“STEP OUT GENDER BLINDNESS FOR GENDER EQUALITY”By. Rev.Anupama Hial
Pastor/Social Activist/Research Scholar
JAYPORE:French Philosopher Michel Foucault says “Gender is mostly social construct than it is a biological given”.Social construction means how meanings are created. Stephen Pinker opines that some categories are really social constructions: they exist only because people tacitly agree to act as if they exist. Based on these arguments, I consider that the Gender construct is a blindness which is accepted as a legitimate syndrome. We blind-fold ourselves with the wild laws of Patriarchy and remain blind. In spite of our ability to see we often remain blind. The Gender inequality causes chaos and confusion in the society, and women and children are worst affected. How are we going to take up this challenge?
The Theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Step it up for Gender Equality”.In order to step it up we need to step out by unfolding the scrap that we have tightly wrapped around our eyes. As we celebrate this Women’s Day,we are reminded that if we are prepared to oppose the age old conventions of the society that judges people with prejudice, we need the courage to counteract even to the extent of offering our life.
It is said that Charity begins at home. I say changes begin at home. If we want to step out Gender Blindness, first we need to unfold the blindness in our home, particularly among the younger generation. We need to nurture our children as feminists, particularly boys because this society is teaching boys how not to be a good man. The cine stars and social media make jokes on women that harm women and girls; but we tacitly agree and enjoy them. We should be rational in reproving them.
Parents, help your children to understand that both man and woman are created in the Image of God. Don’t criticise or allow anyone to laugh at your boys by saying “don’t cry like girls”, when they cry.Tell them crying is not the assets of girls alone. It is human way of expressing happiness, distress, sorrow and so on. Teach your boys to read the histories of brave women who contributed to the freedom struggles. By doing so the society may ridicule you.Butwithout such an effort, they are not visionaries they are blindfolded by the age old, good for nothing patriarchy.
Take up the challenge, have the courage to unfold the tightly wrapped scrap from the eyes of your family members “Step out Gender Blindness” to “Step it up for Gender Equality” in this Women’s Day celebration. May the Parent God bless all of us. Happy Women’s day!!!