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Society is plagued with gender stereotypes that come in the way of equality, liberty, and happiness. Here’s a short list that will make you want to trash these stereotypes immediately!
Men and women are inherently distinct to some extent, physically, mentally and psychologically. But, we stretch these differences way too much, demarcate and allocate illogically too many things as ‘manly’ or ‘womanly‘.
In this regard, a lot of misconceptions rule the minds of both men and women. Bursting these bubbles will certainly enlighten us that both men and women can be equally strong, although sometimes in different ways.
A public show of affection is not manly
Those men who indulge in expressing their love for their better halves or flaunting and appreciating their qualities, are certainly not faking it! Unlucky are the guys who fail to realize that they are missing out on a larger chunk of women, who would have easily fallen head over heels in love with them, just to have that sort of ‘explicit’ love.
The ‘angry young man’ is ideal
Bollywood tells us that the ‘angry young man’ is the right attitude when it comes to making oneself irresistible for the girls. Correction: Manhood does not come with the size or shape of a mustache, or biceps, or a man who has the look of a ruffian, but by the way he treats a woman.
Domestic chores are not for men
To cook food, do household chores, or give a helping hand to one’s spouse, irrespective of whether she is a working woman or not, is apparently not a ‘man thing’. The usual tagline of most of the husbands is “If you expect me to do this, why don’t you start by doing my job?”. While rendering this line , men usually succeed in making women feel guilty enough to admit that such chores are solely ‘her responsibilities’. (Kudos men!)
Babysitting is not for fathers
Looking after kids while the wife is at work, or teaching them on a regular basis is seen as ‘babysitting’ instead of “responsible parenting”.
Real men don’t show emotion
Crying? Definitely not a man thing! Is it not more prudent to shed a few tears now rather than accumulating one’s emotions in the mind, and spewing hatred and venom later on, when it feels like letting it go?
Cars are only for men
Being an automobile geek is surely a man thing and the interested women are just ‘aping men’. And without doubt, women are bad drivers. If they drive fast, they are reckless. If they drive carefully, keeping with the rules, then they are definitely not making way for other drivers!
Only men must protect women
Girls need to be watched over by men , for the sake of their safety and security. But if it is the other way round, it is sheer infringement of privacy or cramping the personal “space” of men.
Swearing maketh a man
In this respect, I must say women are more creative and complicated, and there is no dearth to their thoughts, inhibitions or imaginations on the subject.
Born to serve
However empowered or modern womens’ outlook may be, inside the four walls of their homes, for the sake of peace and harmony, they prefer to don the mask of the ideal ‘Indian’ woman, who is bound to stay subservient. For whom, the husband is god. Often, they fail to remind themselves that if the husband is god, the wife is none other than the incarnation of a Goddess herself. And that culturally and theologically, women were placed on a much more respectable footing.
Culture plays a dominant role in womens’ lives, for it determines how they should talk, walk , think, and behave. Inhibitions and thoughts about what others might think matter. Even when culture and customs evolve, they elect to remain slaves to certain cultural etiquette and traditional dogmas.
Family first means self-sacrifice
For women, ‘love for the family’ means taking upon themselves the perpetual duty to serve an entire family tirelessly, however big or small. Even if it means that they need to juggle between being a ‘glorified maid’, to a personal secretary , to a wife, teacher , cleaner, career woman and what not, to take pride in showcasing themselves as the ‘super woman‘. Just for that simple pat on the back from their counterpart or to evade that depressing question, ” What do you do all day?”
Family first, even if it means forsaking one’s dreams and ambitions. Dreams have no age or limits, but to recapture them, women feel they are answerable to many at various stages of their life, which is to an extent true.
The Superwoman complex
Women are considered quite good at multitasking and time management. Some women would rather not allow even those men who willingly volunteer to help. The most common defense – “Men mess up everything and double our jobs, so why assign ‘our’ chores?
Kids’ challenges = Mom’s failure
Women shoulder responsibility of their kids’ education. The poor performance by children in their studies and other scholastic activities indicate a woman’s failure as a responsible mother.
Women are emotional fools
Ironically, we see women standing tall and strong in the most difficult situations, or enduring the greatest pains, where men falter!
Women cannot take care of themselves
Physically, women are unable to safe guard themselves. Women are gentle and fragile and need the constant support and companionship of men.
So the stereotype goes!
Pic credit: BrianSuda (Used under a CC license)
A legal consultant, settled in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; my first love is and has
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