The more I am trying to raise my voice against an asinine norm of the society, the more faults I’m finding in the system.
Coming across umpteen numbers of incidents on sexism against women is nothing new. What’s surprising is even men aren’t spared. And what’s furious is, this begins right from the childhood of every kid.
We went to a gathering yesterday and were with a couple whose son is three years older to Avni. Another couple joins us and after a while the man asks the little boy ‘hey buddy, so how many girlfriends you have, huh.’
Before the boy could answer, Anvi spoke up, ‘my friends’ name is Parth and Ayaam.’
‘Oh ho. Abhi se boyfriends huh. Be careful, Neel’, said the man and the group broke into a laughter.
I had a smile on my face but was burning within and I couldn’t stop myself from retorting.
‘Hey Sparsh! Why this – Be careful, Neel, at the end? Why can’t a girl have boyfriends? Is it some kind of a milestone meant for only boys? I’m sure you would have applauded had Akshay (the little boy) answered you. Why not the same response for Avni? I don’t understand why we differentiate between our kids from the very beginning? The same question must be for both of them. It’s us who draw the line between a girl and a boy and which just grows within them with their age.’
“Oh, do you know how to put a nail in the wall?’ ‘Let me lift it up, it’s heavy. You can’t.’ ‘Let’s gift a kitchen set to the friend’s daughter. Will make her happy.’
‘Why do we tag women and men? We say we are modern but are we really? You know what Sparsh, this is sexism which we are indirectly teaching our kids. Not just to girls but boys too.’
‘Why are you crying like a girl. Be strong, you’re a boy’. ‘Dude, you’re wearing pink. That’s a guy colour.’ ‘Why are you putting the baby to sleep. Where’s your wife?’
‘I mean really? Please let’s stop this. Let’s give our kids the same upbringing. We should help them be themselves instead of making them a product of our thinking.’
I didn’t realize that I went on and on without a breather. By the time I was finished, I noticed a few more people had joined us. But, I don’t care. I had to say this. Someone had to. Till when will we be quiet and let children get smashed under the pathetic mindsets?
‘Woah, Asmi. That was something, buddy. And I agree with you.’ Thankfully the host jumped in and the atmosphere became lighter.
But I couldn’t stop my mind from racing even an hour later while returning home. One look at Neel and I knew he’s with me. At least I’m not standing against my dear ones but just the world.
And I made a mental note and a promise-
I will do anything and everything to save Avni from these bullshit and baseless standards. She will be free to do anything she wants. It’s her life. And if God blesses me with a boy in future, I’ll be more than happy to go against these standards.