09 December 2014

'boys don't cry'

i was so happy to see this new #vogueempower ad on indian tv the other day, about changing the way boys are raised, in order to eliminate domestic violence. the ad goes through many situations in a young boy's life, where he is consistently told that 'boys don't cry'. it ends with him as a young man, trying to control his emotions while twisting his female partner's arm. 

the ad is a refreshing change for indian society. i have two boys, and i will admit that i am terrified of them growing up in this patriarchal society, where they are already being told that they shouldn't cry or freak out 'like girls', or shouldn't dress like girls or play with 'girly' toys. this is a society where violence against women is always prevalent, both physical and emotional. where swear words/phrases are largely gender discriminatory. where the phrase 'be a man' has overt sexual innuendo involved.

the ad also recalled another awesome video by always, on doing things 'like a girl'. that video is one we should all watch. seeing those little girls run, throw and punch made me feel so proud and sad at the same time. they were not doing these things 'like a girl', i,e. badly. they had so much confidence. and yet, this taunt will at some point come to haunt them.  the message at the end is simple: 
I mean, yes, I kick like a girl, and I swim like a girl, and I walk like a girl, and I wake up in the morning like a girl because I am a girl. And that is not something that I should be ashamed of, so I'm going to do it, anyway.
i am glad that these videos exist, that some are even indian made, and i hope that by the time my boys are old enough to understand these films, the gender balance will have evened out more..



Lollipop Goldstein said...

It's refreshing to know there are ads like that out there considering the onus is usually on the woman to stop violence from happening to her vs. teaching men not to hurt women in the first place.

Jen said...

Now I have a son I'm really aware of how I get the right messages across to him and my girls. It's a big responsibility and your sons are fortunate to have you teaching them these important truths.