It’s been over a year now, since an innocent girl was brutally gang raped in Delhi. The protests are over. The criminals have received their punishments. But has anything changed in India? Incidents of Rape continue on as if nothing has happened. Other than a few apps coming out on mobile phones, what else has changed? Nothing much! It’s because the problem was never rape. That was just one of the many symptoms of the male superiority complex that exists in India a little more than some other countries. All types of violence against women of all ages, dowry, misogyny at the work place etc. are all symptoms and the disease called “male superiority complex.” So how do we deal with this disease? While some might think that such a deep cultural change is impossible, here are a few ideas that would get the ball rolling in the right direction.
1. Educate Children about Equality of Sexes in School
Children are the only hopes of the future as adult generations are already set in their ways. Children should be taught gender equality in schools and the patriarchal stereotypes about women that exist in our society should be disabused.
2. Start Treating Sons and Daughters Equally at Home
While teachers can only do so much, the major responsibility lies with the parents of young children. They need to see that their sons and daughters are treated equally in their home. Stop teaching your daughters to wash utensils and cook food while your sons play video games. These homemaking skills are useful and so teach them to both sons and daughters.
3. Change the Way Women are portrayed in Soap Operas
Soap operas of Indian television have played a big role in keeping the misogynistic cultural values intact. We need to stop showing the good girl as shy, weak and dependent and all the strong independent women as bad. We need to stop showing that blindly following culture is more important than thinking freely. We need to start showing that it’s expected of men to contribute in homemaking.
4. Make more Movies about Strong Independent Women
Movies too influence our culture a lot and we need to start seeing more movies about strong independent women who are not portrayed either as bad women or as heartless unemotional macho women.
5. Get Celebrities to Educate People about Respecting Women
If Ambitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan and Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar and all other superstars get together and talk against patriarchy and in support of respecting women, then some changes might begin to happen. The question to wonder here is whether they themselves are misogynistic or not?
6. Advertise through Short Gender Equality Messages
Advertisements control us at a very deep level. Instead of using advertising that targets are deep seated emotions and desires to sell cars and skin whitening creams, why not use it to spread the message of gender equality. For once advertising could be used for something good. (Yes I’m talking about propaganda which is already the pith of advertising.)
7. Stop Making Double Meaning Songs and Movies
If we can’t have more movies where heroines have a meaningful role at least we need to stop making movies like Grand Masti that are full of double meaning dialogues and sexist humor. Double meaning song lyrics also need to be checked. We need to stop being that hypocritical country where artistic nudity is censored but double meaning songs are passed just because they hide their dirty meaning.
8. Stop the Trend of an Item Number in Hindi Movies
The double meaning songs are usually all item numbers. What does an “item girl” mean? An item is quite literally an object. This is literal objectification of women as items of erotica and sex. The women who are happily perform item numbers and call themselves item girls need to understand what this means. While sexy songs have been in cinema forever, the trend of putting a special item song in every movie needs to end.
9. Teach Young Men that Eve Teasing is Not Cool
Our movies also propagate another misogynistic culture; the culture of eve teasing. How many movies have we seen where the hero teases the heroine while she clearly doesn’t like it. But the hero goes on teasing anyways till the heroine eventually falls in love with him. This is complete crap that needs to be changed. There is NOT a yes in a girl’s no. No means no. We need to spread a culture where eve teasing is something only cheap roadside Romeos do.
10. Teach All Men that Staring is Not Cool
Another little thing that needs to change is the habit of Indian men to stare at everyone. It’s not just women. Indian people in general don’t think staring at anyone is wrong. It’s NOT cool! Especially if you are openly staring at a women! I don’t even know how anyone can begin to change this culture, but if could be changed, the male superiority complex will start to fade a bit.