THE COLOURS OF GENDER

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Pink is of girls and blue belongs to boys. Is it really? What if a girl likes blue and a boy loves his things pink? Is that normal? Do we accept it? Or we consciously keep brainwashing the children into the pink and the blue boxes on the basis of their biological existence, where they’ll keep living there whole life?

The minute a child is born, we create boundaries. We draw a circle around them — a circle of gender. Nature has already given each one of us a gender, based on our physiology. Do we need to cement it with things like behaviour, colour, hair etc?

The very first time that we tell our son to ‘be a man’, or our daughter to ‘sit like a girl’, we have unknowingly fenced their movement in social sphere. We’ve created a wall around them, of how to be a man or a woman.  And we feel happy that our children grow confined to these walls of gender.

Limiting them makes us feel secure — secure that our son or daughter is growing up ‘normal’. But is it normal to grow in confinement? Is it healthy for the mind?

Anything that remains stagnant can never be healthy. There has to be a free flow of ideas, likes, dislikes and opinions. We need to water the mind with fresh ideas, we need to be open to new spaces. Only then can a child’s mind can grow into a strong and healthy personality.

If a boy cries, we tell him, ‘don’t be a girl’. Crying, as per our ‘box’ is a sign of weakness associated with girls. And if a girl is aggressive, we tell her ‘girls should be gentle and soft’ because these are the traits we have put in the girls’ ‘box’. A girl needs to be protected and the boy needs to protect her. I wonder from what is she supposed to be protected? From the world?

But she was born into the same world as boys. So why do we put her in the ‘weak’ box and the boys in the ‘strong’ box, right at birth. We teach our girls to be gentle, homely, soft-spoken whereas aggression from boys is accepted as a ‘manly’ trait right from the beginning.

Boys aren’t supposed to play with dolls. They’re laughed upon. Parents replace dolls with cars, so that their son is considered ‘normal’. And vice versa for girls. They are encouraged to play with dolls. Even if a girl wants to play cars with boys, she’s asked to play with ‘other girls’. The boys only won’t like her playing with them, because that’s how they’ve been groomed as. Cars are a boy thing and dolls are a girl thing.

We can talk about umpteen props from these girl and boy ‘boxes’, but the purpose here is to try and remove these boxes.

Break the walls from around our children and let them grow into healthy minds. Let the girls not feel the need to be ‘protected’ from this world. Instead, make them feel safe. Let the boys not feel the need to ‘protect’ the girls. Instead make them feel respectful of ‘fellow’ beings. Let the girls’ dream of becoming astronauts and boys of becoming dancers. Girls can be car racers and boys can cook and clean at home.

Isn’t it time that the ‘box’ is thrown out of our minds? We always encourage our children to think ‘out of the box’. Then why don’t we just lift the box and free our children of this imprisonment? Let them feel the beauty of this world. Let them grow up into not men or women, but into strong, well-nourished minds.

Let’s not bring up sons and daughters, let’s raise humans. Give power to the mind, not the body. A boy looks as pretty in a pink as a girl looks beautiful in a blue…

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I'm a qualified zoologist, hospital administrator by education. But a voice over artist and RJ by profession. Writing is relatively new to my personality and it's looking to overtake all other passions! I feel privileged to have become a part of this prestigious platform along with so many other lovely people; and I'm looking forward to contributing to a better world through my writing. Follow my ideas and latest writings at my iDiya profile.

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