There has been so much turmoil and appalling events happening around us. In India, the cultural bottom is marked by the gang rape and now what amounts to murder of “Damini” or “Nirbhaya”. There is so much righteous indignation around us that it is dividing us and humanity. Many women are spewing out anger that further demonizes men almost as a whole or at least an attitude that alienates the genders from each other. This is not the time or sign for separation but for graceful unity.
There is a plenty of hue and cry about government inadequacy and need for tougher laws as if laws could create a loving and respectful culture. Many parents are responding with more fear psychosis and may end up being restrictive, controlling and strict with their daughters instead of making them stronger.
Facebook is full of anger and thirst for blood. It is unacceptable we say when we hear of gun violence in US and outrageous rape case of Delhi. We shout for death penalty and what not as a preventive measure. So the question is besides the rage for a few days what can ONE person do?
Resolve to act fair in our smallest dealings. Resolve to respect women in ABSOLUTE manner and set an example. Resolve to make small incidences of eve teasing “our business” and intervene.
Let us resolve to drop any divide between humanity and everyday treat people with dignity and respect. Let us not chase money and oppress the poor. Let us not chase pleasure and demean women. Let us give EQUAL opportunity to all to build their lives based on their merit.
Peace in the world cannot be achieved unless there is peace within individuals.
– S.N. Goenka (Vipassana father figure in India).
As parents lets teach and practice ABSOLUTE gender equality in terms of respect, freedom and opportunity. Here is a wonderful poem by a dear friend Harshavardhini Ghorpade as a parent that conveys how we as parents can change the world around gender equality.
A New Year Pledge
As the new year sets in
Let us pledge to look within
Strive for a new beginning
Love, respect, and honour
A sister, friend and mother
Cherish a child – right in the womb
Gender any – let it bloom
Your little girl
Is also a precious pearl
Her birth you must rejoice
The way it was for your boys
On equal terms – raise your precious ones
Stereotype not gender roles
Your boy likes pink and girl likes blue
Chill – The world will not go askew
Kitchen – a girl’s domain – Nay
Cars and guns for boys –such thoughts best kept at bay
Take pride in your boy’s cooking ability
Revel in the glory of your girl’s car racing trophy
A woman has a voice and a choice
That you must respect boys
What she wears and who she befriends
Is none of your business
But forget not to remind her
The kind of man she chooses as a partner
Is a man who loves her and not lusts after her
Is someone who lets her be
And accepts her unconditionally
Encourage respect by being respectful
Create joy by being joyful
Nurture love by being loving
This is the best gift to any child you are giving
© Harshavardhini Ghorpade