glass ceiling. It is time we encourage our boys too to follow their dreams even if it is unconventional. We need to lay the foundation of a world where everyone is free to choose based on their will and liking. Nothing is too girly or too boyish. A world where talent is rewarded and respected equally, irrespective of the gender of the individual.
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Published here earlier.