Let’s break them all!

Women can’t drive. Men can’t be shy. Women can’t do sports. Men can’t do arts. Women don’t belong in the sciences. Men don’t cry when they’re facing difficulties in a relationship. Women are emotional wrecks.

It is so common to hear these comments on a daily basis , that they have become facts rather than assumptions.Those who dare to point out these particular stereotypes , however , are often labeled as “too sensitive.”

We fail to realise that these sweeping generalisations are detrimental not only to us , but to the society as a whole.

If there’s girl who can’t do maths then obviously no girl can do maths. If there’s a single boy who might not be emotional , an assumption is made that all boys are heartless creatures who don’t cry , the exact opposite of what is thought of for a girl.

Another major problem is that we tag people doing the same activity differently due to their gender. A boy who works at his office all night is hardworking whereas a girl who does the same is called selfish as a girl is expected to be the breadwinner and the homemaker simultaneously.

A well-dressed boy is smart and a girl supporting the latest trends is a show-off. A man who is a good leader is “the boss” and a woman who leads well is bossy. Due to these labels , many people are unable to express their true potential, be it a girl who is extremely good at mathematics or a boy who is artistic.

Is there really a need for these labels?

My best friend likes putting her point forward and speaking her mind . She is extremely confident which makes her stand out. I feeling that these qualities make her beautiful but there are people who find her aggressive and bossy. This is because outspoken girls are considered aggressive, rude and pushy. She is constantly told to improve her temperament as girls cannot afford to be this aggressive. However , if a boy was being talked about , he would labelled as a strong leader and would be called brave and revolutionary.

“You tell me to quiet down cause my opinions make me less beautiful but I was not made with a fire in my belly so I could be put out. I was not made with a lightness on my tongue so I could be easy to swallow. I was made heavy, half blade and half silk. Difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow.”

This quote by Rupi Kaur once again reinforces the point that women and men can’t be expected to hold up to these ridiculous expectations which hinder them from expressing their true potential.

The other day these boys at school said something extremely sexist. They were stereotyping people once again. My friend was told not to say anything by the others because “those guys are like that and they won’t change.”

Well obviously they won’t change if they’re not told that they are wrong. Obviously they won’t change if we keep laughing at their stereotypical comments. Obviously they won’t change if their parents pass comments like “stop acting like a girl” or “boys don’t take up arts”.

It is not funny anymore. A change has to be made.

I’m taking up a “breaking stereotypes” challenge. Now onwards, whoever promotes a stereotype or says something sexist or racist, I’m going to post a proper research based piece breaking that stereotype. So 365 days. 365 stereotypes. I’ll need everyone’s help. Please send me such incidents where you’ve witnessed stereotypical conversations or actions. Let’s start breaking stereotypes… the challenge starts today!

Editing credits-Shivangi Gaur

Thankyouu-Diva Ranka, Sonali Bhambri, Rishabh Bhambri, Kartik Talwar, Rishi Gupta, Bhavya Gupta, Uday Arora, Ribhav Talwar