A few days ago, I went to McDonalds with my friends. My friend wanted to buy the happy meal. They asked him the kind of gift he would like, there was a choice between the one they think should be appropriate for a boy or the other which they think should be appropriate for a girl. Those words stuck with me, how on earth does McDonalds have the right to determine what kind of a toy should a boy or a girl prefer. Can’t boys like pink??
Is the structure lying between my legs determinant of how I prefer to express myself? Flipkart, amazon, Myntra and all other e-shopping websites that I have come across have filters for budget, brand and shockingly there is a radio button for men and women which when enabled shows a different set of clothes creating these harmful misunderstandings. I came across these gorgeous Nike hot pink shoes but I couldn’t even think of buying them because they “belonged” to the women’s section. Why do we have to accept the general norm? Why are gender fluid people not allowed to feel normal? This practice could possibly subject an expressive person to hate crime.
I remember how I loved Barbie dolls more than a decade ago but you know, I did not feel happy while looking at that creation because I was caught in a series of unanswered questions and a seemingly inevitable state of self doubt. Earlier I did not have the money to buy that doll, now I do have the money but not the courage to go against someone I love very deeply. Oh my god, I recall getting all teary when I saw a girl performing Bharatnatyam in a lehenga and how it flew in beauty and awe in circular motion.
Here I stand in front of a window seeing the world, the cars, those buildings and I am excited for my journey and behind me I look at a huge crowd falling on each other, diseased with misunderstandings and misinterpretations and I am worried and anxious for my country. Let’s not follow these standards which are supposed to make a man more manly and a woman more womanly as we are all beautiful, specially created with god’s magical hands and these differences are a part of us and should be celebrated and not hidden.
- Look Beyond the Gender Stereotype Filters - September 12, 2019