Quiet and Sober Post 24

Which gender do you instantly picture when you hear the qualities ‘quiet and sober’?

Dumb question, isn’t it? Yesterday, a friend described a little girl like this, as a compliment to the girl. That set me thinking. Quiet and sober, does not sound like a compliment to me though – it sounds boring. While I am all for well-behaved children, quiet and sober goes one step ahead. It somehow indicates a suppressed personality, in my opinion.

Why quiet? I would want my child to be quiet, if she chooses to or if that is how she is, not because she thinks that it is a sign of ‘good behaviour’. I can’t help wonder if these quiet children actually stop airing their views because they have got the message that being ‘quiet and sober’ is a good thing. Maybe I am making too much of it, but it annoys me more because I have never heard a little boy being described as ‘quiet and sober’.

One of the things which husband and I feel is important is to being up our child to be confident. Confident in her abilities, confident enough to know her mind, and confident enough to speak her mind.

Some children might be gentle, some boisterous, some naughty, some quiet, by nature. Which is fantastic, as far as that is their nature, rather than an expectation that is heaped upon them. I get annoyed when people describe little girls as ‘very ladylike’. Please let her be a child first. Please let her enjoy her childhood, ladylike or not, let it be something she is, rather than something she conforms to, because of what is expected out of her.

Haven’t you come across households where girls are treated differently, and grow up in that mentality. Haven’t we all come across mums who try to boast about their little boy’s ‘naughtiness’, even if the child is question is actually a reserved, quiet child, who keeps away from trouble? Mothers who get annoyed when their sons play with dolls or prams, or love the colour pink? Why is a quiet boy, so unacceptable and a boisterous girl, so unacceptable? Wouldn’t the world be an easier place to live if every child is allowed to be true to their intrinsic nature? A boy who loves playing with dolls is and a girl who likes to repair cars encouraged equally?

Can’t we describe a child as well-behaved, sunny, confident, happy, well-mannered, instead of quiet and sober? Can a child be free of the stereotypes that society seems eager to heap upon him/her?

Please tell me, does quiet and sober make sense to you?

Soaps and real life – is there any real difference?

This post has been selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks! Thank you so much, Blogadda, and IHM for tipping 🙂 Delighted and honored!

We had been channel surfing the other day when we came across  a serial on Star Plus. It was just something we had switched on and we were not sure of the background, but they were showing a woman who was being ill-treated(mental abuse of sorts) by her in-laws. She appealed to her mother to let her come back home, the mother tells her that her place is at her in-laws place and not at her mother’s and that is where she should stay.

That I guess, is just what can be expected out of soaps in one of India’s most regressive channels. It shocked me far more, when I heard somebody I know here, talking about how her husband was the cherished offspring of his parents, as he is the only son. He does have sisters, mind you, but sisters is not the same, is it? . And now that they have a son, the grandson, the son’s son, was the most cherished grandson. All this was said with a sense of pride. What shocked me even more was this person was an well-educated, well-traveled person and yet, is so calm(and even a little proud)  in the acceptance of the importance of her son and husband by virtue of their gender.

It made me wonder if she would have been just as easily accepting if she had a daughter? Or is the conditioning so strong that she would not even have thought anything wrong if her daughter was not the ‘cherished grandchild’ of her grandparents – after all, as a girl, what more could she expect? It also made me wonder if the woman also felt that her position in her in-laws place was enhanced because she was the wife of the cherished son and the mother of the cherished grandson.

In another conversation, another well educated woman told me how sons of NRIs seem to be less spoilt – but the daughters all seem to turn out spoilt. She was very convinced about this. When asked why – she said that most boys brought up abroad seem to be fine with an arranged marriage with an Indian girl but the girls all seem to vehemently oppose the idea of an arranged marriage with a man from India. I was so stunned at this reasoning that for a minute I was not sure if she was serious! Of course, a man will be more acceptable to get married to an Indian girl. For them, an Indian girl would signify somebody more ‘traditional’ and more likely to ‘adjust’ – while for women – it would the exact opposite, wouldn’t it? They would be more likely to lose the freedom that they grew up in – so obviously, they would object. What stunned me was that people actually judged like this.

With well-educated parents thinking this way – is it a wonder that regressive soaps rule on our small screens?