I re-read a post I wrote a year or so ago titled ” Fathers, stand up and be counted” (on 8/1/12 in fact) because my daughter referred to it on her blog yesterday ( The National Girl Child Day) – and it got re-blogged by another friend of hers. The gender neutrality that I wrote about has been in our family for a long time. All the girls in the next generation of the extended family are professional working women – most have chosen their life partners, some have stayed single, others have decided to part ways, not always easily but out of their choice. And we all believed that things would get easier for the next generation of women – but that has not been always the case. And I can see the conflicts and tensions among those bringing up young girls today!!
And needless to say, these tensions have found greater expression over the last few weeks – in fact there has been a deluge of outpourings. But are these enough? I wonder if these discussions extend to the dining table of homes? Are they discussed in front of the children? And even more importantly, is all the discussions at coffee houses, office chat sessions, evening-get-togethers in which the politically correct views are expressed, translated into action in our own lives?
I know that it is not easy!! Can you stop yourself from cautioning your daughter to be home in time, when you don’t do it to your son? Can you put the phone away when you want to call and check on her? Does family discussions on career choice, have elements of gender bias? And so on…… In the prevailing culture of the day, it is indeed not so safe out there and we feel helpless, and so take all that it takes to protect our own. ‘We will wait till things change out there, I cannot risk my brood’ – we think in our hearts and minds.
But how will that change come? With each generation, the cocooning of the privileged and the schisms based on economic success are increasing. The resentment of those (and they are the majority) excluded from the cocoon can only grow. While I am an optimist, I don’t see enough of those who believe also willing to put the belief into action. So each one of us – fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts etc. – needs to stand up and be counted to bring about the change that will create an equitable society.