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It is we who consciously or subconsciously introduce children to common gender stereotypes of "boys don't do this"!
Boys do the same things as girls at an early age. It is we who consciously or subconsciously introduce them to common gender stereotypes of boys don’t do this!
As parents, and the first as well as lifelong teachers for our kids, we are always on heels and toes to teach them things. The dos and don’ts of life – age specific. As per the views we hold, we try to evaluate our child’s actions or even thoughts as they grow older; and if we don’t feel it right, we try to coach them.
Expectation of gender specific behavior is sometimes subconscious. Sometimes I am not even aware when I end up making gender stereotypical comments or decisions for my son. Below is a list of things which in full awareness I would not teach my son to do.
‘Boys don’t cry’ is something I have heard all my life. Crying cleanses your eyes and soothes your heart. Tears are sometimes the only solution to emotional distress. And if one is to raise emotionally sensitive and caring human beings (girls or boys) you can never take away the right to cry.
One of the modern additions to gender stereotype is the selection of color. Pink for girls and blue for boys. However the color distinction came across, it has been ruthlessly re-inforced by the retail industry. One has no choice but to dress your boys in blue and colors in the spectrum around blue!
My 3 year old loves his pink Dora bag and sports it everywhere he goes. And I would be lying if I said I never got commented on it once in a while. The moment he sits to color the first crayon (and sometimes the only one) he uses is purple. Would I lean him away from his instincts towards something apparently more suited to his being a boy? Never!
I would love to paint the walls in his room pink with flowers and his ceiling blue, and if my little one shares my interest, one day I would surely do it.
Kitchen is one place where we still see girls spending more time and energy than boys. A little girl’s interest in making rotis with her toy rolling pin or help her mother decorate cupcakes is encouraged. Whereas little boys are not even allowed a kitchen set!
When we talk about equality, the first thing in Indian culture which needs fixing is kitchen matters. We still hesitate in giving our boys the rolling pin and that has to change. If to make a girl independent we give her education and career apart from everything else, boys need to know how to fix their own meals and put dishes away to be truly self-sufficient.
It is very natural for us to gift dolls to girls and cars to boys. However, as a toddler all his toys were gender neutral.
As he grew older, he grew affinity towards trains, cars and trucks. It was a natural choice and it’s all good. However his occasional desires to play with a toy stroller or a kitchenette is not something which we avoid. He might love to dance or play soccer or probably just enjoy sewing! None of his choices would be judged on the manliness scale.
Feminist goals would be truly achieved when the world doesn’t need feminism anymore. Hence along with empowering our girls, we need to empower our boys too, albeit in the right way.
Image source: boy cooking by Shutterstock.
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From all news reports, clearly, Aftab Poonawalla seems to be a psychopath, and It was a well-strategized story of domestic violence, abuse, subjugation, and a well-planned murder.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence, gaslighting, murder, and abetting violence, and may be triggering to survivors.
One case has gripped the nation and I do not need to mention which. My problem is with how the news reflects a victim’s character. The disrespect we show to someone who was long abused and lives no more is appalling. The disservice we do to her through spoken and written words lies in the sensationalizing of the entire case.
How do you spot a crazy human? They do not have two horns and red eyes. They may have no empathy but will show it to lure the victim, just like a child abuser lures a child with candy. Their grooming styles may vary but it is mostly about creating an untrue sense of safety and security around the victim. They present themselves as this effortless savior, an ultimate generous destination for a mentally and emotionally vulnerable person.
Fathers play a crucial role in nurturing and raising children, so why isn't paternity leave considered essential?
Some time ago, Bollywood couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt were in the news, yet again. An entertainment website, Bollywood Hungama, reported that the expectant father, Ranbir, wished to take paternity leave to spend time with his baby when it arrived.
The website claimed that the actor would not be signing new films for the time being. He would take care of the child, while his wife Alia would return to work at the earliest.
One would think the internet would laud this sweet and thoughtful gesture. Instead, Ranbir got trolled for his decision to be a stay-at-home dad. Netizens made fun of him; they claimed that it was because he had no offers in the pipeline, and Alia was far more successful than him. Others claimed that it was the right decision – his recent films (other than Brahmastra) had bombed, and it was time he reflected on his roles.
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