The Breakthrough Voice 2nd May, 2019

Everyday Gender Biases In School And Life: A Personal Reflection.

Caught up in a phase of a changing life, I’ve surely witnessed the society around me. I’ve seen how people behave. I came to understand that people have different perspectives about each other, based on the context of the subdivision of humans – one of these subdivisions being gender identity.  From school, I have seen the preference of boys over girls so much that it has led me to believe that women and girls face a lot of bias in their regular and ordinary lives.

In schools, I have seen the formation of a boys’ cricket team but not a girls’ team, only because, according to our school coach, girls are much better at volleyball. I was amazed at the fact that how such important issues could simply be just assumed for women. For example, teachers in schools ask the boys to move a desk, and don’t ask the girls to do the same.

Now everyone reading this will strongly believe that the teacher asked the boys to do that, not because she wanted the boys to do the hard work, but because she might’ve assumed that boys are better at this and somewhat stronger. Such things really raise questions and fuel us to empower the society around us and motivate and challenge such orthodox thinking. It’s the 21st century and the existence of such orthodox thinking is better off eradicated. 

The country might be progressing in various aspects involving technology, aviation, and many other tertiary services but they don’t amount to much unless the mentality of citizens moves forward as well. Men, in many organisations, exhibit biases against women. For thousands of years and continuing to the present, men have overwhelmingly led our political, economic and social institutions. The involvement of women at such occupations is still considered as a ‘shock’ to men.

Teachers in schools ask the boys to move a desk, and don’t ask the girls to do the same.

Did you know that our regular unconscious biases are significantly holding women back? We might be pardoned for some unconscious biases but that doesn’t give us the freedom to always be excused for that. I believe we live in a country where the sense of recognition and success, even when equally given to men and women, is greater in men than women. I’ve come across situations where I’ve seen boys not wanting to take orders from girls in group activities. The boy supposedly assumed himself to be in a greater position than the girl.

Such biases can hide in the plain sight of day. These biases may go unnoticed for days, even months. But the girls facing them are quite burdened, emotionally as well as socially. The insecurity of the fact that men will always hold certain biases against women manifests in them and they are sure in the fact that they will have to struggle through many biases in their everyday lives.

What challenges me is the fact that none of us are really immune from gender biases. We can never really have a flexible mind. We all raise our eyebrows at something or the other, even if it is the minutest thing, but we can work to spot and manage our biases and we can get feedback from family, friends and society about biases that we may be unaware of, to take corrective action.

In addition to generating awareness, effective unconscious-bias training will also help develop solutions for overcoming biases in regular situations with women. Overall, all these solutions create a more collaborative and inclusive society. We would surely reduce the biases faced by women and even contribute to creating an environment that women will be happy to be in, only by empowering others around us to have a broader mindset.

Also Read: Moral Policing In Schools: My Clothes DO NOT Define Me!

Featured image used for representational purpose only. Image source: Knowledge Advantage

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1 thought on “Everyday Gender Biases In School And Life: A Personal Reflection

  1. True. Unfortunately individual biases are most difficult to change or handle because we never know or acknowledge that we have them. So am glad someone at your age can see through this, maybe that is the beginning of change. I hope!

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