Are You Treating Your Girls "Less Than" Boys?

Are You Treating Your Girls “Less Than” Boys?

“Girls are not the same as boys.” I believe in this.

Not in what they can achieve. But in the fact that both have their own strengths. But as far as rights go, as humans every single human has the right to choose and BE as they wish.

Yet, time and again I see people differentiating in what girls “can” and “cannot” do. In Indian culture, there has always been a big difference in the way girls are treated from boys. From serving them, to being protected to what they have to wear to what time they have to be outside, Indian women are often shown that they are less than.

The difference is reducing in today’s times. But once married, the difference still exists colossally within the Indian society.

The #metoo conversation brought forth to my mind how many people talk about the need for better parenting. To teach kids that both boys and girls are equal. Yet, there are so many subtle ways that girls are suppressed or presumptions they have to overcome.

So, I delved into the online space and asked women around the world to talk about a time in their childhood when they experienced feeling less than or having to overcome being put down. 

ONE 

“My parents raised me like a boy for the first 10 years as an only child but when my brother came and as I got older my parents’ worry of me irked me. It was not the same for my brother. Or my cousins. In my teenage years, relatives would pass comments about my marriage way earlier than it needed to be talked about. It was not the same for the boys in the house hold. “

— Find out more about Aditi Wardhan Singh 

TWO

” I would say when girls are just overly protected off the bat. I was never allowed to stay home alone with my brothers. Or I was not allowed to date until I was 16 but my brothers were. It’s a standard of boys aren’t to be trusted so we have to protect our girls more so then the boys…. great post idea. “

— Find out more about Sarah Church Caroll

THREE

My grandfather just passed away and all the grandsons and grandson-in-laws were asked to be pallbearers. Just the first thing that came to my mind living in the 21st century and still having those gender differences. All the granddaughters were not included.

— Find out more about Ashley Peggs

FOUR

When boys would pull my hair or be mean to me when we were all little, I was always told it was just because they liked me. I associated meanness with affection. I grew up spouting off that same stupid, misguided notion to other girls, unfortunately. Whenever a boyfriend treated me bad, I always had this thought, “well, he loves me so it’s okay.”
Or when I witnessed my dad disrespecting women and putting them down, I was told by my grandma that he did it out of love. The lesson of “it doesn’t matter how guys treat you as long as they love you” was very pervasive in my childhood.

— Find out more about Lisa Keifer

FOUR

When I asked my dad to teach me how to fix cars, he said no because I was a girl. I pushed and he gave in and was stunned to see I had a natural talent for it. Then I ended up in architecture school which at that time was 10% women. I had a teacher tell me that women didn’t belong in architecture because I had asked a question he deemed stupid. I didn’t want to be an architect after that. I became a graphic designer and ended up in the printing industry where I was sexually harassed all the time. I’m good at math, engineering, computers, fixing things… And I have been told over and over that I have strange talents for a girl.

I have two boys and they are being raised to see everyone as equal. Since I don’t get the chance to raise a confident girl, I can at least raise boys who see them as equals.

— Find out more about Bonnie Landau Weed

FIVE

When I was growing up, it was expected for my sister and I to help in the kitchen with dinner and clean up. My younger brother did not have the same expectation. This expectation still happens now. Last week we were on a family vacation and my mom was putting a roast in the crock pot for dinner. She was trying to decide when to start it. My brother was going to be back at the campground before we got back. I suggested to ask him to turn it on when he got back. My mom actually said, “he just finished a half-Marathon and that’s too much to ask of him.”. My response was “For him to turn a switch?”. This is not an uncommon theme in our family. I intend to raise my son to have the same expectation as any other family member.

— Find out more about Jennifer Crisp

SIX

I was good at math until I was in high school. I was in high track math 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. But then I slowly started thinking I wasn’t good at math because I kept hearing girls aren’t good at math. So when the counselor was helping me pick classes for my freshman year, he basically said “let’s bump you down to average track math” even though I got a high B in 8th grade. And I learned that I wasn’t good at math even though looking back I think I actually was. So I told myself that I wasn’t good at math because other people basically told me that I wasn’t because I’m a girl. And I don’t think I learned as much in high school math because I didn’t try very hard. I had the mindset of “this isn’t my thing. I shouldn’t even try.”

Find out more about Nikki Howlett

SEVEN 

I think it’s more I’ve noticed how lucky I was to have strong female figures and a father who taught me everything. I also read a lot of book with strong females. Here’s my recent post I wrote.

— Find out more about Shari Dawson Shearer

EIGHT

I hate the comment of throwing or running “like a girl”

Nancy Elyse

NINE

I don’t have a post about this, but it drove me insane. Last year my little sister’s high school softball team went all the way to the state championship (YAY!), and they asked to go up to the field two days early so they could get acclimated and practice one day. You know, get in the right mind set. Anyways, their athletic director said nope, sorry, not in the budget. So they showed up the night before, didn’t have time to work out the jitters, and had to play the next day. They lost. I’m not saying they would’ve won with that extra day, but as an ex-athlete I know how nerves can impact your game. It helps to see the field you’ll be playing on and just calm down from all the excitement (our town held a little parade as they left). It sucked, sure, but I didn’t think anything of it.

Flash forward to the football team’s REGULAR SEASON and they had a game in Texas. They were there for three days. It was basically an all-expenses paid vacation for these boys. And they brought the cheerleaders. They got their asses kicked.

I was so annoyed by this. Let’s just go ahead and tell our daughters that it doesn’t matter how hard you work; you can be the VERY BEST and go to the championship game, but you’ll still never be worth as much as our football players. Have fun in life!

— Find out more about JoshlandLindsay Aspinwall

TEN

My husband’s grandma told me when I was pregnant with my daughter that it would be better to have a boy because girls are only good for cleaning. Granted, she’s 93 and has dementia…but it still hurt.

— Find out more about Caitlin Downs

ELEVEN

I was told I could not do percussion in band because it was for boys. I did the flute, but ended up dropping out. 

— Find out more about Samantha A Brooks 

TWELVE

When my parents went to buy me a used car, the guy selling it told them it was a standard/stick shift and that because I was a girl they should go home and talk to me and make sure I could drive it. My mom was so offended but came home anyway to ask me and we agreed my dad could teach me. To this day I still remember every guy friend who rode in my car in college being floored at how good of a stick shift driver I was 😬

— Find out more about Cammeno Messana Murray

THIRTEEN

When I was in my second last year of high school, I had the goal of going to university to study science. My physics teacher told me in front of the boys in my physics class that girls don’t do science so I would never get anywhere in the science field. I set out to prove him wrong. I went to university and studied science. I then got a job with one of the major science organisations in Australia and was ran hands on science sessions for primary and secondary school students. My crowning moment was going to his high school and running a specialized science session for his class!

— Find out more about Jennie Petrey 

FOURTEEN

I was always told about everything that I did that wasn’t “lady like” and how if I wasn’t “lady like” than no boys will want me and it was just sort of instilled into my psyche that I needed to focus on having a man, like I couldn’t possibly live without one. It made me so codependent as a teen/young adult.

— Find out more about Brigid-Ryan Milenkovski

FIFTEEN

Never in the family, but people around us (esp. neighbors and relatives) would always be concerned about our parents not having a son.. as we r three sisters,many people would say it to our faces, how our parents are being foolish not thinking of their old age etc etc.. I’m sure being an Indian you know how hung up Indians are on having sons.

We would often question our parents if there is something wrong about girls and my dad always said “it’s the way people feel ,not us and what others think is not our problem, so ignore!

— Find out more about Shalini Tyagi

SIXTEEN

Beautiful. For sure! I have a twin brother. So many times in my life I felt less than him for no reason. At work he would start after, be a good worker but have his own imperfections like meor…worse and yet, be promoted. As for treatment, I could come up with some memories.

But hey, being a twin is awesome.

— Find out more about Jewel Elise

The Subtle Parenting Difference Between Girls and Boys | Parenting | Women Empowerment | Think about it

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”

 

Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

I grew up in a conservative Indian family with strict rules around girls like being at home before 7:00 PM. I found my solace when I started working at the age of 18. Being the youngest one I was by nature a little rebellious compared to my siblings.

Getting a job made me far more confident and gave me the freedom that my young heart was craving for. I met my husband at work and knew immediately that only he can support my newly found wings.

We got married in 2007. My husband very well supported my free spirit, but he too belonged to a conservative Indian family. The expectations from a daughter in law were to wear a sari and taking care of the household.

It took me several years to make my in laws understand that respecting them was far more important than the attire I wore. Don’t get me wrong! Out of respect, I still do wear conservative Indian clothing in their presence and take care of the entire household when at my in laws visit. But I kept my out of house life separate from the life I lived within.

Expectations Of Motherhood

My in laws often pushed me to have kids but for me the time wasn’t right until I felt it was right.

Years passed by in this fashion, with time I found myself engaged in other responsibilities. My father was diagnosed with cancer and my brother became the only earning member. I took care of the responsibilities that came along with my father’s disease and  demise. Having kids had taken a back seat with so much going on.

My best friend in the meantime had conceived and had a beautiful baby boy. Who not only lightened my friends life but also gave me a reason to smile during the tough times I was going through. His single smile would light me up and recharge me for the entire day. And after a long time I felt that I had fallen in love again.

Maan as we call him became one of the most important elements of my life, he became the light I was looking for in the darkness of challenges that surrounded me.

And from Maan, I would say for the first time I had the urge to become a mother. Life took a turn again and we moved to US. And with the loneliness I found here the urge of becoming a mother became even more strong.

I had a chance to visit India soon after I moved to US. I finally decided to see my gynecologist to check if we are in the best shape to become parents. I was advised a complete hormonal profile and I anxiously waited for my results to come in being absolutely sure that nothing could go wrong with things. I felt healthy and perfectly fine. What could go wrong?

Endless Disappointments

The results came in and my dream and hope of becoming a mother came crashing down like house of cards. Doctor broke the most unexpected news to us “ your egg count is very low”. I wasn’t even sure what that meant but I knew one thing it didn’t sound promising.

I tried to ask her what can I do to improve my egg count and she said nothing could be done this is how my body is. She also gave it a term “Early Menopause” that definitely wasn’t something I wanted to hear.

My research reflected that early menopause sets in when a woman is stressed for prolonged periods. I searched long and hard on the internet what were the chances of conception for women with a condition like me. Every search pointed in one direction IVF.

I had heard about IVF but never understood what exactly the procedure was and how successful was it. Every search gave me many success stories and equal number of heart breaks. Every search made me more and more sad.

And every month the disappointment of not being able to conceive overpowered my once happy and free spirit. I got more depressed with every passing day.  I couldn’t share this pain with anyone and spent hours locked in closed spaces shedding tears and blaming myself for what seemed to be my life’s biggest defeat. I was scared to share this with my family as I was terrified of being blamed as ignorant towards my responsibilities.

Time went by and I came in terms with the fact that I will have to go with IVF and I might even have to get an egg donor. It’s a well known fact that IVF is very costly so I started saving every penny I earned towards it. Though disappointed I lifted my spirits up and told myself that god will not let this happen to me and I will turn out to be a successful case of IVF.

I honestly did let everything go and then my little miracle happened.

The Beginning of Motherhood

October of 2016 for the first time in 2 years and after 9 years of my marriage without any external help I got a positive pregnancy test. The two stripes on the test made me laugh and cry. I became so paranoid that I took 3 additional test to make sure I had a living being inside of me. I found out a place where I could get an early ultrasound to make sure everything was fine. I started eating and living healthy so that my little one would grow up healthy.

As he grew inside of me I fell more and more in love with him. On 19th of June 2017, I held him in my hands for the first and since then every passing day I fall more and more in love with my miracle baby.

The entire experience taught me one important lesson. “It is important to let go” once you let go and believe that you will get it. Keep working towards it, there is a good chance you may get it. To anyone struggling with the same, I say it is important to keep a positive outlook.

Are you struggling with infertility? What do you use to give yourself hope?

How Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility | Pregnancy | Infertility | Motherhood | Hope

Vinni Mishra is a corporate professional presently residing in Glen Allen, Virginia. She originally belongs to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India). She completed her masters degree in geography from Rajasthan University. She started her career as a corporate professional pretty early around the age of 18 with GE Capital and was until very recently working with Suntrust Mortgage in Glen Allen. She is an expectant mother and is enjoying her time off from work awaiting the new member to her family. She has a passion for writing and her writing is influenced by the rich culture of Rajasthan which is famous for its traditions and heritage that have been passed along generations.

13 Life Lessons Every Kid Can Learn From Mahabharata

Though I was a working mom, I never compromised on time spent with my son during his childhood. I love to spend quality time with him right from his birth. And he’s a big fan of stories. No surprising, since I used to tell stories even when he was in my womb.

The epic saga of Mahabharata has attracted him for many fascinating reasons. He loves the characters, morals, adventures, fiction, knowledge and wisdom shared by the innumerable stories of Mahabharata.

Mahabharata is one of the two Indian epics that narrates the importance of morals and values in life. It is a rich source of ethics and life lessons. In this modern era, Mahabharata is being taught in management classes and leadership training.

My son is just entering into his teens this 2017. And always we find it interesting to discuss and chat about the stories we read, movies we saw and things we heard. Last week, on one such discussions, he shared about the life lessons he learned from Mahabharata in his 13 years. As a mom, I feel really happy about his learning and would love to share with you all.

[bctt tweet=”Found in many Hindu home, Mahabharat is a must read for every new mom to teach kids values. ” username=”contactrwc”]

13 Life Lessons Learned By My Son From Mahabharata

 

Perform your duty

Lord Krishna taught that one should perform his duties as a son, husband, father, student without fail. We used to give my son some work right from the time he was able. He never refused. He enjoys helping in the kitchen and also loves to assist his father in shopping, travelling. In fact, he is our guru (teacher), guiding us with modern gadgets.

Fight for your rights

Pandavas teach that one should know their rights and privileges and one should fight for getting them. My son is aware of the same. Once he asked for a Ben 10 toy which was beyond our budget at that time. Once explained, he understood and waited for nearly three years to get that. By this, he learnt the art of waiting on getting his desire fulfilled though it’s his rights.

Always support good

Krishna’s stories  guide one to support good causes. My son usually takes two or three sheets of paper extra for his exams. One day, I asked him why you always take extra sheets to school. And I was really moved on hearing his reply. He said that he gave those extra sheets for a poor boy in his class. He is always a peace maker !    

My Son's Birthday Celebration

Focus Leads to Success

One famous story of the Mahabharata is about the young Arjuna which teaches that one should keep his focus unaltered to attain success. Earlier my son seemed to be hyperactive. He could not sit and concentrate on one thing for more than five minutes. This made him so naughty at school. This behavior distraction pulled down his grades in exams. Later we taught him some methods and introduced some tools to divert his energy. We bought fidgets, calming glitter jars to calm him and increase his focus. Now he has developed high concentration and is excelling in all his efforts.

Keep Moving

One should perform only his duties and should not worry about its results. He will be rewarded at the right time. My son was interested in joining cricket coaching. But I was not comfortable about this since he was identified that he has weaker spots in his retina. But he would keep on asking me to join the cricket coaching. Later on I made him admitted for the coaching. Now he’s leading his school cricket team for many matches.

Respect Elders and Women

Acharya Drona taught that one should respect elders and women. Always I insist this to my son. He loves to chit chat with his grandmothers and also give respect to women. He know the values of womanhood and he wants to be always supportive. He usually get blessings from his elders on all functions and family celebrations.

Pride Leads to Failure

The story of the Kauravas teach that one should remain gentle and humble in all situations. Pride will always lead to failure. Mostly my son won’t take any success to his head.

Avoid Bad Friends

The great Karna teaches that one should avoid bad company. It will surely lead to misery. I’m happy he has a sound group of friends. All his friends will visit our house for playing PS4 and all of them are our friends too. Still I keep an eye over them since they are at their pre adolescent age.

Play Time

My Son’s Play Time With His Friend

Think Before You Speak

The act of Draupadi taught that one should keep a watch over their words. You can not revoke the spoken words. So you have to think twice before uttering any comments. My son is a good listener  and he is very selective in his choice of words.

Revenge Leads to Disaster 

The story of Draupadi is a great example of this. My son usually forgets and forgives persons irrespective of their behavior. He used to tell me, why God has given us two ears. You have to listen through one ear and you have to let the words that hurt pass through the other ear.

Half Knowledge is Dangerous

The story of Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuh teaches that one should learn anything completely. Half knowledge is always dangerous. He learnt swimming during his summer vacation at South Africa. His master always insisted him to practice every stroke of swimming thoroughly, so that he develops confidence on it. He understands well that half knowledge in anything is not going to help him in anyway. He’s interested to learn many things like Hindi, Karate and Football.

Blind Love Is Disastrous

The lesson of “One should not support their kids blindly” was learnt from the blind love of Dhritarashtra. Parents should teach them the morals and values of life. They should teach them what is correct and what is wrong. Parents should not fail to punish them if they do anything wrong. We have a reward system for my son for limiting his screen time, going to bed on time etc.

Anger is Our enemy

Anger makes us older and smile make us younger. My son never gets angry. If he’s not comfortable about anything, he will just move away. He used to listen to music or used to watch cartoons to calm himself. I have to confess here, that I’m the person who get irritated much in our family. Now I’m learning from my son to be stress free always.

Do you tell stories to your kids? What are your bedtime rituals? What lessons your kids have learnt from Indian Folk Tales? Do share with us and we are all ears ….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

References :

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/
  • http://www.kidsgen.com/
  • http://www.hindukids.org/
  • http://www.indolink.com/Kidz/mythology.html
  • http://raja-thatha-corner.bizhat.com/Stories.html
  • http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-folktales/hitopadesha-tales/

13 Lessons Every Kid Can Learn From Mahabharat www.raisingworldchildren.com #mahabharat #hindumythology #mythology #indianmythology

Vasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learnt a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. She starts & ends her days with reading. She blogs @ “My Sweet Nothings”. She’s also guest authoring in various sites like Indian Moms Connect, Monsoon Breeze, Parentous, Women’s Web, mycity4kids & World of Moms. Featured At:The Times Of Amma, Stories of Motherhood!, Smart Indian Women.