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Monday, July 05, 2010

My Sins Against Gender Stereotype

Apu tagged me to do proclaim the sins hat I have done and here I bite the bait!

First of all I really do not think that burning your lingerie is a symbol of feminism or wearing pink is girlish or liking cooking, knitting is a typical girlie stereotype- after all, don't we have male celebrity chefs?
Frankly I always treat roles as gender neutral- I do nog let definitions or boundries prevail on me. Whenever I have done something that is considered masculine, I have done it without giving it a second thought- it is done because it has to be done.

But since nobody is asking my opinion but asking me to just list out 10 stuff that I have done that are considered not girlish- I do just that but give my reasons on why I did that.

1. I learnt to drive a car at the age of 11 and a 2 wheeler at the age of 10- a thing that is very normal for a boy to do. Again, it was not an act of a rebel. Neither was it done becoase I wanted to prove a point that - oh, you think I should not be doing it because I am a girl- so I will exactly do it. Mom put me on a moped right after I learned to cycle. And I admit I was shit scared the first time. From that to a car was a natural progression. But again, it was just something that I learnt for the purpose of learning and not for driving around taking Dad's car. It was not that I was simply waiting to become 18 and take a driving license. It happened in its own course. And even afterwards, it was only in 2007 that I got my own car and really started driving.

2. I lived in a hostel-for 6 years- I guess a first in my family. Again not to prove a point because it had to be done. I never felt that pride- ladki hoke bhi akele hostel mein rahti hai. It was no biggie. I never thought that a girl should not be allowed to do it. And this also meant the countless trips from hostel to home and vice versa began- out of necessity.

3. I lived alone in a new city when I got my first job. No big deal. Neither my family nor I thought that it should be done otherwise.

4. I do not believe in not contributing towards the traditionally accepted men's domain of earning the dough. Not because I feel it is the feminist thing to do- but because it seems the sensible thing to do.

5. I feel that every member of the house, including the man of the house should help at home- kitchen/ kids/ cleaning. Because I honestly believe that what has to be done has to be done. So if I need to leave the house at 8 am then every member in the house should do their bit in ensuring that it gets done. If the home needs vacuuming- anyone should be able to take the initiative to do it

6. I do not believe that decision making is the domain of men. I like to be an equal partner in that. New house, new paints, which school etc etc. Again, I might not take the final decision or be involved in the process of looking for alternatives. But I would most certainly like to be involved at the crucial stages.

7. One will never see me sitting all coy and submissive. I love to argue my point out rather than just accept what is told to me to do.

8. And most uncharacteristically, I pushed the husband to get a blackberry - something that is traditionally his domain- gadgets and such.

9. I read in the loo. Such a man thing to do. Not the reading- the reading in the loo thing.

10. I can carry out mini repairs on my own- food processor and the likes.


Rohini said...

Most impressed with Number Ten!

apu said...

Nice stuff, Itchy. I too felt the same - in the sense that a lot of things just make for sensible living. In fact, to me a lot of feminism is common sense and nothing esoteric or rebellion for the sake of it. It just makes things so much more easy when everyone chips in rather than having rigid rules about who should do what.

The Bald Guy said...

Yay you!

How do we know said...

wow.. my respect for u grows..

How do we know said...

wow.. my respect for u grows..

Itchingtowrite said...

thanks Ro!!
apu- exactly! who defined gender roles?
bald guy/ how do we know- thanks

Indian Home Maker said...

True, choosing common sense over stereotypes make so much sense Itchy :)

A lot of women and men can see what's sensible but are discouraged (or prevented) from doing anything that does not confirm to gender stereotypes.

If they still choose the sensible option they are called 'rebels'. Sometimes this makes them confirm. Sometimes they still do the sensible thing and then they might laugh at the the label of being 'rebels' - and wear it with pride instead of shame.

I also agree with Apu above.

Sue said...

Reading in the loo or at the table is NOT a man thing to do. I outdo most men I know at it. ;)

WingrideR said...

In reference to point no. 1:
I remember that night when we went to UC Gupta uncle's house in F-27. While coming back you desperately wanted to drive and Daddy refused (probably we had DDC 3882 then). I remember you making a big scene at home after we returned.
Also, Sameer (Gupta uncle's son) had given me a small toy gun which used to emit funny sounds. And amidst all the chaos that you were creating, Ma was using it to scare away that "evergreen cat" which had entered our house.