Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen to get a gender neutral nursery designed for their new-born son Archie. The royal baby’s nursery will have a monochrome palette of whites and greys, reports The Indian Express. In today’s times, when binarism has not only furthered the divide between girls and boys, but also has outcast those who do not identify with either, the royal couple’s move to give their child a gender-neutral nursery is appreciable. Like Meghan and Harry, a lot of parents in the West are increasingly opting to give their children a gender neutral upbringing. However, in India, this trend is yet to catch up.

SOME TAKEAWAYS:

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen to get a gender neutral nursery for their son Archie.
  • A lot of parents in west are increasingly opting to give their children a gender neutral upbringing.
  • However, in India, this trend is yet to catch up.
  • Wouldn’t it be more fun if our kids had more choices than one which is governed by their gender?

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls; isn’t that the code we have been feeding to our kids?

Be it toy stores, class rooms, play grounds, or even bedroom, childhood across India is distinctly divided by gender. But it is not as if kids come coded with bias or beliefs. It is not as if boys automatically veer towards playing with toy trucks and girls reject blue or “boy” clothes by default. So how does it all start? The answer is simple; it starts with parenting and the environment we give to our kids, which shapes their ides and gender identities. Blue is for boys and pink is for girls; isn’t that the code we have been feeding to our kids? As parents, we automatically develop an affinity to buy pink dresses and dolls for our daughters, while boys get clothed in hues of blue and gifted with airplanes, cars, robots etc.

Pink and blue, of the entire spectrum of colours, it is just these two that end up defining the gender identity among kids. Isn’t that boring? Wouldn’t it be more fun if our kids had more choices than one which is governed by their gender? In fact, why should gender play any role at all in the way they dress, or play, or choose what they have to with their lives? Patriarchy has long been repressing men and women in our society, keeping them from doing what they want to, by implementing gender based norms on them since the day they are born.

It is very painful to see your child having to give up on what they love because it doesn’t fall in the spectrum of their gender, or so the society tells them.

If we want to free our children of these binary norms, then it needs to start at home. Change the way you do little things like buying clothes or designing a nursery for your child. Stop telling your daughters to be demure, “girly” or “lady-like”. Don’t fill the boys at impressionable age with ideas of masculinity. You have a rainbow to choose from, and in return, it will open limitless possibilities for your child. It will also help them become liberal, accepting and inclusive of children who do not identify with binaries.

It is necessary that the future of this country is in hands of people who can look beyond gender and prioritise virtues like happiness and inclusion over bitterness and discrimination. It is very painful to see your child having to give up on what they love because it doesn’t fall in the spectrum of their gender, or so the society tells them. However, nowhere are these norms more distinct than in our country. This is why we must take a cue from Meghan and Harry at at least attempt to raise our kids outside of the gender binary structure.

Picture credit: The Cheat Sheet

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 Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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