It is a baby………….??? BOY!!! Congratulations!!

Now, being the mother of a baby “BOY” you should know:

  1. When decorating “HIS” room, you can use BLUE colour on the walls, BLUE curtains, BLUE bed sheets, and so on, but, NO not PINK!!!
  2. “HIS” room can have motifs of Winnie the Pooh or Carz or Chota Bheem, but, NO not FLOWERS!!!
  3. You can dress “HIM” in blue clothes or green or yellow, but, NO never PINK!!!
  4. He can play with stuffed teddies or dolphins or monkeys, but, NO never DOLLS!!!
  5. He can play with building blocks or doctor sets or balls, but, NO never KITCHEN SETS!!!

Seriously???!!!

Photo Credit : http://www.freepik.com/free-psd/male-and-female-signs_567847.htm

Photo Credit : http://www.freepik.com/free-psd/male-and-female-signs_567847.htm

I don’t mean I am going to handover Kitchen sets to Adi to play from tomorrow, but if I ever have a second child and she is a GIRL, I am not going to hand it over to her either. Why on earth would I want to channelize, toys my kids play with, based on gender??

  1. I let Adi bring utensils from the kitchen and play with them!! (Though it does seem like the “Calendar khana do” scene from the movie Mr. India and the noise gives me a headache!!!)
  2. I let him sweep the house with the broom!! Traditionally considered WOMEN tasks (Until, of course, he brandishes it like a weapon and attacks someone!!!)
  3. I let him dust the windows and the shelves!! (Though my husband is not too happy about this, Johnsons baby wipes to dust the house!!! I don’t blame my husband!!!)
  4. I let him help me in the kitchen, like carrying stuff from the kitchen to the fridge and back!!! (And then he refuses to budge from front of the fridge as it is really cool there!!!)
  5. I do make him wear pink shirts if they look cute and they fit him!!!(Though obviously, they are quite  rare!!!)

My point here is:

  1. You don’t make PINK clothes for boys
  2. You sort toys as “for boys” and “for girls”
  3. You print the pictures of girls on all kitchen sets and serving sets (this despite all the masterchefs and kitchen shows on TV)
  4. You print on the doctor set toys, boys as the doctor and girls as (duh!!!) nurses
  5. You justify kids being naughty, or a little aggressive as “Oh he is a BOY!!”

If this is the culture we are going to groom for our kids, when they are as small as eleven months old….. We can talk about Women discrimination, Women empowerment, Women equality, Women safety, anything we want because that’s what we are going to be doing for a long, long time to come – JUST TALK!!!

Responses

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  1. Preethi Chandrasekar

    Till I sat down and thought about it – it happened when shopping for toys , I did not realize how cleanly we separate the world as what boys should do and what girls should do. it is a very tricky space, my daughter has cars, we don’t know where they are, but her “babies” – they are very well-taken care of. And this is largely not because someone else is telling her what to do, its her innate preference. But what our culture does is that we amplify these preferences, and assign roles. Maybe that’s the point to start!

    1. Mutteringsofmemyself

      I think that is ok….. for a child to have a preference but as you rightly prompted our culture kind of assigns roles and is quite rigid.
      I think its cute your daughter wants play with her “babies” the key here being she WANTS to, not because she is made to.
      I think we are more liberal with girls doing everything “Raising them with the confidence and independence” unlike the docile, dependent ones of yester years…. Issue is we don’t wanna mess with the boys, resulting them in lacking compassion and thinking they are the boss as they are MEN!!!

  2. Uma Karthikeyan

    Totally agree wonderful article … i have two boys now and i really dont mind them wearing pink shirts which i got from India …. my first son always loved kitchen utensils inspite of all the toys in the world available to him … When i arrived in Australia , i was suprised to see blue and pink diapers for kids !!! When i went shopping b4 my second kid was born i wad told to buy nuetral color Stuff but i chose blue and pink both as i didnt know its a boy or girl !! ..

    1. Mutteringsofmemyself

      Oh that is so cute!!!
      Actually I think overseas we bracket boys and girls more based on things such as color of clothes, etc
      In India its more the activities which are controlled – boys should be outdoors so play with bat and ball, girls need to grow up to handle the house so play with dolls and cooking stuff 🙁

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