Monday, 25 May 2015

Indian Media teaches Sexism to School Children Now!

Today, the results of the CBSE class 12 results were announced across India and the kids seemed to have done pretty well. Although I don’t believe in the present system of examination myself, I’m sure we have a lot of proud parents today and others who are saying, “Look, Sharmaji’s son got 0.2% more than you! Which college will accept you now? You have destroyed your career and my reputation!”

Meanwhile the media is all about ‘Girls score better than boys!’ ‘Girls beat boys’ and so on and so forth all over social media. They’ll probably do the same thing on the front page of their newspapers tomorrow morning. And well, the news channels will be doing it right now. Really! Go check.

Ever since this dialogue of sexism has come to the forefront in India, we have been all about the empowerment of women and highlighting their successes and praising their leadership skills. All that is well and good and it is actually helping. But then the media goes ahead and creates the kind of tension that is counterproductive to everything else they think they’re doing for women empowerment.

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While the only thing they’re doing is:

They’re creating unhealthy competition

Almost every media house in India has tweeted something to the effect that girls have performed better than boys in this academic year. What they don’t seem to realize is that they’re unconsciously widening the gender rift in academia which is already bad in India. Competition is good, but competition based on plain old gender divisive lines is ridiculous.

They’re creating familial rifts

Nobody can understand this point more than those who have risen in a house with a sibling of another gender. In a still very much patriarchal Indian society, a boy scoring less than a girl is perceived as a shame as it is assumed that the boy is going to be the breadwinner of the family. Looking at such headlines from the family perspective, the media is just putting more pressure on boys to do well. No wonder cases of suicides are going up every year.

Their idea of feminism is as evolved as a chimpanzee

The media wants to empower women but they either don’t know or don’t want to believe that feminism does not encourage putting one gender over the other. It is not about demeaning boys but about bring everyone to the same level. By saying, ‘girls outshine boys’ the only thing they’re proving is that they’re knowledge of feminism is as much as the politicians they label ‘sexist’.

Oh Indian media, when will you figure out what you're really doing?

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