As we’re moving ahead with times, it is vital for us to also reset our mind-set, to unlearn the prejudices, biases and stereotypes and learn the new progressive language that’s empowering, not sexist, and inclusive. It is passé to use women as props in advertisements that have nothing to do with women. We’re not here to take your “well-meaning” subtle-yet-stinging taunts about our weight, skin tone, body hair, body texture, and so on. And so here’s a quick list of things you have got to stop saying to women, because you never know the next time you say it, you might get back a sarcastic response. And mind you, this doesn’t just stand true for men, as women can be equally patriarchal sometimes:

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  • Right from when she is a young girl, stop commenting on her hair, looks, height, weight, shape, skin colour, etc. She is growing beautifully and just because she is different from the ‘standards’ you approve of, doesn’t mean she is ‘weird-looking’ or straight-up ugly. When a girl is growing up, anyway she deals with a lack of self-confidence because of how the society treats her differently. Dare not add to it your inane beauty parameters.

We’re not here to take your “well-meaning” subtle-yet-stinging taunts about our weight, skin tone, body hair, body texture, and so on.

  • Stop telling teenage girls that it’s the roundness of their rotis that will determine their worth in front of the world. Instead tell them that they can rule the world with their ambition.
  • Please stop telling girls that they must go for that pink Barbie, she’ll choose what she likes whether it is the pink Barbie or a racer car. Also, no one requires you to tell girls that being a girl signifies weakness. Tell them stories of women around her who break barriers every day to attain greatness and that she is going to grow up and do great things too.
  • When a young girl comes up to you and tells you about abuse from a family member—don’t shut her up and ask her to stay away from that relative. Take charge and confront that person, better still to take it up legally.
  • Enough with stigmatizing menstruation! Period blood is just blood mixed with an unfertilised egg—stop horrifying girls with the idea of ‘period.’ As an alternative, educate them about its how, why, what, when, etc. and NORMALIZE it. Unlearn your past filled with several don’ts of menstruation and tell her she can deal with it however she feels like—whether she wants to rest it out or play out in the sun—it’s her choice.

Stop telling young girls to not play out on the playgrounds, sit at home, do household chores.

  • Stop telling young girls to not play out on the playgrounds, sit at home, do household chores. It is as important for girls to play sports as boys, don’t curb their freedom.
  • Stop instilling the idea of marriage in girls from a young age. It is not the ultimate goal of a woman’s life and it is not the end of the world. Let her focus on her career first and if she wants to become a homemaker—that’s her choice too.
  • Let women make choices about the way they want to dress, where they want to go, when they want to return. Your stopping them for ages didn’t show a dip in crimes against women, instead teach your boys to respect women and their privacy. Food for thought?

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  • Stop shunning women for how loud their voices are or how short their clothes are or how different they are from others. Embrace, embrace, and embrace all of our fraternity.
  • Stop claiming that homemakers do nothing because they don’t go out and earn a living. Just because her work goes unpaid, doesn’t mean she doesn’t work. Your houses will crash if the homemaker stops doing her work.
  • Stop taunting working women on their work-life balance. It is the duty of both partners to maintain that balance, why such insane expectations just from women?

Let your feminism be inclusive of all minority genders, Dalit women, Adivasi women, disabled women and all the women who are a minority. Remember, even if one woman feels left out of this movement—we fail as a community.

  • Stop calling your woman boss a bitch just because she is straightforward and demands work done, you wouldn’t call your male boss with nasty names just because he showed leadership skills now, would you?
  • Stop making gender such a big deal. If a woman is driving a car, stop it with your ‘women can’t drive’ crap. Women can do or be what they want to do or be—those stereotypical ideas of yours only deserve to be in a trashcan.
  • Stop asking trans women what gender they were born into. Gender is a spectrum and a state of mind. Accept not just your cis-ters and but all sisters who consider themselves women.
  • Let your feminism be inclusive of all minority genders, Dalit women, Adivasi women, disabled women and all the women who are a minority. Remember, even if one woman feels left out of this movement—we fail as a community.

Picture credit- LifeHack

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