As a parent hearing about incidents like #BoisLockerRoom have shook me to the core. I have two teenage sons. And like any other teenager of today’s times; they are very active on the Internet. Their talks are filled with words like RoBlox, Reddit, Insta, PewDiPie, etc. These might make sense to a few of you maybe. But I need to keep asking the meanings to keep up with their jargon. Let me give you another example. I forwarded something to my son yesterday on WhatsApp and he replied ‘GG’ and I was puzzled ‘What is GG’ He said ‘Good Game’. Now for a person like me who always thought that she was aware of the acronyms this was a new one.
Basically what I am trying to say here is that the children of today are getting so much information from the outside world – the school, the tuition classes, peers, online gaming, movies and the biggest source Internet. That I sometimes worry that the ethics and principles that we try to drill into them since their childhood will they be able to hold up against the torrent of negative information that they are getting from all over.
Coming to the boys locker room incident. Whenever such an incident comes to light the blame is put on the parents. ‘Ignorant parenting‘ ‘irresponsible parents‘ these are the words I came across in many news items that I saw. I agree yes the parents are responsible. But are they the only one responsible. No.
It is the total mindset of the society that is creating this problem.
Firstly there is a lack of Sex education in our country. If a child has a curiosity about anything related to sex he or she has to either go to his peers or go to some website on the internet. These we all know are not reliable sources of information.
Second reason could be Institutionalization of Patriarchy . The children have grown up in a house hold where cooking and cleaning and other house work is generally considered the women’s work. They have seen their Dads generally taking all the major decisions in the family.
Another major reason is lack of gender sensitivity. Our movies are full of objectification of women and sexist jokes. Children have basically grown up on a staple diet of movies and songs where the women are gloried as sex object or objects of desire. Movies have heroes that follow girls, molest them or even assault them are still considered to good guys.
All this desensitises them towards girls and they start considering girls not as fellow human or friend but only as a one dimensional view of sex object.
I really don’t know the solution to all this. Changing the mindset and viewpoint of society is a slow process. It has begun also. We have movies like ‘Thappad’ which is a major example of the changing times.
All I can suggest is start making changes at home. Bring sensitization in our day to day life. Be an example and the children will understand better. Like for example when a man is doing house work he is not helping his wife he is doing his own house work.
Let’s change the way we think and we will start seeing the changes in our coming generations also..