Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mumma's third daughter

This is an old family joke - after two sisters, I was designated as the third daughter of my family. Reason - I didn't hesitate in doing household tasks, kept all my stuff and room very clean, cooked whenever I could, liked writing and other fine arts, and many more similar 'girly' things.

The same joke continues in the family. However, the things are not very different among friends as well - one friend says I am not masculine enough because I use moisturizer and do not hesitate in revealing this. Another friend has a problem with my remembering all the dates and special days. I was most laughed upon and had even heated arguments, when I said I have no problems being a house-husband. And many of them had a problem when I said I like a pink shirt. In the dorm, people feel my room competes with girls' rooms because it is very clean, has some cooking stuff, a broom, three doormats, and no lizards.

Frankly, I hate this stereotyping. Reading different blogs and observing or talking to many of my friends, both male and female, I realize their point. There is a parametric definition of masculinity ingrained in our common psyche. There is a sense of pride inculcated for being a man. I appreciate that and to an extent, share that too. But our parameters of manhood and masculinity are very different. For them, manhood is proved and strengthened by not bathing ten days in a row and killing lizards with their body odor, not brushing their teeth for weeks (yes, I was taunted upon for brushing twice a day), keeping all their stuff on the floor like a pile of garbage, and wearing socks and 'other' stuff after smelling if the stink is bearable for another day. The list is pretty long but I don't want people throwing up all around with the details of proofs of 'manhood'.

And I am declared the third 'daughter' of my family with even more vehemence because I am not ashamed of keeping clean, not shy about applying moisturizer, and rather brave about wearing a pink shirt. As a challenge to all the 'men', there are even more 'girly' things I do - like writing diary, preferring a visit to dolls museum than another fort (yes, it happened in Jaipur), and knowing some sewing also. And I am proud for every bit of all this. After all, if this is the cost of proving my manhood, I refuse it. I'd be happier being called the third daughter than being a stereotype 'man'.

5 comments:

Chemistry and Science said...

Nice....very nice.

Sensitivity often ridiculed as feminine thing.

Amit said...

Sid, I can relate somewhat. While I don't keep my room clean, I do enjoy cooking and am not averse to using a needle and thread when necessary. I never cared for such stereotypes and do my own thing. :)

Sid said...

@ Kaushik - Thanks for understanding.

@ Amit - I don't care either. In fact, sometimes I intentionally irritate such give up souls :D

sanya said...

nice.....gud 1...:)

Dipti said...

It's really good that there are few men who do not associate their manhood with the stereotypes attached to the gender of it. Only if every man in India or otherwise did not define his personality from what is commonly believed but rather act to his instinct and have the guts and rational mind to stand by it.

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