Last year I read the book ‘The Pregnant King’ written by Devdutt Pattanaik. When I finished this book I had some thoughts which stirred in my mind. This book was a kind of an eye-opener for me, I realized that how gender roles were imbibed in my mind. Now let me tell you I am a person who has read gender studies as a subject in both my Bachelors and Masters, but reading this book was definitely a different experience altogether. So today I will share my thoughts which I had after reading the book The Pregnant King.
In today’s world, there are many people who want power. Almost everyone wants to be looked upon as a strong person. But have you ever given a thought that what it takes to be a strong person?
We have two genders. Male and Female, and two categories, Masculine and Feminine. The characteristics of these two categories are well known. Masculine- rational, bread earner, certain, ambitious, easy going and many more. And when it comes to the characteristics of Feminine they are – sensitive, humble, thoughtful, sympathetic etc. Wait, we will not talk about these gender roles, but today we will talk about these categories.
Whenever we seek power and strength we go towards one of these categories that is Masculinity, it doesn’t matter whoever we are, a man or woman. And if somehow someone wants to be a person who is sympathetic, empathic, caring which are the traits of Femininity, we think that this person is weak. When a woman wants to show her power in a corporate world, she willingly dresses in suits, in fact, these are the kind of clothes which are said to be formal and well suited for the office environment. When a girl wears a blazer, she is called a Girl Boss. But what about those girls who do not want to wear blazers but are very strong and powerful. Why these girls are not taken so seriously? Going to the opposite sex men, the situation is worse. Men are still laughed at when they cry, express their feelings, or something very small like being not strong enough to pick something heavy.
Though we say we are moving towards gender equality, we are still stuck in these categories. Why can’t we just forget about these categories and let a person be? How does it matter if the person who is taking time off and not earning for the family is a man or a woman? How does it matter that the person who is commenting about someone’s body on a social networking site is a man or a woman? A sexual comment is a sexual comment. But today, a sexual comment by a man is a negative comment but the same kind of comment by a woman is something cool, revolutionary. Why is it so?
And the worse is when we see someone who does not fall in these categories. People who cannot identify with any of these categories. We just negate them and force them to change themselves and fall into these categories.
When will we brush off these categories? Why can’t we just accept a person for who he is? Why there is a need to fit into these categories?
You can also read my full review of this book here.4 Likes