My sins against gender stereotypes

Priya from SoftyPink and GloriousRed tagged me to list at least 10 of my sins against gender stereotypes. This tag originated from the Indian homemaker’s blog, and it sounded like a fun thing to pen down as soon as I heard of it.Thanks, Priya, for tagging me!!

This is what IHM says:

Have you ever wanted something that is considered ‘manly’ ? Like a basketball, a cell phone, a dog, a camera or a new laptop? A new car or motor bike? Ever wanted to be a pilot? A doctor or not a nurse? And the manliest want of them all – The remote! ;)

As a kid did you enjoy playing with a bat and a ball?

There was a time when books were considered ‘manly’, women authors had to pretend to be men – would you say books are still rather manly – women should want to embroider and crochet?

What I’ve got to do is – list down at least ten things I’ve done which are against my gender stereotype i.e. the things I have done that do not conform to the things I am supposed to do as a woman and that I am not supposed to do because I am a woman.

I’ve never understood this concept of stereotypes. After all, every human being is unique and should do the things that he/she WANTS to and CAN, rather than the things he/she is SUPPOSED to do.

I always used to get pissed off when people used to call me ‘Potta Pullai’ and used to ‘enquire’ my mother about what she would do in her future because she only had a Potta Pullai (a girl, which is equivalent to a blind boy). I SO hate this word. 😦 I used to detest it when people used to advise my parents not to let me study too much, as I was only a girl. I hated it when people used to say – ‘She’s only a girl! What can she do? Don’t have too many expectations from her. If only you had a son…’ I don’t buy the Potta Pullai logic, and I can’t thank my parents enough for not buying it either.

On the other hand, I love being a woman. I do do certain things that are supposed to be typical of women. I do expect things that women usually expect. At the same time, I do not conform to the society’s ‘Must-dos and should-not-dos’ for women.

Not confusing you further, let me get on to my ‘sins’ against gender stereotypes:

1. I love reading, and I do not know embroidery or crocheting. I can sew OK. I don’t believe reading is just for guys or that girls are not supposed to write books. I do like mushy books and movies, but that’s not the only thing I read or see.

2. I earn my own money. I wouldn’t like to be financially, or otherwise, dependent on anyone. I like the feeling of responsibility and freedom that it gives me. I believe in taking my own decisions.

3. I love travelling, discovering new places and learning about them.

4. I don’t wear make-up in routine life. I do believe in being neatly dressed and presentable at all times, but I don’t spend all my time in front of the mirror.

5. I don’t wear too much jewellery. I find it cumbersome in my day-to-day activities.

6. I am not stuck to my phone 24×7. That said, I like my cellphone and my computer a lot. I make use of the Internet quite a bit.

7. I adore dogs.

8. I do like pink, but I like a whole lot of other colours too. I am not stuck on pink bags, pink shoes, pink clothes, pink laptop.. you get the drift?

9. I don’t spend all my time in the kitchen or cleaning up. I do believe maintaining a house is very important, and equally important is keeping yourself updated with the happenings around the house and in your field, and your life. I like having my own space.

10. I prefer sturdy purses and sandals over dainty ones.

11. I am not addicted to TV soaps. In fact, I find them downright irritating.

12. I hate gossiping. I don’t keep talking about the household all the time.

13. I hate reading women’s  magazines.

14. My eyes are not glued to my feet when I am talking to someone.

15. I can whistle.

16. A brisk walk makes me feel energised and happy. Very un-lady-like?

17. I don’t believe that a girl’s responsibilities towards her parents ends as soon as she gets married.

18. I don’t call the spouse ‘Eh Ji, Sunte Ho Ji!’ I don’t think I can.

19. I don’t sit in a very lady-like fashion behind the better half on his bike. I don’t find it comfortable!

20. I am, by nature, a quiet person. I am not quiet just because ‘Girls should only be seen and not heard’.

21. I love soft toys, but I don’t have a room full of them.

22. I do visit a beauty parlour, and I believe in being well-groomed, but I don’t practically live there.

I now tag these people:

1. Anupama

2. Nirupama

3. Laksha

4. Blue Mist

5. Sathej (There’s a guys’ version of this tag, too!)

6. Praveen (ditto)

7. Titaxy

8. The Mad Momma

9. Chinkurli

10. Kiran

11. Tanu

12. Kals

Would be fun to read your versions, people!! Do take it up!! 🙂


Filed under Tag

28 responses to “My sins against gender stereotypes

  1. Bragadeesh

    //I can whistle// Hey Super..

    • priyaiyer



      • Bragadeesh

        Regarding this “potta pullai” comment, you can imagine the situation of girls in southern end of tamilnadu, perhaps India. But me and my bro made life easy for the girls in our neighborhood. Everybody was thankful that they had a girl seeing my mom suffer 🙂 :). And these potta pullais are consistently performing studies wise and sports wise for our district.

        Bragadeesh Prasanna

    • priyaiyer


      I hate that kind of generalising. 😦
      LOL @ me and my bro made life easy for the girls

  2. Praveen

    “I used to detest it when people used to advise my parents not to let me study too much, as I was only a girl”

    which era was this?! i assume ur in 20s like me, was ahmedabad or chennai so backward?!

    will do the tag soon.

    • priyaiyer


      yes, I am very much in my 20s. and yes, I have encountered backward people everywhere – be it Ahmedabad, Bangalore or Chennai. I am still shocked at times by the backwardness I see around me. 😦

  3. found ya! This one requires a bit of thinking. Will post soon! 🙂

  4. i can identify with almost everything that you’ve said here! Except for the travelling…havent done much of that.
    I too hate the ‘Potta pullai’ logic. Kudos to you and firstly to your parents for not buying it!
    Nicely done… balancing out both aspects 🙂

    • priyaiyer


      thanks for tagging me… it made me think 🙂
      oh, i don’t do as much travelling as I’d like to, not enough to classify as a ‘traveller’, but i love it. the whole process of seeing a new place, learning about it, gives me a good feeling. but it is not considered as a very girl-y thing to do 🙂
      yep, as i said, i can’t thank my parents enough for bringing me up the way they have 🙂

  5. Great list and I totally hear you about the ‘Potta Pillai’ nonsense. Gender stereotypes annoy me! I’ll need to think a bit and post my version 🙂 Thanks for tagging!

    • priyaiyer


      oh, they totally annoy me too… how can u just dictate in advance what a person should do and should not do?
      do take up the tag. would be fun to read your version. 🙂

  6. Hi Priya,

    Quite a long list 🙂 Nice read… Ya all this gender stereotyping is such a nonsense. It was really fun for me too doing this tag.

  7. You’ve got quite a list here 😀

    Thanks for tagging, will do it soon 🙂

  8. Reading this made me laugh. What stupid stereotypes we have 🙂
    The ones I loved are

    1)My eyes are not glued to my feet when I am talking to someone.

    2) I prefer sturdy purses and sandals over dainty ones.

    3)I don’t wear make-up in routine life. I do believe in being neatly dressed and presentable at all times, but I don’t spend all my time in front of the mirror.

    4) I don’t wear too much jewellery. I find it cumbersome in my day-to-day activities.
    Way to go 😀

    • priyaiyer


      welcome here, and thanks for the comment! glad you liked the post! 🙂
      we do indeed have some illogical stereotypes…

  9. Thanks for tagging..shall do..


  10. Great list. I don’t know if I can come up with 10 things. Thanks for tagging. I will start working on it 🙂

  11. I so agree with the not studying part, people used to ask me what I thought I was doing when I insisted on studying further.
    As for whistling, wow!
    I have always tried to learn it, but have never managed it so far 😦

    • priyaiyer


      I know!! Those questions could be so damn irritating! 😦
      As for whistling, it’s very simple. Keep at it and I’m sure it’ll come to you.. 🙂

  12. Priya, I wrote 10 sins (actually 12). Check out my blog 🙂

  13. Loved the tag and response 🙂

    But on the other hand, I don’t consider earning and reading as gender defying… not anymore for sure…. may be earning more than your partner and still being comfortable can qualify… in my opinion.

    Whistling and brisk walking definitely do 😉

  14. priyaiyer


    Welcome here. Glad you liked the post.
    I understand what you’re trying to say. But I’ve heard of families where girls are **still** not allowed to go out and earn, or study too much, or read. They’re not very feminine things to do. 😦
    Thankfully, I’ve never had to put up with that..

  15. Pingback: My Sins Against Gender Stereotypes – A Tag « SATHEJ'S BLOG

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