Want a career that guarantees you a consistent income, every month: all from the comfort of your home? Join eMaester: Teach more, Earn More, Learn More.
Some straightforward answers from this teacher’s 5th grade students told her what the young of India think of gender roles. An eye-opener.
For the first time, I am not able to come up with a starting line of this piece. We talk about education, safety, women’s empowerment, gender equality, child abuse, emotional gratification, blah blah blah, but sometimes I wonder if it is limited to just words.
The reason I am saying this is because children are our reflection. They reflect our behaviour, our thoughts and our actions. We often complain that children don’t listen, but they do see how we model out our words. They can see that we don’t walk the talk, that’s why they don’t even bother to listen to us.
I do a lot of reflective discussions as a part of storytelling and other events that I celebrate with children. This time I hunted out stories and prepared questions, to know their understanding about the role of a Man and a Woman in their life. I asked them what their mother and father did. The answers of my students, who were in grade 5, were straightforward.
Fantastic! I am sure we women are proud of ourselves for being a superwoman. But we are just tired bodies. When we sleep, we don’t sleep as a woman. We just sleep. #SarcasmAlert
After a long sigh, I asked them, “When you grow up, and you are the man/woman of the house. What do you think you’ll be doing?” Their answered told me a lot about what they see at home.
“I will come back home and watch movies, buy things on Amazon and order food.”
“On my return to home, I will play cricket during evenings, and the woman will cook food.”
“I will be earning so I can do anything. If I know cooking I will cook or else I will order.”
“I will work out of town and don’t wish to have a family. Because I don’t think that I will be able to give time to anyone.”
“I don’t want to have a family. My parents don’t have time for me. I will work and pay money to the servants to see my house.”
“I will come back home and try to spend evenings with my family. I will take them out for dinners, movies, swimming and play football. But household work.”
“I will cook food and take care of the family.”
“I will do work-life balance as my mom is doing.”
“I will cook food, help my family with their work and work from home.”
“I will not be a housewife and that’s why I cannot have a family. I don’t think that I will have time. My grandparents are there, but my parents don’t have time for me. I don’t think that they will have time for my children.”
After listening to this, I asked them, “So should only girls think of a work-life balance, when not a single boy tried to think on those lines? Why?”
“Because the world works like that ma’am. Our fathers are working hard, and they earn money!” said a girl.
“Even our mother earns, So?” said another girl.
“But they earn less than our fathers!” said a boy.
I don’t wish to advise or suggest as to what should we do. These kids’ answers should be an eye-opener for us. Just look around and break that hypocrisy which is lying under a glass of modernity. Pause a bit in what you’re doing, and think what should we do to bring gender equality in our space.
Image source: shutterstock
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
The Gap In The Food Years
Dear Daughter, You Don’t Have To Lower Your Standards To ‘Fit Into’ A Patriarchal Society
Come Ladies, Let’s Smash Patriarchy In 4 Key Practical Ways!
7 Ways In Which I’m Raising A Responsible, Feminist Son Who Respects Women
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!