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Showing posts from April, 2014

You are a smart woman. Now act like one!

We all grew up reading the princess stories where the strong, handsome men aided women in need of rescuing. Their valiant acts involved elaborate ordeals of physical strength and mental sharpness which essentially meant that men dashing in to rescue women from harm was critical to the women’s lives moving forward. And the women? The women were the passive in-distress participants, who, apart from being unable to advocate for their own needs and wants; needed a man to control the fate of their lives and save them from distress.

For years, we have created the message, oft repeated in stories that our children read and imbibe, that women may not be able to advocate their own needs and men have to be able to provide for women and keep them from harm. In effect; we have grown up with a social psychology which leads us to believe that women need someone else to take care of them and save them from misfortune. Boys become men believing that their role is to provide for women and keep them saf…

Gender Equality: About Men and Women

Gender equality is not about empowering women alone. It’s about educating men to understand and appreciate women too. By focusing on enabling women alone; we have ended up alienating the most crucial player in the gender equality paradigm- the man. As more and more parents of girls try to raise their daughters like they would raise sons; more parents of sons need to raise their sons like they would raise their daughters. As Judith Martin wrote in “Common Courtesy”; there is no female equivalent of the “boys will be boys” concept. If there is anything that I would want to work on as a priority; apart from empowering women in communities; it would be to drive a clean slate approach towards the upbringing of girls and boys. In a panel discussion on gender issues at a women technology conference last year; ladies present spoke about how badly they are treated by their male colleagues when they assert their knowledge in technology at work. The disrespect and bias of men towards women who a…