“A wonderful day to spend among women in leadership” said Rashmi Karthik an attendee of Women #BreakingBarriers Bangalore. Breaking Barriers is now coming to Pune, Panjim, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Chennai. Register now to attend!
Woman, do not aspire to be the ‘typical good girl’ as society defines you should be. You deserve better in your life. Stand up for it.
I am thankful to my parents who ensured that there was no gender bias at home while I was growing up. So, I was the elder child and I was the one who got to make the choices first. I was never asked to choose music over sports and cooking over books. Even when I turned into a slightly introverted teenager, my parents ensured that I mingled with people from both genders.
So, while growing up, I was mostly unaware of gender stereotyping except for a few occasional remarks from some neighbors and relatives about how I was mostly found in the playground playing cricket with boys instead of doing something that according to them was ‘more suited for a teenage girl’. My parents nodded, smiled, ignored and never bothered; neither did I!
I am sure my parents wouldn’t have bothered if I chose music over sports and cooking over books; if I had more girlfriends than boyfriends and I had played the piano instead of playing in the cricket grounds. Thankfully, the choice was mine. Thankfully, they let me to explore my personality without handing me a rule-book on ‘How good girls should behave‘.
The only flip-side of this freedom has been that sometimes, now, when I am exposed to stereotypical assumptions based on my gender, I can’t handle it gracefully. I have grown up to become someone who despises people who are sexist.
I have also been fortunate on the professional front. I work for a multinational firm where sensitivity towards gender is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, this has made my stand of gender equality even more stern. I visibly get irritated with offending remarks about women even in a social setup.
I don’t believe there is any excuse, whatsoever, from the upbringing to education that conditions one to become sexist. It’s simply a bad choice or in fact, sometimes, just a pretext to behave rudely with someone. I have seen my house-help, a woman barely educated up to 5th standard giving equal opportunities to her kids in every way. I have seen an urban, middle class, educated, working woman asking her daughter-in-law to prioritize household chores over her career.
However, this doesn’t surprise me now that I have seen some of the typical Indian hypocrisies glorified beyond belief in our society. What surprises me is how 20-something, educated, successful women succumb to the ‘Good woman don’t fight. They adjust.’ attitude.
Woman, I am sure adjustment is the key to happiness. Let there be more of it in your life. Adjust. Let your spouse adjust. Let your families adjust. Let your colleagues adjust. Give equal opportunities to everyone to adjust. ‘Opportunities to become a better person’ shouldn’t be your sole right, woman! Divide the opportunities equally! Play fair!
Don’t buy ‘How good girls should behave‘ rule-book ever in your life. You are not a good girl because you follow the norms defined by the society. You are a good girl simply because you are. Simply because you were brought up well. Simply because you fight back when you are wronged.
Image source: woman playing cricket by Shutterstock.
Communication Strategist, Sporadic Blogger, Instructional Designer, INTJ, Dog lover, Tea Addict, Army Wife
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