This incident is from a few years back. It was a bright Sunday morning. A perfect day to spend time with family. Aaryan, my son got ready to play cricket along with his father.
I said, “Hey wait, I am also coming, let me put my shoes on.”
Aaryan frowned a bit and said, “Mom what will you do?”
He thought for a while and said, “Ok you can become a cheerleader.”
I looked at him and said, “I will play with you.”
I joined them but kept dwelling on his response. I was thinking what made him think that I can’t play cricket. Why he thought of me as a cheerleader and not a player. In an attempt to set things right, I played cricket with him for almost 6 months but at the end, IPL matches were more convincing. The image stayed.
The story doesn’t end here. There are enough evidences of how men are facing biases. Though companies have policies like work from home, men tend to not to take this opportunity. They face stigma and are labeled as stay-at-home dads. You would remember the most common statement we hear around us, “Men don’t cry – Be a Man! Be Tough!” In our society still husband earning less than his wife is not acceptable, rather insulting.
It is not about bias towards men or women. It is not a
women issue, it is a human issue that we are dealing with.
Without being aware of it, we all have biases that affect how we view the world. Do this mean we are wrong? Absolutely not. Our mind gets influenced by our experiences and people around us. We are conditioned by movies, media, and people.
Good news is, we can be proactive in addressing and reducing our biases by just becoming aware of it by practicing mindful thinking and treating each individual with respect. We can evolve beyond our biases and engage with people in a positive manner in any environment.
Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington created “Project Implicit” to develop Hidden Bias Tests—called Implicit Association Tests, or IATs, in the academic world—to measure unconscious bias.
Do click on the link and measure your unconscious bias: implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
Now I and Aaryan watch Indian women cricket match together and now he asks me, “Mumma why don’t we say Women of the Match instead Man of the Match.”
We have come far and still need to go further.
It’s not about men and women, it’s about mindset.