Tag: teenwriter

Are stereotypes meant to silence?

But who on earth gives us the right to judge? Who gives us the right to make them feel as though by being themselves, they are already guilty of something? 

Today, I want to shed light on a subject which we barely question ourselves about. I figured that I cannot merely touch upon it through a poem like I usually do. For this is something we as a society really need to dig deeper into. And the magical term is;

Cultural capital. 

This refers to personal assets which provide us with social mobility. This enables us to climb the social ladder without necessarily having wealth or financial resources. It includes our skills, knowledge, interests, hobbies, etc. 
In layman terms, cultural capital is when we’re perceived on the basis of our non economic strengths. Unfortunately, this leads to class differences and social inequality 99% of the time. But one of its biggest consequences is gender inequality. 

You’re probably confused but let me explain. 

Women and particularly teenage girls hold almost zero cultural capital in our society. Their interests are quite frequently looked down upon in contrast to those of men. Things that are stereotypically marketed towards men such as sports, action films, action figures are generally considered good taste. Whereas when it comes to the stereotypical interests of women which include rom coms, make-up, and even fashion to an extent, then the self-created critics are always quick to comment. I mean ask yourself, what holds higher value in your mind?

A movie like ‘Mean Girls,’ which consists of rich spoilt school girls as the protagonists who plot plans to avenge each other or a movie like ‘Thor,’ which has a strong masculine superhero who fights other supernatural creatures as the lead character? 
If I had to take a wild guess, then based on the centuries long gender biased mindset we’ve all been victims of, I’d say the latter. 

We are naturally inclined towards downplaying the likes and dislikes of women in our daily life. 

Let’s take another example; fashion. 

Stereotypically, most females are drawn to clothing and accessories. They tend to care about the way they look more than men do. However, the fashion industry as a whole is considered highly superficial. Women who enjoy styling themselves are quickly boxed into the spoilt and stupid rich brat stereotype. Although, if a man takes care of the way he dresses and experiments with his clothing then he’s considered ‘cool,’ and ‘classy.’ He’s even termed as smart looking to an extent. 

I think it’s important we ask ourselves why. 

For this is not just present in the cinema or a few other industries. It’s present within us as well.

When I was younger, I’d never have admitted to liking Taylor Swift or One Direction. Those were two artists whose fan bases mostly consisted of female fans. Unsurprisingly, it was considered ‘basic’ to like them. If you were fond of Taylor Swift, then you were immediately labelled as the dumb girly teenager. When it came to One Direction, people were quick to assume that girls only liked them because of their attractive looks. I mean what else, right? People didn’t waste time listening to their music before calling them the band which only shallow teenage girls listened to. Young women were practically shamed for having a choice which was different from that of the men.

Sometimes, it was even worse. For quite frequently, a man and woman might have the same interest but a woman is shamed for it whereas a man isn’t. 

Let’s go back to Taylor Swift. She was and still is famous for writing most of her songs about boys who broke her heart. Now although heartbreaks are a normal part of life, she was continuously shamed for it. She was perceived as this immature unintelligent blonde who was utterly boy obsessed and was termed as someone who was forever ‘victimising’ herself.
Nevertheless, when Post Malone wrote about a girl who broke his heart, everybody was ready to drop everything and scream ‘fuck that bitch,’ with him. They began to think of him as someone who understood real pain. 

But why? 

What’s so different about a young woman writing about heartbreak compared to a young man doing the same? 

A more current life example would be the different trends which keep coming into light. Like the whole vsco girl thing. Young girls were trolled, bullied and practically forced to feel shameful of talking and behaving in a certain way which seemed to be stupid in the eyes of other people. Take a look at tiktok. There are so many videos on youtube of people reacting to tiktoks of teenage girls and just making fun of them for having ‘no talent,’ or being dense, all because they chose to put themselves out there by recording short videos. 

But who on earth gives us the right to judge? Who gives us the right to make them feel as though by being themselves, they are already guilty of something? 

This right here, is the sole reason why girls grow up to silence themselves. They grow up to become women who prefer to remain quiet because when your interests and opinions aren’t valued then what’s the point of using your voice? When your likes and views are naturally considered inferior to those of others then what’s the point of arguing? What’s the point of saying anything at all, right? 

I’d like you to just imagine if teenage boys were picked on for liking superheroes or unrealistic action movies the same way young girls are made fun of for enjoying sappy romance movies and barbie dolls. But that could never happen. Because we have been programmed to think of anything that is associated with the female gender as something which is inferior to the things that are linked to the male gender.

It is way ‘cooler’ to watch Mission Impossible instead of Clueless. 

It is way ‘cooler’ to have Iron Man figurines instead of Barbie dolls.

It is way ‘cooler’ to prefer shirts over dresses. 

It is way ‘cooler’ to be a professional swimmer than a professional makeup artist. 

Our minds have been installed with a toxic mindset since birth and we don’t know why. 

When we’re two years old, we don’t know the definitions of words like pencil, chair, or even mother. We just know how to identify them with images. We just know that the woman who feeds us everyday is our mother, the object we write with is a pencil, and the piece of furniture we sit on is a chair. But when we’re two, we don’t know how to state the meanings of each word. We only know what we’ve seen and heard. 

Similarly, we as a society, including our ancestors, don’t know why the colour pink or the floral dresses forever 21 sells are associated with females. We don’t know why scary movies and sports like boxing are associated with males. We cannot do anything to change that identification established in our minds either. 

But what we can do is start believing and reminding ourselves every day that liking pink is just as okay as liking blue. 

Enjoying the Avengers; End Game is just as okay as enjoying the Titanic. 

Being a stereotypical teenage girl is just as okay as being a stereotypical teenage boy. Not being either of those is alright too. 

For our likes and dislikes make us who we are and that is something which should never ever be compared. 

padmavati; the symbol of sacrifice.

Padmavati was the Queen of Chittor in the 13th century. She was married to Ratan Singh and was known for her surreal beauty. People yearned to even catch a glimpse of her exquisite features. Alauddin Khilji was one such man. However his greed and lust caused him to declare war against Chittor. When it became clear that he would win, Queen Padmavati made a decision which would go on to impact millions. She committed Jauhar which is defined as the act of mass self-immolation by women in parts of the Indian subcontinent, to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by foreign invaders, when facing certain defeat during a war.

Although the goddess like Queen died, Indian history immortalized her.

And this is her story.

p.s: part two coming soon:)

Praises of her pulchritude,
Fill the ancient halls of Chittor,
Hira Mani tells tales of her beauty,
The rajput warrior desires to know more.

She walks in her ghagra choli,
Embellished with heavy gold beads,
Blinding mirror sequins,
Like a lotus flower amongst weeds.

He reaches the doors of Singhal,
Wins the swayamvar as his duty,
Marries the legend of folk songs,
Padmavati, the epitome of beauty.

Nights in Chittorgarh seem like bright mornings,
For her divine glow ignites the sky,
Maybe that’s why the moon hides behind the sun
The Queen’s royal glamour makes it shy.

Alauddin follows the tittle tattle,
With his desire to own every precious thing on land,
Ratan Singh mistakenly prepares to battle,
But Queen Padmini is Khilji’s only demand.

Yet looks don’t limit to her charms,
She allows a glance,
The catch? 
Seeing her reflection is his only chance.

Furious sultan deceits the trusting Ratan singh,
His lifeless body falls to the ground,
Men with armours clench their shivering swords,
“Jai bhavani,” they scream as mughals surround.

Alauddin storms inside the majestic fort,
A surprise beholds his eyes,
Sixteen thousand women in crimson red ghagras,
Dressed as newlywed brides.

They’re more than enough to take him down,
But they don’t,
Instead they fill the palace with echoes of their cries,
Chanting, “jai bhavani”
Ready to sacrifice,
As each second, a braveheart dies.

Yearning to catch a glimpse of Queen Padmavati,
Khilji sprints across the halls,
He screeches as the gates close,
And she embraces the fire,
With no tears in sight,
For they may have killed the rajputs,
But Padmavati won this fight. 



Aur yeh hi, Alauddin ki sabse badi haar thi.