I read a beautiful post on Parentous this evening which took our attention towards Gender Stereotypes that exist in our society. I suggest the readers please go through Reema Sahay's post before reading mine, she actually speaks my mind.
For all those who know me, or have read my blog... I'm known to be a feminist. I have no problem with the other gender what so ever. The problem I've always had is with the image our society has created around a man and a women. Below I'm giving reference of 2 situations which I faced with my daughter, I felt sick to say the least.
I visited a huge toy store to buy some toy cars for my daughter (do I see some raise brows already? I hope not). When I checked with the attendant, I was told "Oh! Toy Cars... those are in the boy section ma'am". I felt weird and realized even toys are gender based. I tried not to raise the point, I felt it was a system they follow, and almost every toy-store stacks its toys like that. I just hurried towards the 'BOY section' with my little girl. I (fortunately/unfortunately) overheard a mom telling her pre-schooler “Why do you want a kitchen set? It is for girls… Are you a girl?”. I became furious, and left the store immediately. Obviously the toddler had to come home without the toy car.
Picture This (2):
Couple of our relatives reside in a pretty conservative part of Delhi. I went to visit this aunt of mine, and was enjoying some chai and rusks, when I overheard a mom telling another mom, 'Woh toh apne bete ko itna pamper karti hai, har baat mein rona shuru ho jaata hai... poora ka poora ladki ban gaya hai" (she pampers her son so much, he cries at the drop of a hat, he has become a sissy, a typical girl.) I regretted having overheard that conversation.
After reading Reema's post I realize it's very easy to pick these instances up and frown... Gender Stereotype has become a part of our society. We in our daily lives do and say things which make our children feel girls and boys are different and do things differently. When we mostly pick pinks for girls and blues for boys, it is our mindset that tells us that Pink and Blue signify two different genders. (I personally feel men look really cool in pink and girls carry blue fabulously - like any other color).
We as parents do set examples in front of our kid's as rightly pointed by Reema.
What are your views on this?