An important aspect of consolidating gender equality includes disintegrating the generalized conceptions of ‘what is appropriate’. Such conceptions often manifest in the society in the form of stereotypical perspectives. Be it, in terms of competency, ability, character, sociability, or other personal constructs, stereotypes are widely prevalent in Indian society. A person’s gender is often considered as a conclusive determinant of their identity, and hence enforces a rigid construct of gender roles. Gender stereotypes often inhibit a person’s sense of self identity, along with their freedom of expression. From infancy to adulthood, we are exposed to a plethora of norms and beliefs that often turn out to be erroneous at best, and discriminatory at worst.
The way to combat stereotypes lies with awareness and discretion. Each one of us, at some point, perhaps unknowingly has expressed or harbored stereotypical beliefs. When we strive to change ourselves, the environment also changes. It is, therefore, crucial to practice inclusivity and acceptance towards others and work towards the collective empowerment of marginalized communities. Let us refrain from forming judgements about other people solely based on a set of predefined ideas, and let us embrace each life, spreading hope and love along the way!
Have a wonderful week!