“Men who cry are sissies ; Women who don’t cry are heartless”
“Women love gossip and shopping ; Men love sports and are obsessed about sex”
“Men are commitment phobic and bad at science ; Women are bad in driving and at math “
“Women with glasses are nerds ; Men with glasses are smart and intelligent “
These are just few of the comments which mostly are taken for the truth and accepted by many in the society. Some get enraged, some take it in the lighter sense, and others just take it on face value. In short these have been passed down many generations and even in 21st century still governing the society.
From the moment all hear “It’s a boy!” on birth of the child they go berserk. There are celebrations galore throughout and no one gives a thought as to how the baby looks. He gets clothed in preferably blues and his room is painted a blue colour while his room decorated by super hero themes. Most of the toys he gets are guns and cars. Then the initiation to being a boy begins by slowly telling him not to cry a lot and the male attributes like acting strong by suppressing his emotions, act brave always, learn to fix things around the house, manage finances, and learn tasks to be performed outside the house.Speed and action toys and games are all good for him, gets to play outside without any restrictions, encouraged to be aggressive, focus on sports and get educated as per needs of any male preferred career like engineer, doctor, architect, pilot. armed forces, civil services. etc. He is discouraged from taking up any profession like nursing, teaching, counseling, considered to be soft enough for girls. He gets set for a life of being pampered by all his female relatives and waited hand on foot. He is seen as a potential breadwinner and thus not given any mundane tasks within the house but outside ones like paying bills, buying electronic stuff and furniture etc. Teasing girls, flirting, dating and casual relationships are no taboo for him but considered to be masculine .
On the other hand If hear “Its a Girl ” the reactions are varied. She will be dressed in pink mostly and here the focus will be on her appearance : her color, features,etc. Her room will be painted pink and decorated with Barbie themes and soft toys and dolls will be most of her toys. Many people will even despair thinking of future when they have to give he away in marriage and have to start saving for her dowry. She will be encouraged to express her emotions, instructed in manners like talking softly, walking gracefully, not fight with boys, be submissive to elders, not laugh too loudly, dress smartly, and take up feminine interests like cooking, singing, dancing, and caring for others. She has many restrictions on going outside the house and also the kind of education she wants to pursue. She also is discouraged from taking up male dominated careers like Armed forces, Driving, physical tasks oriented like machinery and design, construction, etc. She is groomed to be homemaker or if working then has to manage a balance between work and home duties and also a future mother.
Whatever the gender but the nature of boys and girls cannot be entirely separated since they do overlap at times . The adage ” Men are from Mars and Women from Venus” is often used to generalize although actually implies that although they do have natural gender differences physically individually there are enough similarities which is a testimony in the willingness to coexist and accelerate the human race.In the book of same name the author JG challenges stereotypes and proves that there are more similarities than differences between men & women, even anatomically. Men & women have the same desires, wants, dreams and fears.
In the above picture look at the similarity and disparity though in a humorous vein still correlates doesn’t it ? It is ok for boys to be messy but they can also be neat and organized while even if girls are expected to be all neat and tidy can be messy at times.
On a serious note even psychologists agree that there is a feminine side in every male and masculine side in every female. Individually when the person understands and balances both it leads to psychological well being and happiness. Who can say Men are insensitive when they watch them around their daughters . Women are setting new trends in all fields today considered traditionally a male domain being brave inspite all odds. A gradual change in the mindset of society needs to be brought about so that any person can choose to live the way he or she wants instead of conforming to society norms and losing a part of self in the process. Total Isolation is not possible or healthy too : “what a mess it would be ! just imagine a total chaos …. meaningless existence”
Here are few pictures on the lighter side :
Right from the time a baby is conceived there are mixed reactions among family members. Different reactions greet a boy or a girl :elations ,celebrations, disappointment, worries. even anger. In many parts female infanticide is rampant where the girl baby is killed for no fault other than its sex. The boy child is seen as the heir apparent and the joy and pride of the family has to be seen to be believed. This has lead to so many imbalances in our society where there is skewed sex ratio , desertion of wives for inability to conceive a male progeny, the poor treatment of girl child ignoring her rights to education and nutrition and the rampant rise in crimes against women. Many will counter that scenario has changed now Indian women are modern and flourishing in work and education but though true such percentage is still low to make a difference to the plight of their neglected peers. There is a need to spread awareness and bring about a change in mindset of society which will take many efforts and lot of time so that future generations will be safe to live their lives as they want to ; not as a prison of their sex.