When I was school, I loved watching the colorful cartoon series of Meena. I remember there was an episode named dividing the mango in which the protagonist Meena protested over the concept of unfair distribution of food between the girls and boys.
The message of that cartoon was simple that while eating food both girls and boys must get an equal share of food and the other day while talking and eating with my extended family, I noticed that there’s this concept in our society that if boys eat more than they’re appreciated and knowingly or unknowingly the girls are made to realize that they’re to eat less.
Now ours is a Muslim society and if a person belongs to an educated family then it’s highly unlikely that such type of discrimination is practiced but despite all the facts, it’s unfortunate that such kind of mentality does exist in our society.
My sister, mother of three boys, loves to spend lot of her time in kitchen. Every time when her kids are hungry she tries to make different dishes for them. Her boys are quite demanding while her daughter can eat anything silently. My sister is not that kind of mother who would prefer her boys over her girl and my only complaint with her is that she’s not bringing up her boys in a way to understand the meaning of the term “compromise”.
I’ve also observed my aunts who look anxious in presenting their boys with warm food. They also feel proud in saying that their boys’ diets are good. Now, the problem is, this kind of priming is capable of converting these boys into such kind of horrible men who would get angry when food wouldn’t taste good.
That again reminds me of my conversation with my family. My aunt who has no daughter but boys was telling us that she once in Ramazan was not feeling well, so she purchased parathas from market but her boys refused to eat them, for they were small in size and when everyone tried to conclude that the diet of her boys was more than the girls, I intervened and said, “If girls eat less and boys eat more, it doesn’t mean that girls needed less but it only means that girls have more patience and this very patience and this very idea of self-sacrifice of women provides a reason for a strong family unit in society.”