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  • Aksharaa Korrakuti

The Chromosome Dilemma

“It’s a girl” announced the doctor as he carefully held the new life he had just brought into the world, but to many people this did not resemble good news. Tensions rose and murmurs of the future of the family went around. “Who will carry on the family name?” they worried. “It would have been better if it had been a boy.”

Biologically, it is the man that decides the gender of a child but it is the mother who is blamed for her inability to bless the household with the ‘right’ child. Many might think this is an outdated phenomenon and it does not happen anymore, but the very reason that prenatal gender determination is banned in India is because millions of unborn girls were being killed before they could even open their eyes and be introduced to the world. Killed because they are viewed as inferior to men, seen as objects and ignored as leaders.

When a boy is born, sweets are distributed and thanks are relayed to the almighty who blessed the lucky couple. They are immediately decided as the leaders of the future, the glory of the household.

Even today in our modern and developing society, these thoughts have not disappeared, they have only been erased from view. In the back of many minds, it is still believed that being a woman is a disadvantage. By thinking so, we have made it so.

As a woman, no matter how hard you work, you will still be paid less than your male colleagues. As a mother, you are expected to give all your love and attention to your children and are seen as selfish if anything less than that is done while a father is seen as considerate and supportive when doing the bare minimum to support his pregnant wife and children. Women are seen as emotional and overdramatic but men who act the same way are seen as thoughtful and sensitive.

Men also face absurd stereotypes. It is only natural for women to cry, but any man who cries is weak. Dancing, cooking, sewing, makeup is not meant for men. Politics and business should be left to the men, how could women understand them anyway? Women need to be modest and gentle while men need to be confident and charming. A girl’s body is distracting, and men 'can’t control themselves', so if a woman is assaulted, she is the one at fault for not protecting herself. Men’s sports are the pride of the nation, but women’s sports aren’t taken seriously. Men are expected to provide for their families and shamed when their partners earn more. The list of stereotypes goes on and on. The iron hand of these stereotypes is what restricts all the young girls and boys from becoming their true, confident, impressive selves.

Feminism is a movement, not one that aims to put down men as it is commonly misconceived. It is a movement which aims to achieve gender equality and create a safe and secure world in which both men and women can dress how they want, speak how they want and be who they truly are, without being labelled.​​​​ We aim to establish a world in which the potential we see in a person is not controlled by their set of chromosomes.

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