Gender Sensitization sessions for MBA students

Index cards were given to write what students considered about gender for 5 minutes in the first session. Ms. Asani shared that she was teaching Women’s Studies here and Women’s Studies is study of structures from underprivileged perspective. She continued that there were layers and layers of gender and would address beauty that day. What we saw in mirror was only reflection which too cannot be seen in absence of light. Invariably people tend to see only flaws when they look into mirrors. In TV we see advertisements only for fair and lovely never black and beautiful. In matrimonial columns there are demands for fair convent educated homely girl not a single one asking for a dark beauty. Soap operas in TV are value laden about what beauty should be and form uniform parameters of beauty. Ms. Asani’s grandmother did not allow her to see the mirror and since she grew up with people of all shades and shapes in her own family and got scope of considering people without taking appearance into the picture. Because she did not see mirror she did not develop insecurities as she thought only black was beautiful also did not get slotted due to appearances!
After getting stereotypical responses of what made personality she shared that a single characteristic did not make personality but good health is basic ingredient that makes us confident. Good health comes from balanced nutrition. Good health also is first criteria for beauty and for her only one. She asked students to increase their diet slowly, basic foods, start brisk walks in parks and not see mirror for seven days, most difficult to accomplish! Changes that are complex need paths that are not taken!
Very few of the understanding of gender shared by the students addressed social construction as gender. Mostly being male and/or female and related attributes was seen as gender.