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Me Jane, You Tarzan

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In February and March, all I seem to do when I open my email inbox is hit the delete button.The flurry of promotional mails starts before Valentine’s Day and continues till Women’s Day on March 8. Actually, now that Women’s Day has turned into a Women’s Week, there is double the number of emails needing to be junked in the second half of February.
 
Well, it’s great to have a week full of celebrations devoted to us – bring on the pampering and curating special events. Except, some of the event organisers seem to forget the reason why this week was created.  Take this well known cultural club in Gurgaon, which has come up with these “attractions” for its target group of women in NCR and to celebrate “womanhood”. Listed are “a talk to a gynae”, an art workshop, a walk the ramp event, a potters’ wheel and puppet-making session, a dance recital, a share your love story meet-up (only for 55 plus, mind you), a grand bazaar shopping experience, an open armed combat workshop and so on.
 
Now, if this club were to organise a Men’s Week, wonder how it would conduct it. Helped by some kind suggestions from a few friends, this is my list to the club:
 
1) A cricket quiz
 
2) A Single Malt Whiskey tasting session
 
3) A talk on prostate gland problems or Male Menopause
 
4) A poster exhibition of latest cars
 
5) Screening of football matches around a bar setting
 
 
As you can see, gender stereotyping is alive, kicking and thriving. Women like pink, men like blue and so on. Women are into arts and dance and chocolate making, men like sports. And so on. 
 
We may bristle about these perceptions, but at every step they only get reinforced. After all, the neighbourhood aunty never calls your husband for the kirtan she is holding at her house  - it’s you who will be obliged to attend and smilingly sit through the bhajans while the menfolk at home enjoy the fruits of religion, eating the prasad  watching TV.
 
The BBC might have recently been forced to withdraw an online audience guide from its website because of the rather narrow gender stereotyping it suggested (girls are overemotional, boys like to talk about their body parts and sex), but there are no such concerns in this part of the world.
 
So here Womanhood = cooking sessions, walking the ramp and devoted to looking good.
 
And this is why, in India at least, the day set aside in the rest of the world to express respect for achievements of women in the social, political and economic domains, has happily got converted into just another commercial day rather like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  
 
Oh, well, why get into a tizzy over it? Let the men worry about career advancement and politics - while I go and shop to take advantage of those discounts. 
 
Tweet @ndcnn