Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Sins Against Gender Stereotype

This tag has been spreading like a virus and the bug has finally bitten me – I have been tagged by CeeKay and Dipali. The tag requires me to list at least ten things that I have wanted or done that my gender is not supposed to do. So without much further ado, here goes:

1. Cooking is not my scene. I grew up with a working mom, who wasn't much of a cook herself and didn't think that cooking was one of the skills that I needed learn just because I was a girl. So, I have never considered cooking to be an important part of being a wife, a mother or a woman. Sure, if there were no other option, I'd cook. But as long as I can afford to delegate it, I will because I simply don't enjoy it. Of course, as luck would have it, my son loves to 'cook with Mama'. So we (the husband's help is also enlisted) either bake a cake or cook something simple like a pasta on the weekend.

2. I love to drive and hate being in the passenger seat of a car. We do employ a driver but he usually ferries Jai around. I drove myself to work and back through most of both my pregnancies and people thought I was mad, especially since we had a driver. I would love to own and drive an SUV but can't justify the environmental impact.

3. I drink alcohol. And I don't just stick to the 'feminine' stuff like cocktails and wine. I enjoy good whiskey and love to quaff the occasional tequila shot. Though I no longer feel the need to prove my 'capacity', I have been known to drink many of my male friends and colleagues under the table.

4. I am not into jewelry. I usually put on a pair of low-maintenance earrings and then don't change them for months. I wear neckpieces only for weddings and special occasions. I still own only two 'sets' of the heavy stuff, the very same ones that I got as a part of my wedding trousseau.

5. A peek into my wardrobe will reveal way more pants, capris and shorts than saris, salwars and skirts. And no more than three handbags at a time.

6. Look at the picture below. Exhibit A shows the correct way for a lady to cross her legs whilst sitting. But if I am wearing pants, I prefer to sit the Exhibit B way because I find it more comfortable. In skirts, of course, I am forced to revert to the ladylike way. Maybe that's why I own more pants than skirts.

7. I can be one of the guys when I want to. I have, on occasion, checked out the hot chicks with my guy friends. I can swear with the best of them. Explicit jokes don't bother me and with the right people, I enjoy them. 

8. My wedding was not the life-defining moment of my life. I did not attempt to lose weight or grow my hair for the occasion. The weddings (we had two, three actually if you count the one in court) were planned almost entirely by our families. I didn't feel any need to input into the venue, the menu, the guest list (other than ensuring that my friends were on it), the decor or the contents of the trousseau. I chose both my wedding outfits from one shop in under an hour. I did not have trial runs for my hair and make-up. Basically, I just went with the flow. 

9. I do not do 'damsel in distress'. I pride myself on being able to take care of myself. I can carry my own bags and open my own doors, thank you very much.

10. I don't own much make-up. I currently have three lipsticks, two lip liners and one eye pencil. I also have a eyeshadow set that I was gifted but have no idea how to use so it is languishing on the dressing table and will soon find its way into the dustbin.

I am also supposed to tag 12 other people but almost everyone I read has either already done the tag or has already been tagged. So I am going to skip that part - blue pants don't sound all that bad :)


  1. hello Ro - join the gang .

  2. Don't like cooking on a regular basis either!

  3. Anonymous4:31 am

    Just wondering would you want your son to not carry bags or open doors for women? No malintent just curious.


  4. Hey, I love sitting the exhibit B way ALL the time, even in salwar kameezes!!! I mean, why be uncomfortable in my own home! And I drove, walked, worked and did everything during my pregnancy too, much to a lot of people's horror! Loved the list! What a sinner you are!

  5. Hahahah now I have to do this though u haven't tagged me and I haven't come across anyone who has done this.
    I was able to relate to almost every point!!

  6. i love it- your wedding! I did nothing for my wedding- combed my hair, tied it into a pony tail and wore some flowers. thats it. and kajal, after some pleading from folks around i put on some lipstick. and both wedding sarees, yes, under an hour- though from two shops.

    and exhibit b- best way to sit- even in a saree- its the short tight skirts that are a pain- none in my wardrobe because of that.

    though i have to confess to enjoying cooking. i guess its because my mum is a great cook even though she is a workaholic- and it did not help that my dad cooks well too- its contagious- this cooking thing.

    and yes, if some male opens the door for me i am usually just perplexed - luckily have no man around me who does strange things like that.

  7. great list...and driving through the pregnancies..thats great :)

  8. I need to start driving... then we shall get to the pregnancies ;)

  9. Nice points...many similar to what I would say. And without any tags from anyone I am going to take this one up willingly.

  10. Preeti3:00 pm

    Hey Ro... totally 'relatable' list, esp wedding, jewellery and makeup... ditto:)

  11. Don't like jewelery and enjoy driving? - that's SAGS :) And drove around during your pregnancy... awesome. Such independence is SAGS too.

    Drinking alcohol is for men, cooking is for women- another SAGS.

    I also prefer the comfort of trousers and shorts to skirts or dresses in everyday life. That makes us Sisters in Sin :)

  12. [Eve's Lungs] Hola!

    [Uttara] That's my deal-breaker when it comes to thinking about living abroad

    [Abby] Actually, I am not going to teach him to do that. If any person (man or woman) is carrying more bags than they can deal with or don't have a hand free to open a door, I would hope that he would have the good manners to help them. But strong, healthy, capable women? No.

    [Starry] Er... I sit like that in public too. The horror! :p

    [SK/ Sandhya] Look forward to reading your post :)

    [Sur] I went to the parlour but just the neighbourhood one and there were no test drives as seem to be de rigeur these days. I just let the beautician have her way with me :p

    Really? You can sit like in a sari? Way cool!

    [R's Mom] I never thought of it as great. I enjoyed it. Plus women abroad pretty much drive themselves all the way to the maternity ward, right? So what is the big deal?

    [Aathira] You do realise that they are mutually exclusive events, right? :p

  13. OMG.. This tag is really confusing me. I did most of the above including no shopping for the wedding, arriving only a couple of days before the event, abhoring makeup and jewellery and doing absolutely no household chores. But I never realised that any of these are unladylike.. In my imagination, I have always been the most feminine :D

  14. first time ehre...enjoyed reading ur tag!! :-)

  15. One of the better tag performances for this one. Yeah this one is interesting and cool...I too relished doing it

    Good to know you do many male things - enjoyed your drinking whiskey part!

    And thanks for your comment, do drop by more often

  16. The lines have been blurring for quite a while, Ro! I think a lot of it started with the Indian independence movement, and there have always been families which thought out of the box. As long as people live by their own preferences and do not impose roles solely on the basis of gender, I guess things are certainly looking up. The problems lie in areas where neither boys nor girls are free to choose their life partners and are sentenced to death for such a transgression of societal norms.

  17. I didn't go to the beauty parlour at all for my wedding. It was a very quiet, morning affair followed by lunch, a friend came and did whatever needed doing!
    However, I do enjoy my sarees, my zillion perfumes,clothes, and I have a fondness for interesting jewellery- it could be stone, clay, thread, beads,precious metals- I love 'em all:)

  18. Anonymous11:57 pm

    Erm, pardon my ignorance, but whats the big deal about driving during your pregnancy? I worked full time, drove myself and did all the household chores etc throughout my pregnancy and not only that I was back on my feet a couple of hrs after the delivery and took all care of my baby myself right from day one and not once did I feel I am doing anything unusual or extraordinary, nor did anyone around me felt that way.

    Maybe I dont have the right people around me? or maybe being an independent, strong woman means I lose the right to be treated with the same kid gloves that other damsels in distress do.

    Ofcourse, none of this is directed at you Rohini, I am just using this platform to vent my frustration at stupid men who pay unnecessary attention to women who act helpless at every little thing.

  19. [IHM] Hi, Sin Sister. Nice to have a comment from the 'Original Sinner' :)

    [Violet] That's the point. Stereotypes are silly. Who is to say what is the ideal of being a woman or being feminine? This tag shows we all have out own personal ideal that we are comfortable with...

    [Aditi] Thanks :)

    [Dipali] So true. At least amongst the more educated and liberal, gender stereotypes are getting weakened. But they continue to hold sway over the majority :(

    [Anon] I agree with you - nothing unusual or extraordinary in what I did in my opinion but it's all about context, in the end. I don't know which part of the world you are from but here in India a lot of women don't drive but prefer to depend on chauffeurs or their husbands. And pregnant women, more so. I am the only person in my group of friends and acquaintances in India who drove on a daily basis during my pregnancy...

  20. [Pesto Sauce] Missed your comment. Thanks :)

  21. I dont own a single make up item..

    i have exactly two handbags...and one that is basically a diaper/change bag for the kid

    i am the only girl from my class to take up Electrical Gadgets at school while all the gals where in craft class

    i cant knit/stitch/cook to save my life

    i havent not worn makeup except on my wedding ever..

    i own exactly 6 saris bought for my marriage and i dont wear them ANYMORE..

    I DONT KNOW TO TIE A SARI...*gasp*

    i have been the only female manager to be handling all men's teams consecutively for 4 times..

    I HATE PINK as a color..

    I HATE GOLD and anything that is fancy schmancy

    i have travelled alone to a lot many places at night than my husband did :)

    gosh! I am a MAN...:)

  22. and yes! damsel in distress? gosh that is so overdone by many!

    i am fine holding doors for men actually and carrying bags/luggages( i carried not one but three carry ons + a kid when i travelled this time..)

    i love potty humour! :)))) *gasp gasp and gasp*

  23. LOL

    Yeah, sounds like you. I have been also known to drink male friends under the table but really, it wasn't so hard back then.

  24. IBH -- You do know how to wear a saree, I taught you! *glares*

  25. Yeah..the lines between the genders are blurring, but sadly the expectations from the wife/daughter-in-law will take a little time to subdue.

  26. I anyway thought all this was normal in today's world :)
    Enjoy and live your life on your terms, does not make you any lesser or greater ..drop the mask and be yourself, happy to see many more people living the lives they wish to live .

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