From the Doll’s House to the Doll’s World
- IWB Post
- July 4, 2014
Toys play an extremely significant role in a child’s initial development. Talking about a baby girl, the toys serve as her earliest companions. They open an entire new universe full of imagination for her to explore and are often instrumental in influencing her occupation in later life.
Joy of toys is often marred by the gender bias of the parents. It is a common belief that girls mostly prefer playing with dolls while boys like racing cars and building sets. When this clichéd approach intrudes in the kid’s playroom then it ends up narrowing the scope of a girl’s development.
A young girl has endless possibilities in her life. She could be a scientist, doctor, engineer, lawyer, athlete or anything that she wants to be. Her tryst with her inner self begins early in that tender age when she starts playing with her toys. Her pick of toys depends completely upon her and it is expected of her parents that they would let the girl’s own likes and dislikes steer her choice in this matter. On the contrary, if she is only allowed to play with dolls because they are assumed to be toys of feminine nature, then it amounts to nothing but another form of blatant sexism. We have evolved with time, and so have our superstitions and narrow mindedness. The sheer hypocrisy of the fact that our contemporary society turns a blind eye to the world view of a girl being expected to play only with dolls is an indicator that we are behind by light-years.
Eminent Psychologist and Rajasthan’s first International Life Coach Dr. G.C. Mehta says: “Before deciding what is good for their child, parents should do a thorough introspection of their own self.” Dr. Mehta, who is currently authoring a book on parenting titled ‘Parents – Manage Yourself’, opines that most of the times the parents are inconsiderate of the feelings of their wards and impose their own world view upon them. He believes; by dissuading a girl from playing with all types of toys, the guardians promote gender inequality which adversely influences the life of a person. If a girl is always taught to ignore the true call of her heart, then as a consequence she is in a danger of losing her very essence as a person.
Dr. Mehta tells JWB that, while discussing the importance of parenting strategies, he always gives emphasis on parents knowing their children fully well before trying to teach them. A girl playing with a model house might become an architect in her future or the penchant for racing cars may one day teleport her to a Formula 1 circuit where she races to win the grand prix. Dr. Mehta expresses his disappointment over the fact by saying: “In this materialistic world of ours, it is the children who have to bear the brunt of their parent’s blind ambition.” It is this same practice which endorses the regressive ideas about what a girl is expected to do and prepares the stage for gender based discrimination. Dr. Mehta also stresses on the need for the participation of the parents in various classes and seminars that spread awareness and impart knowledge on parenting.
Call for Action
The first emotions of camaraderie and inquisitiveness that a child derives from her toys are unmatched and contribute immensely in shaping their respective personalities. It is a matter of great concern that very few thoughts are spared on this aspect while nurturing a child. After reading this article you should first start asking yourself the question that are you free from such prejudices? As Tolstoy said: ‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.’
Jaipur Women Blog believes in altering such chauvinistic approaches through debates and building a clear consensus. We have started by laying the foundation, are you doing your bit?
By Deep Mukherjee,