Children have some questions for us. Even if they aren't asking.
This was so insightful, Mahima. I have not had kids around me for a very long time but I remember the toxicity of school during adolescence- the policing of skirt lengths, bra straps, hair braids, kajal and what not. I remember not liking the attacks but I don't remember identifying them as gendered- it felt so normal! It is encouraging to hear how these dynamics are shifting with children themselves questioning so much. As always, thanks for writing this and putting in the effort of gathering all these perspectives.
Great insights and the right way to think - gender-neutral - we all need to become. Thanks for this blog, absolutely loved it.
When my daughter was younger, she was gifted a book called "Dosa" in which an amma makes dosas for appa. One day, while reading it to her, i said, lets read it "ulta". So we read it as Amma sits in the living room reading the paper and Appa makes dosas for her. She found it funny initially and then later used to ask me many times to read it "ulta". I feel like these subliminal messages are all around us and we'll never be able to fully control them, but I try to question them in our conversations many ways. I try to introduce books (Julian is a mermaid" is one that immediately comes to mind) that will try and subvert these stereotypes. Even in Marathi, Madhuri Purandare's books are beautifully written, with single parent families, boys doing chores at home while their sisters go to play football etc. My daughter, at seven and a half has still internalised some stereotypes, but some days, like last month when she asked me, after an elaborate bhaubeej pooja, why she didn't get an aarti from her younger cousin brother, give me some hope. Thank you for this very insightful piece.
I was actually thinking of pitching this 'Mama ki roti gol gol' to you yesterday! Great article. Questions must be asked.