To my right, is someone with long hair and a pink shirt while my left is someone in a crew cut, wearing a blue jersey. Identify their genders. Easy! A “she” on my right and a “he” on my left. These are stereotypes – a predetermined image of how the two genders should present themselves.
Barbies are for girls while boys play with cars. Girls wear pink and boys “must” prefer blue. These are the initial stereotypes instilled into the minds of children. As they grow up and the world around them complicates, the conventions become stronger. SheThePeople.TV asked its readers to share some of the strangest stereotypes about women that they’ve heard. Here is what people have to say.
Women pull each other down
Kajol Srinivasan, a famous Mumbai-based comedian, said that most people believe women hate other women. However, let’s remember that it was a group of women, facing abuse on the bus started the Montgomery Bus Boycott dating back to 1955. The struggle for voting rights for women in most countries has been an all-women struggle. The reality is, women together are capable of creating change.
Women don’t know how to drive
Author, Sonia Bahl, says that women are often deemed as bad drivers and claims, “some of the best drivers I know happen to be women”. According to BankBazaar, women are better drivers than men in most countries in the world. This is because apart from having a higher level of tolerance women drivers tend to abide by the rules more often.
Neil D’Silva, a popular Indian writer, said, “Women gossip a lot.” He went on to say, ” It always puzzles me because, trust me, we men gossip just as much. Even about other men behind their backs”. Men or women, everybody gossips because this is basic human nature. However, it feels great to hear this from a man himself!
We bleed because of “Karma”
A user pointed that the weirdest stereotype they have come across is, “people feel that the physiological process of menstruation is because of the karma of women”. To which another user responded saying, “Men are born too only because women bleed”.
Menstruation is a bodily process and is as natural as respiration, then why do people believe that it is something we “suffer” from because of our karma?
Women are not quick decision-makers
“Women cannot make quick decisions, that they like men, who take control and tell them what to do, and that they all want to become mothers”. It is a fact that women do have aspirations, dreams and professional goals and they are capable of making informed decisions, and there is nothing wrong in wanting to become mothers.
Fangirls And Not Sports Lovers
Priyanka Agarwal, a freelance writer said it is a belief that “We [women] love to shop and get ready for hours, watch cricket only for cricketers and aren’t strong enough to open tight doors or boxes”. Girls too, just like boys, follow a sport for the sole reason that they are interested in the game, not just for the players. Also, women have conquered not just the mount Everest but set foot on Moon too so let’s not say they are not strong enough.
Rapes? Dresses are to be blamed
Rekha spoke about how women are themselves blamed for rapes. She pointed, “Their clothes are the reason for rape/sexual assault.” Stopping girls/women from wearing what they want to, is simply victim blaming and justifies the perpetrator’s actions.
We prefer Romance novels
A lot of people also pointed out that girls prefer to read and write only “candy floss pink bubble gum romance books”. From the best classic novelists like Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf to Agatha Christie writing the best mystery novels and to JK Rowling giving us the Harry Potter series women have proved that they’re capable of acing any genre.
A user, Supriya Kabra responded with a list of stereotypes that women have to “abide by”. Here is her tweet:
Can't drive, specially at night, certainly not long distances
Can't understand finance
Can't understand property disputes
Shouldn't go out after 8pm
Can't travel solo
Know how to cook
Know how to take care of family
— Supriya Kabra (@MomzKnows) December 11, 2019
These gender stereotypes attack the self-esteem of women and should be done away with. Quoting Nancy Kress, “A stereotype may be negative or positive, but even positive stereotypes present two problems: They are cliches, and they present a human being as far more simple and uniform than any human being actually is.”
We are all different and similar in our own ways and all of us should embrace these differences.
Saavriti is an intern with SheThepeople.TV