Written by Jiya Rajput, a grade 10 student.
Everyone in society faces inequality, be it men, women, or transgenders. However, not everyone faces it in the same way – some situations are worse than others, and some face more than one type of discrimination.
Research has shown that men are less likely to seek help as compared to women in our society. The truth is that gender discrimination affects men too. We need to accept this with an open mind, without being biased – we need to understand that everyone gets affected by gender inequality.
As children grow up they constantly absorb messages that society throws at them through families, friends, schools, media, etc. The unfair, imbalanced outcome for girls/women and boys/men arises, firstly, in our schools, families, villages, and neighbourhoods, because of the imbalanced amount of power, resources and opportunities.
Let’s talk about women
Women in our society are expected to take care of the family and primarily be involved on the domestic front, whereas men are expected to go to work, earn and shoulder the financial responsibility.
Moreover, men are expected to act in a specific way – from early on they are told that they must be brave and that crying is a sign of weakness (“cry like a girl”). Everything is decided and made different from the start – the toys, the clothes, etc.
Men are expected to be strong (and thus aggressive), and not express emotion like women. Being emotional and expressive is considered a sign of weakness.
I believe that things would be very different if we would let men (and women) make their own choices of how they should act and behave. Maybe if men weren’t always required to be strong (aggressive), women wouldn’t be submissive. Unfair stereotypes, and unfair expectations to act in a specific way leads to gender inequality.
We need to change
Gender discrimination should not be supported in a democratic country like ours. In school or in the workplace we need to understand that we should not use masculine pronouns (him, his, and he) rather we should mention us and we.
Allowing boys to express their emotions and encouraging them to do household chores would be a great way to work toward gender inequality. Also, if men help out on the domestic front, then women can also go out and work.
Professions must not be synonymous with a specific gender.
What do you think about when you hear about these professions?
Probably a man, right?
So we need to change our gender language around these terms. For instance – “The chemist works with compounds that will enable her to ..” or “The dentist prepares with equipment by..”
We need to understand that we are all created equal, irrespective of our genders. People should not get be victims of unfair stereotypes rather they should get opportunities, healthcare, education, proper sanitation, and safety equally.
Law must recognize that both men and women can be victims of gender and gender inequality. In my view, the law must ensure men too do not face discrimination.
Please note: the views expressed in all opinion pieces belong to the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of the platform. I Kid You Not believes in giving a voice to today’s children, no matter what side of the debate they are on.