‘One is not born a woman, one becomes one’: Simon de Beauvoir
This quote is the very essence of gender studies. A person’s gender identity is defined by their mental outlook; how they see the world and how they decide to live and is not defined by the societal standards of how a man or a woman should live or their biological sex. Gender studies is a field that studies a person’s gender identity. It looks beyond the barriers and the boxes that the society has laid down. On the contrary it aims at a healthy expression of one’s individuality.
The field of gender studies hold a lot of relevance today as people tend not to identify with their biological sex alone. Gender is evolving from a rigid stance to a more fluid like spectrum, and sadly, the Indian society is not very open to these changing norms of how gender is represented. Living in an era where the concept of gender is changing and challenging societal norms across the world, India still shies away from the topic. It is only till very recently with the Supreme Court’s decision that the LGBTQ+ community is slowly gaining acceptance in the society. The role of gender studies is thus very important in these times.
Masculinity and Femininity is challenged by the societal constraints. Gender is not limited to these terms. Gender is not a subject that can be reduced to fit within the ideals of a binary structure; i.e., gender is not cis alone, gender adopts trans nature too. It is to be looked at from a different viewpoint. Femininity is not just about grace, elegance and need for protection and Masculinity is not just about strength, power and supremacy. It is normal for men to cry and women to be strong! These are a few ideals that need to be understood and accepted by the Indian society. Rather than shunning away people who do not follow what is considered to be societal norms, it is important to be accept individuals, celebrate each person who whoever they are and hold everyone together and become a progressive society not just in terms of economic index but also in terms of societal mindset!
Stereotyping in terms of gender is something that everyone experiences at some point or the other. I’ve been told numerous times to stop acting “boyish” and to be more graceful and refined. I’ve asked myself multiple times, what is acting boyish mean? There are no traits that are gender specific, other than biological. Women are strong, so are men so are people who identify as gender non-binary. Why does my biological sex need to affect the way society perceives me or I perceive myself? All these comments on behaving a certain affected me more than I let on. It is not okay to put someone young, through something like that.
It is high time we see beyond the gender binary and attribute certain stereotypical traits to genders. For the society to progress we need empowered individuals, and what better way to empower people than letting them be themselves?
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge