Saturday, March 8, 2014

Breaking gender barriers on Women's day!

Today, being Women’s day, it is a mandatory-post-day on Onestoryaday! I have always tried to key in a post celebrating this day dedicated to the fairer sex. Besides, celebrating our differences from men thanking the women in our lives or spreading the message of equality and respect for women amongst the men, I guess what we really we look forward to is to be able to break free from gender stereotypes.  For instance, on the domestic front, if the woman of the house has a working Saturday, the man needn't hesitate to play host to visiting relatives, while at the same time, the woman needn't hesitate to drive them up to the airport! J  As mothers, however, it is important that we ensure our children, and especially our sons don’t grow up perpetuating gender stereotypes! A couple of weeks ago, I found Abhay casually referring to all girls as being “stupid” and not matching up to the boys. When I confronted him, he backed out and said that his comment was only meant for the girls in his class. That only made it worse and I wondered where he’d picked it up from. I then took him aside and explained that it is wrong on his part to carry such a gender bias and that girls are just as smart as boys. While I hope that he got the message, I know that constant and consistent reinforcement against bias will go a long way in helping our boys turn the men we women want them to be!

While we are on the subject of breaking gender barriers, I picked up “The Worst Princess” by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie. As the title goes, this is not the run-of-the-mill story of a princess being rescued by the handsome prince. Sue is a princess leading a lonely life in a tower, has been waiting for the last hundred years for the prince to free her from this boredom and show her the world. At last she rejoices as the prince arrives, claiming to have slain all kinds of wicked and vice. While she doesn’t hesitate to make the first move, the prince finds her too quick for his groove! As she marches shoulder to shoulder with him, excited to be freed and ready to explore only to realize that the prince is  a bore! The prince leads her to a castle where she is expected to doll herself up with dresses and tresses. But she protests as she wants to ride a horse and go on adventures with him to which he declines saying that the job of slaying dragons aren’t meant for girls. So from  a lonely princess in the tower, she is back to being the lonely princess in the castle. As she spots a fiery dragon charging towards the castle tower, she befriends him and vents out her frustration against the prince when it turns out that the dragon too has a grouse against the prince. So the dragon and the princess join hands and blow the castle tower, much to prince’s chagrin, who calls her the worst princess ever. Sue in turn snaps back that she doesn’t care and hops on the dragon’s back to take flight on Dragon air! J So from then on, Sue and the dragon explore the world from end to end, making mischief for royal twits and naughty knights……realizing along the way that they make a great team after all…..and thus live happily ever after! A refreshing change to the traditional princess stories and a must read for all our little princesses and princes…especially on women’s day! Why should boys have all the fun....isn't it?? Cheers to womanhood and happy women’s day!


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