‘Kaali/Kaala’ (dark skinned)
‘Don’t gossip /cry/behave like a woman!’
‘Why are you so aggressive? It makes you look manly.’
‘Girls should play with dolls’.
‘Buys shouldn’t wear pink.’
‘Don’t swear like a fisherwoman’.
‘Why are you behaving in this low-class manner?’
‘No one will marry you if you become fat.’
‘If you don’t earn enough you won’t get a good girl.’
We’ve all heard at least one of these terms, either directed at us or directed at somebody we know. We have also probably even used one, if not more, of these terms, even if just in jest, with friends or siblings.
How many people were scarred by terms like these used carelessly or even purposely?
I was called ‘Kaali’ by my relatives. They took care to address me thus when my parents were not around. Luckily I just grew up wondering why they called me a goddess (Goddess Kali) and one day finally questioned my Mom about it.
I wish I could say things changed after that, they didn’t. I was gifted ‘Fair and Lovely’, was told which colors I should never dare to wear (keep away from red, that color is only meant for fair girls like our daughters. ). In fact, I am still called Kaali. Honestly, it never affected me then and it doesn’t affect me now.
My childhood has led me to believe that the seeds of discrimination are sown at home. At times at an age so tender that the terms used for you are stuck in your mind and you begin to believe another’s perception of you.
A child learns his/her initial values at home. Growing up he believes that his elders know the right thing, which is why what a child sees or hears becomes the reality for them. It takes years, education, and exposure for those thoughts to change, if at all.
It helps to be mindful before you think a thought or voice it. As you never really know whom it would affect and to what extent. Teach children the right values. Teach them not to judge a person or treat them differently on the basis of how they look, how they are, and what they do. Inclusivity can make the world a better place, and us better people.
Respect should be given to all, only then can it be enjoyed mutually.
Last year my choice of topic for Cause a Chatter was Mental Health, a cause very close to my heart. This year I choose to write on and highlight ‘Discrimination’. Through my posts, I hope to create awareness and nudge the conscience of my readers.
Blogchatter has chosen Inclusivity as the overall theme for 2022. Let us all understand this word, put it to use, and help make the world a more inclusive place where everyone is respected and everyone matters.
This is my 2nd post for #CauseAChatter a campaign with Blogchatter.
You can read my 1st post here
My 2nd post here
I chose #Discrimination as my topic and will be writing a post a month on this topic.