Gender stereotypes in India

Gender stereotypes in India

“Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge. ” -Andrea Dworkin

A woman, from the time she is born is taught to be submissive. Often, we are told by our parents to “adjust” in a particular environment and our parents try to explain to us that ultimately, we being woman have to adjust in a situation. It is a preset notion that the male member of a house has to work in order to raise his family, and it is not necessary for a woman to work. Even if in case we find a family where the female member is working, and the male member is performing household activities, the society treats him in a very different way and looks down upon him and is labelled as ‘jobless’.

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Many a times, a woman who is in a profession is asked to quit her job on getting married. Why is it so? I mean, when every man is born free then it includes women as well. Why is that a woman has to concede to the demands of her family? Why is it that a woman should always adjust? A girl is always told to handle herself carefully and not to roam around with boys during the night wearing short dresses and what not, but  practically a boy should be taught to respect a girl. A woman coming home late in night along with a guy is not considered “sanskari” by our society. Whereas it is perfectly fine for a guy to party out all night. At some point or other, most of the girls have felt that they should have been born as boys in order to liver their life as per their wishes. So that they are not bound by the shackles of slavery that exist in our society. Why is it that after getting married a woman is to leave her house and live in her husband’s house? Why is it that after getting married, a woman has to change her surname? It is always the woman who makes all the sacrifices and what does she get in return, “NOTHING”. She does not get anything in return because as per our tradition it is the duty of a female to sacrifice her happiness for the sake of her family. To be more specific, here are the 3 basic goals of a woman’s existence:

  • to be a good daughter
  • to be good wife
  • to be a good mother

This “good” is defined by a woman’s ability to sacrifice her happiness for the happiness of her family members. The woman who performs all three goals is termed as “sanskari woman”. Moreover, in spite of making all such sacrifices and devoting her entire life to her family, a woman is considered to be “weak” in comparison to a man. In my opinion, a lot of strength and courage is required to make sacrifices, so a woman  is no less than a man. Whether a daughter, a wife, or a mother, a woman is always made to succumb to the desires of her family.  She does that willing and with a smile on her face. But she should be given due respect in return for it. So basically the purpose of a woman’s life ends after achieving these goals. A woman does not have any ambition in the eyes of the society. An ambitious woman has to fight for her rights in the society, if her family is supportive, well and good, but if it is not, then she has a tough way. Therefore, a woman should have determination and strength to fight her way out in this evil society. Only then will India achieve freedom in true sense. “The thing women are yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.”       ———— ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Anubha Singhal.

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