Last week my 7 year old daughter had her first argument. She came home from school and complained that a boy of her class slapped her on her face. I was shocked that in presence of two teachers in the class this happened. I asked her the reason of her fight and that shocked me even more. We have raised our daughter to be a strong person and so during the discussion with the boy she said that girls are strong too, just like boys and the boy showed his physical strength by slapping her. After hearing her encounter I felt immensely proud of my daughter that she displayed her strength by showing restraint and not showing her physical strength by slapping him back. She could have done that too as she is being taught defence techniques in Judo but she didn’t. She understands what actually strong means. Sure she is a strong girl and I am confident she will be able to take care of herself in my absence.
However this got me thinking, what the society teaches our boys? Shouldn’t he know too that hitting someone is not being strong? Shouldn’t we be teaching them that all are equal irrespective of their gender, caste and social status? If this is what is happening in a metro city, in one of the most affluent schools what would be the condition of rural areas?
On one hand there are women who are at top positions in various fields but on the other they are also paid less than their male counterparts. On one hand women are worshipped and on the other they are raped. There is a huge disparity in the society and its everywhere. That has nothing to do with how educated you are and what kind of family you belong to.
It all sums up to how you raise your boys. Girls are always told what is right and what is wrong. They are taught all the societal mannerisms. When are we going to teach that to our boys? Isn’t it a high time?
Daily the newspapers tell us how women and small children are abused. When I was a 7 year old kid, I remember my father used to ask me to develop a habit of reading the newspaper. Today I am apprehensive to tell my daughter that. There is so much negativity in the world around. I wonder whether she should be reading all that news at this age. I am not sure how am I going to reassure her that all is not that bad. I want her to be hopeful of a better future for herself.
I want her to strive to spread happiness and not be disheartened with the happenings around. We have given her equal opportunities and freedom to live her dreams but is the society going to give her that too in the future when she moves out of the protective environment of her home. Surely now that she has shown that she is strong enough and a young girl with a mind of her own she will succeed in this competitive world that it is becoming to be but what I want is for her to be happy.
I only wish and hope that we become a responsible society where gender doesn’t describe the strength or weakness of a person.