Gender bias (Can it influence the way we think?)

Whenever I conduct a session on Life Skills – Finance with any grade, I mostly observe boys taking active part in the discussion and learning but not all girls participate. I thought initially may be it is only in one section and then may be only in one grade. But no it was consistent almost all places.

Do we have a gender bias or any paradigm here? Why there are few topics from which we refrain to participate? Why there are so many mental blocks, which stop us from being the part of discussions? Why we think it is okay to ignore or at times to accept?

Few instances from my life where I thought not to respond, but not sure if that was the right thing?!

— I was at a birthday party few days back. One of the females was discussing about how one CA – Mr. A is earning good because of his practice. To which my mom responded my daughter is also CA and the female’s immediate response was “Arre re then why are you a teacher?” not stopping for me to respond she concluded “Ya but for females, having own practice is not the right option, teaching is safe.” I ignored responding her then.

— In order to retaliate after the 18 September attack on the army base in Uri in Indian-administered Kashmir, MNS wanted to ban release of movies like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees because both movies had Pakistani actors in leading roles. In a heated argument at home where almost all believed that this is right, I wanted to say it was not logical to ban the movie. I had reasons too (a) the actors were not to be blamed for this and (b) even if you want to blame them/the entire Pakistan for this attack, still how’ll it create a loss to them. They did the movie, they got money and now if the movies are banned it is a loss to our people (Indian economy). But again I thought it is better not to respond.

Today I came across this very short video which talks about, how from childhood a girl is conditioned into what she can’t do and what she should do. If she is a leader she ll be labelled as bossy. Rather than supporting her to fulfil her ambitions she ll be asked to change them completely. This video made me think that is it possible to completely come out of these biases or will I pass it on further to others in future?

Also after watching the video I went to the site of Ignite, the organisation that made this video. Some interesting things they are doing, worth a look. This organisation aims at building a political ambition in young girls. They are into various activities, which you may like to explore. I liked one of their programs wherein they are making attempts to empower young girls along with their mothers, in politics. The program is for mother-daughter together.

(P.S. – I have used “we” but I know not all females specially in our CT group fall into this category, but then still there are many who I think ll be able to relate to this post)



  • A lot of times, not responding to snide remarks and uncalled for comments is a wise option. And while I laud that ability of restraint (which does not come naturally to me, I might add), I also feel that not voicing your opinions about significant beliefs relegates you to the background at times. People either presume you agree with their opinion or that you don’t have a mind of your own. But more importantly you keep yourself from expressing at significant moments and then are struck by the ‘oh-i-wish-I-had-said-this’ syndrome. But then the moment has already passed and what is left unsaid is presumed to be untrue.
    You may want to think about this Shezin.

  • Our conditioning being one of major reasons for so many beliefs that we hold today, my little niece asked him some months ago while my father taught her how to read Sukhmani Saheb, “Am I doing something wrong that God is not listening to prayers to save my dog”. My father didn’t have a convincing answer to it and I am sure many didn’t in the past. So Why condition it in that way? May be because adaptation is not easy and life is hopeful with a Guardian Angel. Not just for her.

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