UK Social Documentary Boys Alone Sheds Light On Early Signs Of Gender Biases

UK Social Documentary Boys Alone
The other day I was talking to my friend about how even in the 21st century ‘Ghar Sambhalana Ata Ho’ is the criterion for some men. That is when I came across this experiment conducted in the United Kingdom for a documentary titled Boys Alone. The central idea was- 10 boys and 10 girls each spent a week in an unsupervised house.

The conditions posed to participants were – No familiarity with each other prior to the experiment. The parents and guardians are not allowed in. Lastly, a mandatory cooking class for everyone before entering the house. The children were monitored, how they behave, what they do, and how they live. When boys’ behaviour was compared to girls’ behaviour, it was not at all shocking. Those videos reflected boys were messy, malnourished, and aimless when it came to setting house rules. Girls, on the other hand, were organised, compassionate, clean, community-oriented, and well-fed.

UK Social Documentary Boys Alone

Image Credit- Impact Instagram

UK Social Documentary Boys Alone

The videos showed girls’ groups organising the meetings, doing all the cooking, preparing chore charts, and showing signs of hygiene, whereas boys were aloof in conducting themselves in this manner. This speaks a lot about society and gender roles. This is where the criteria ‘Ghar Sambhalana Ata Ho’ comes in. Why this becomes a criterion in the first place? Isn’t it a life skill, a survival trait that should be known irrespective of gender? When someone says this to you, it is a prejudice that is adapted by both genders? Women tend to operate in a way that it feels an obligation to do it, whereas for men it becomes more of a privilege- not to do it, as there is someone else for them to do it. Where this comes from? Society has this perception certain roles are to be done as per gender. Many of them are also aware that this comes from the social conditioning of male and female children. These kids are conditioned in a way that automatically picks this up and keeps running the motor of patriarchy. Tom McClelland’s philosophy also says domestic tasks should not be equated with a natural affinity for housework. It is the society that trains gender to see different possibilities for action in the same domestic environment.

UK Social Documentary Boys Alone

Image Credit- Instagram Impact

If boys are taught this is their duty also, maybe they might become more proactive, organised, and considerate. Then there would be no need for a boy to have the criteria of ‘Ghar Sambhalana Ata Ho’. On the other hand, these skills equally bring out the best leaders and these skills have been seeded in women since their childhood, yet they are understood to be incapable of their autonomy, making decisions, or being in a leadership position. Girls are portrayed as more mature and bearers of all the responsibilities in society. If that is the case then, why are we still hesitant to elect women to positions of power? Can’t their responsible instinct be enough to win society’s trust? 

These biases are going to thrive unless the change is not initiated at the roots. Childhood is a root, the thinking capacity, behavioural growth, and cognitive development start thriving right at this age. If these seeds of equality, kindness, cleanliness, health, responsibility, and community are sown during the growing-up period, the mindset might be of a liberal narrative. Right at that age it could be embedded that people irrespective of gender possess the capacity to be great leaders. Why let even a little ounce of patriarchy be fed in for someone to say tomorrow- she must know household chores. Let’s raise all kids to be good people and show compassion, equity, and empathy in every they say, feel, or do. 

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