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Our society reeks of sexism and it is seen in all spheres of life, be it songs or the good old fairy tales. It is time we rewrite them.
I was recently speaking with a friend of mine when a song was being mentioned. Since I said I had never heard it before, I was told the lyrics. And when I heard the lyrics, I realized how our society is so terribly lopsided in terms of independence and its idea in context to women.
Living a life engulfed in technology, we might think all this is a thing of the past. But, is it?
How many songs we have come across which urge the guy to get a gift desired by a girl? How many fairy tales have we heard which leave behind an impression that all little girls ever dream is to picture their “knight in shining armour”? How many poems and stories are based on how a gallant man rescues a girl and “gives” her the life of her dreams?
I think, these kinds of fairy tales, songs, poems, stories do more harm than good to both the genders.
It puts the unnecessary burden of fulfilling the desire of another capable and able human being on the shoulders of a man and it makes girls under confident and coaxes them into believing they would be “complete” only when a man would be able to provide for their every single need.
It’s time to change the fairly tales, it’s time to change the endings of most of the bed time stories we have heard, it’s time to be empowered and empower other fellow humans, be it a man or a woman. And it’s time to not conform to the notions of a “good” woman or a “good” man that the society gives us.
Life is not always easy. Situations are not always on the preferred sides. Its okay to expect in a relationship, it’s okay to give in a relationship but is it okay to feel entitled in a relationship and is it okay to feel dependent in a relationship because the society has tried to teach us that? I don’t think so.
Remember ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ or the tale where a princess kisses a frog and turns it into a charming Prince? What if we change their endings? What if it was the Sleeping Prince? What if it was a knight imprisoned in a tower? What if it were seven sisters and a prince in trouble running away from his evil step mom?
Children need to be told stories. Children need to be told a variety of stories. Young minds are the easiest to influence. Why not influence them with notions of equality, empowerment, empathy, joy, sensitivity and objectivity rather than helping the age old stereotypes of a girl waiting for her prince charming taking shape at a conceptual level in their minds? Why not let the little girls believe that the figure on a galloping horse is not a prince. It’s them, when they grow up and become independent enough to fulfill their own damn dreams?
The aim of raising little girls is not to mass produce cuteness, femininity, beauty or making them “good wives”. The aim of raising any child, be it a boy or girl should be to make them independent and rational and good humans. For girls, even more attention needs to be paid on these so that they have the strength to turn the tide and remember the story enough to believe that its them who came sitting on a galloping horse and made all their dreams come true.
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I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
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