Why Should You Raise Your Son as a Feminist ?

By Riya Sinha in Health & Nutrition 25/04/2016

We breathe in a society that treats women and men indifferently!

 

A society that hallmarks the gender with a particular hue. From the time of birth of a newborn is stamped with the blush of pink if it’s a girl or in the shades of blue if it’s a boy. We are conditioned to learn and play up our separate gender roles.  Flip through the pages of a textbook, you’ll read “he” to address an unknown person.  Have you ever read “she” addressing an unknown person…yeah that’s what I thought…Never!

 

Crying is a patent for girls. Right from the childhood, boys are taught to “not to cry like a girl”.

 

Crying is a natural roll out of emotions then how can it be genderised? A boy should be equally able to vent his feelings without being shamed as “girly”. Feminism does not mean feminine but to be equal. A boy can have friends who are girls, who like to play with cars and bikes and a girl can be friends with a boy who likes to play with a Barbie or even play dress up.Why does a girl who likes to play sports gets the tag of a “tomboy”, why can’t a boy be gifted a jewellery making kit than a mechanics game. The clichéd Indian society defines the household chores for the girls and the running errands for the boys. Boys are told to fight and be strong whereas girls are taught to be calm and be “lady like”. Such archetypes of “be a man” or “be a woman” lingers to whisper in our ears to take steps according to our gender category.

 

Boys should also be questioned before stepping out of the house! A woman after getting married not necessarily would take her husband’s surname or the guy can choose to be a stay at home dad, such choices won’t make them any less of who they are.

 

A feminist culture is one which boosts equal share of power and responsibilities. Gone are the days where I will mention my father’s name instead of my mother in the ” daughter of section” while filling up any application form.  Just by wearing a hash tagged “feminist” t-shirt, one doesn’t become a feminist. You should practice what you preach. Putting up an “equality for women ” sign board at your workplace and giving less privileges to your female employees is called  hypocrisy.

 

Preach to be a radical feminist.

 

Dear parents,

Teach your kids to individualise people for who they are not what the society dictates. He can be a ballet dancer and she can be a biker. It’s their choice! “You can be whatever you want to be”, a message to be given early on from childhood.  Gender awareness begins around the age of two and a half and around the age of three to five, it is cemented into their attitude.  We need to be the change we want to see in the world.

 

Kids notice the way things happen at home. Categorizing house hold chores, the way of presenting oneself to the world, giving and receiving respect from others, and all the other small itsy bitsy things should be taken care off. Teach your sons not to support and accept any sort of objectification against women.

 

Feminism is a political movement, more than just an identity or a feeling. Just saying that you respect women doesn’t mean you do. Huffington post states that: “848 Indian Women Are Harassed, Raped, Killed Every Day” 

 

So where are all those men who have vowed to protect their girls?

 

Is it just me or I guess all women are delusional to think that our society is becoming safe for women and that men are changing!

 

“Beat up the woman, show her you’re the man”, the accepted word of advice of many Indian men. Age old stereotypical social hierarchy directs a woman to be the submissive, to be quite and accepting if her man hits her because he is a man and you’re unfortunately a subordinate, “woman”.  Sorry to break it to you but that ain’t “MANLY”!

 

A woman can wed at whatever age she feels fit. A woman can earn and be the sole bread earner of her family and can abide by her own set of accepted rules and principles. Time to smash the patriarchy.

 

It’s time to not celebrate “women’s day” just for women but for equality across all genders and beliefs. Let’s start with the boys!

 

Teach them to let women lead!  Your sons should know that his mother is out for work while his daddy is home for the kids.  Teach your sons to bring about the tangible change, to learn to grow up to be a real gentlemen and not just at the face of it. Teach your daughter to foster her love for sports and not to drop out of the sports team because that will make her look “muscular”. Let your sons know that being vulnerable or expressing their feelings won’t make them any less of a man. Being aggressive is not an USP of being a man, teach your sons to further help carve the mother earth to be a land where women can protect themselves and not considered but are equal to men.  All the sons out there you should know that a woman is equally strong because she is the one who gives you birth.

 

A feminist woman is tagged as an over ambitious, unattractive, too strong, too aggressive and just almost isolating.  Feminism shouldn’t be a synonym for man hating, but EQUALITY. Feminism should move out of the bracket of being a struggle to an expression of liberating ideologies.  A man can wear a skirt as confidently as a woman can wear men’s suits. Marlene Dietrich took a strong fashion stance. The 1930s Hollywood actress wore trousers and men’s suits during a time when it was considered an outrageous taboo. “I dress for the image, not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men” said once the bold and the beautiful Marlene.

 

Who proves gender equality to not be a MYTH but a REALITY!

 

Shout out for all those advertent people who have galvanised to always push both men and women fore together both within and outside their social domains and have believed and voted for a female candidate because she can be the First Lady. Women are not to be controlled. They don’t need permission to prove who they are and  are veritably free to be either strong or sensitive or both!

 

Emma Watson expedients “it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals”. Sexism is indeed a disease because “we cannot at all succeed if half of us are held back”- MALALA.

 
 

Riya Sinha
Bonjour
It’s Riya Sinha. I’m a sports aficionado. Travelling is always on my bucket list. I’m always up for a girls night out and some good foot tapping music and I fancy all things in Vogue.

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