Gender Disparities Within Indian Families

Family is the only place where the children learn to grow up, socialize themselves to quickly adopt the culture, mores, values, and customs and family is perhaps, the unprotected place where gendered

socialization takes place. In spite of modernity, in the 21st century, gendered socialization is still prevalent in the rural India and the family members do not cease to bridge the disparity among boys and girls. The growing India lags behind because of the disparities which half the population faces, face to face. Gender seems to be omnipresent, spreading roots day in and day out almost in every corner of the country. However, it is most practiced in rural areas. According to a sociologist, for many people, the family provides a vital source of solace and comfort, love and companionship. Yet, it can also be a locus for exploitation, loneliness and profound inequality. The main function of a family is to engage in the process of socialization, where the young members of the family, especially, little children, learn the basic tenets of the culture in which they are born. Besides this, it also helps in personality stabilization and helps to tie up the relations among the members of the family. The family, therefore, performs as many tasks to unite the members of the family and inculcates the young members to behave or confront to the basic norms of that particular society. But, it is a matter of disgrace that just like the workplace or for that matter anywhere outside the homes; family too takes part in the formation of gendered socialization.

A study shows that children in almost all families in India face discrimination. In rural families members are of a view that a girl child should behave more accurately than a boy child. A boy is expected to shout and scream for small matters, it is not an attribute of a girl child to raise her eyebrows in cheap matters; she ought to endure without being impatient. Why is this that while the boys study in their capacious reading rooms, the tired girl desperately desires to have a nap but is disallowed, albeit indirectly, to have it and is expected to carry on with the ladies job within the four corners of the dark and congested kitchen, possibly for hours. My personal meet with a family in Bamangama, a village in Bihar, perhaps occupies an important stand in the discussions. When asked the mother of the girl whether her daughter goes to school or not; she claimed that girls are to stay and help their mothers in homes, not to roam around the villages with a B.Com/ LL.B Degree against their names. No one denies educating their daughters but Madhyamik Pariksha is the limit, an H.S. (+10) to the maximum. Pockets of girls bulging with Degrees look ugly and both are incompatible. They are to learn how to cleanse the infected utensils, how to make appreciable dinner, how to wipe clothes, so that it helps her in future when she goes to her husband’s home. When I went to have a short discussion with the only boy child of that particular family, I was stopped doing so, and for a good reason. The mother quietly whispered that his exams are going on and that we do not like the disturbance of anyone when he is reading. Le him read, said the mother lacking required hesitation. This was an empirical study conducted by me to look behind the social structures where the view that ‘right to equality’ is dominant in India, is viewed with closed eyes.

The conception that boys are or should be treated as boys is based on untrue generalizations. Today, girls are equally better and they have in fact proved that time to time, in varied fields (Sunita Williams, Kalpana chawla, Kiran Bedi, Sania Mirza etc. to cite a few Indian elite damsels). They are destitute of opportunities. Provide them. A girl is not limited to homes, the sky is their playground, stars their friends. But there always lied a demarcation between the types of things which boys could do and girls could, but were not to. In India particularly we find that during socialization girls are socialized in such a manner as to make them a girl. They are transformed to a girl from a human being. The saying corroborates this fact; Woman is not born, but made. They are to care for the elders of the family. Girls should not hang out with their friends late at night unlike boys, who are usually independent when comes to paint the town red in the absence of sun. Robin Lakoff has suggested that in the course of socialization, girls are taught to speak in feminine ways, as opposed to talking roughly like boys. As children, girls are encouraged to be little ladies, who do not scream as vociferously as boys, and they are chastised more severely for throwing tantrums or showing temper. High spirits are expected and therefore tolerated from boys, whereas docility and resignation are the corresponding traits expected by little girls. People tend to excuse a show of temper from a boy where they would not excuse an identical tirade from a girl. Girls are allowed to fuss and complain, but only boys can bellow in a rage, says Robin.

Limitations to opportunity for girls are as innumerable as the shining stars in the sky, the more you delve into, the more you confuse yourself. The most commonly accepted balk for girls to spread their wings is technology. In feminist analysis technologies are often described as ‘toys for the boys’. Marriage fits in as the second reason for ‘glass ceiling’ i.e. limitations for woman in the sphere of work. Women migrate with their husbands because of the changing nature of their jobs. Women prefer migrating with their husband to working in their hometowns, as usual. Thus, women stays at home, as a doting mother, and if educated (instance is extremely subtle) kills their education within themselves at the cost of their children and migratory husbands.

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