I was talking to one of my connects yesterday about his work and Life. While exchanging stories, he told me that while he admires my work, women are not really “expected” to work like men are!
I was intrigued and decided to “hold my tongue” which was threatening to start pouring out my opinions on gender equality without any brakes.
In a composed manner (in my mind), I asked him to elaborate further.
He told me that he had inherited a paper business from his father and was always told he had to build on his father’s legacy by taking it to greater heights.
He has 2 children, a son and a daughter. While the son is “expected” to take over the business, the daughter is expected to find happiness in home and a suitable alliance.
The values passed on to the son are – ambition, aspiration for success, self belief and a sense of entitlement or privilege. For the daughter, in his own words, the family is more protective and wants her to remain safe and secure in the confines of home.
While this is all couched in innocuous language, it is apparent that he and many others do believe that they are “protecting” their girls by making their choices for them. It does not appear to be discriminatory to make their daughters‘ decisions for them.
Which led me to the question- Is the gender code passed on through generations?
Just like the Watson and Crick model became the basis of the human genetic code, the gender code is the basis for the inter generational transfer of deeply entrenched gender beliefs and biases.
It is time to understand that we are responsible for transferring this code from generation to generation - and it is time to stop it. Starting with our own homes & our children.
Gender equality begins at home.
Equal treatment & fairness
Equal opportunity to education & employment
Equal opportunity & responsibility to make life choices
Equal opportunity to choose one’s aspirations & dreams
Equal opportunity to simply live your life on your terms.
Let us not tether our daughters to the centuries old gender code of sacrifice, accommodation & compromise.
Let us make the change… Let us be the change.
The buck stops with you!