My Gender Has Nothing To Do With My Profession

Posted by siddharth shukla in Masculinity
February 18, 2017
Editor’s note: This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #GenderStereotypes to smash ridiculous rules around gender imposed by patriarchy. If you have an experience to share, write to us here.

Are you out of your mind? How can you even think of choosing fashion designing as your career option?” This is what boys in many parts of India still get to hear when they tell their parents that they want to pursue fashion designing or similar courses.

We say that we are growing, but even today, so many stereotypes are still a part of our lives and we are not able to get rid of them.

Nowadays, there is a lot of protest about gender inequality. However, women are not the only ones to face this; men too are typecast in the society. If you are a guy, you are supposed to be a doctor, an engineer, etc. There is a wall of so-called societal norms between a man and woman which when broken, brings a lot of criticism.

I don’t understand how our work defines our masculinity. I often hear that “fashion designers are gay.” This statement makes me laugh and angry at the same time. Is there any logic behind such statements? Even if fashion designers are gay, what’s the big deal? I often think that in India, being gay is considered to be a bigger offence than being a terrorist. Extremely talented people like Eshan Hilal (a successful belly dancer) are boycotted and made fun of. What disheartens me is that not just the society, your own family behaves the same way as well.

If we look closely, we will find that the problem lies within us and has sustained since ages. Only we can change this by first changing ourselves. We have to be strong and hold our ground and proudly say, “I will be the best version of myself.”

Ultimately, only we can lead our lives. So, it is better that we accept and understand that our work does not define our sexuality and our gender shouldn’t decide our work.

Image used for representative purposes only.
Image source: YouTube