Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Gender sensitisation for men
"They were discussing bra sizes" said my colleague in an astonished manner which immediately caught everyone's attention during our lunch hour. "Girls are growing up too fast these days" he added and continued about how he chanced upon hearing a group of school girls discussing about their types of bras. "Its the TV that's spoiling them", he said and we all nodded in agreement. "They are gettting interested in all these too early", another colleague of mine added. So, the next ten minutes passed on discussing about how girls are growing up too fast and the negative impact of this on the society and so on.
I sat down to think, a little while later and simply found nothing wrong in those young girls discussion. For starters, even we as young boys were very wary of when a boy started wearing underwear. In fact we even went to the extent of announcing the day we commenced wearing underwear. There were numerous discussions on the type (i.e frenchie, trunk etc) and the company - and all this was way back in 1980's itself. So, in a way nothing has changed. These discussions had existed before also. Then I remembered overhearing my wife and my daughter also having a similar conversation, which made me wonder what was in it, which was so strange that made my colleague, make it a point of discussion during our lunch break. Then it struck me - my colleague doesn't have daughters. He just has three sons!! So, he has absolutely no clue about raising a daughter - so a perfectly normal sounding conversation for fathers with daughters sounded to be verging on sexy & abnormal to him. And so was the the other colleague who promptly added that "They are getting interested in all these too early".
These guys were simple and very very decent people and I am 200% sure that they didn't mean any harm while making those comments. What actually made them say so was their ignorance about the wants of a young girl. This incident had furthered my belief that family balancing is essential to enable every father/mother to have sufficient exposure of both sides to maintain a balanced and rational thought. At the same time this doesn't mean that everyone with "only sons" is like this, but I have narrated a true incident, so we must understand that there are people with these kinda ideas also.
Well, guys my only request to them and all other similarly placed guys is that - A group of small girls having a discussion about their bras or their periods (or their lack of them) is perfectly normal. Its just the same as you and me comparing sizes with our friends when we were small even in the good old days. Its just harmless curiosity. No need to get hyper about it, and above all, Please don't mistake that as coming of age signs and attempt something silly & perverse.
We really need to subtly educate all those men who are not really upto date with the needs of little girls!!!
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