Gender in Family – India Shares Stories about Living and Defeating Patriarchy

 

We are taught to conform to gender stereotypes early. But many brave individuals are also challenging them every day through their lived realities. We asked people to share their stories with us. Here are some of the stories we collected. 

A Family of Women by Sangeeta Rane

 

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I was brought up by two single women, my Ma and Maasi (aunt) in the 90's, in Gujarat. It was a very uncommon family set up back then, and sadly still remains so. Both these women were also divorcees, another social taboo. So my family consisted of two women and a child.

Many people, surprised at our family arrangement, have asked me if I ever missed having a ‘complete family’, and a father around while I was growing up. And I never understood that question because I have had the most wholesome childhood with the most loving parents. 

While gender plays an important part in defining roles a man and woman play in a family, in my home these traditional gender stereotypes were not applicable. My parents were just women who were trying to make their own rules for a loving household.

My mother took up the role of the typical father - the hard-working breadwinner, the parent whom I feared and the indulgent parent. My Maasi took up the role of a typical mother - she stayed at home, took care of me, managed the finances and my education.

People assume that if you don't a male member in your family, your family is incomplete. I have always had a complete family. Just that both my parents are women.

Sangeeta is a Communication Professional and a Researcher.

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