I've been tagged by Usha to participate in the International women's day contest held by Indus Ladies. (Category- relationship issues)
Please click on the link above for details. Starry, Parul and Rayna, please participate in this.
My title sounds Utopian, and it probably is.
And yet, the perception of gender roles within the family has a huge impact on relationships.
Some men cannot imagine making a cup of tea for themselves, or even fetching themselves a glass of water. Some women do not even try to balance the cheque book, cannot dream of a life free of dependence.
Gender is part of our biology, yet it tends to rule our societal norms and behaviour far more than required in this day and age, where reproduction is now a matter of choice, where most men are not engaged in hunting and gathering, and where greater or lesser muscle power doesn't matter in most spheres of life. As parents, we need to break out of our own gender stereotypes so as not to perpetuate unnecessary stereotyping or gender role anxiety.
As a parent, I need to teach my children to be self-sufficient. At each stage of their growing up I have to guide them to do what is age appropriate for them
Ultimately, both boys and girls need to take care of their own physical and mental well-being.
This would include personal hygiene, the ability to keep their surroundings and possessions clean and organised, the ability to repair their garments/sew on a button, cook for themselves, clean up after themselves, deal with bank accounts, shopping, financial responsibility etc.
If we succeed in bringing up a generation of self-sufficient adults, who are free of gender roles and assumptions, life would probably be a whole lot simpler. Apart from actually bearing and breast-feeding babies, there are very few roles that are actually gender specific.
Let us make both our sons and daughters all-rounders in dealing with Life. Let us instill in them the confidence that they can achieve whatever they set out to do without putting barriers of gender or caste or class in their minds. No job should be beneath their dignity, no career beyond their dreams. They need the freedom to choose to live according to their abilities and interests, not determined by age-old notions of gender.
Both boys and girls need to be protected from sexual abuse.
Both boys and girls need to be protected from emotional abuse.
Both boys and girls need to be cherished, and allowed to spread their wings.
Both boys and girls need to feel rooted, to feel secure and cherished in their homes.
Both boys and girls need to be taught all necessary skills for adult life.
Both boys and girls need to be taught sexual and reproductive responsibility.
What is different?