Vogue India brought out the crux for the reason for female abuse with just one line: “Ladke rote nahi”. In the ad #StartWithTheBoys found many of us guilty and shaking our heads for using this phrase and perhaps invariably cultivating pent up aggression.
How A Simple Statement That Most Parents Think Is Right Can Have Such Severe Repercussions
Vogue India wanted to expose, in their empowering and eye-opening ad, a common parenting mistake made with young boys in India, where saying just one simple and innocent line, “Boys Don’t Cry” or “Ladke rote nahi” to a young boy forces him to grow up to be an abusive man. In the ad, the boy goes through various stages of his life constantly being reminded by everyone including his own mother that boys don’t cry whenever he emotes sadness, grief or happiness.
A Little Boy, discouraged from Crying, Grows Up to Be a Monster
The boy, Rohan is seen as a child crying profusely while taking a bath but the mother commands him to sit down and stop crying. She leaves him at school again reminding him not to cry as he is not a girl. She mocks him by asking, “Are you a girl? Why are you crying?” while little Rohan is forced to hold back his tears as one of his girl classmates looks on. Rohan cries out to his mother for some love and compassion but in vain.
Rohan then weeps as his mother leaves him with his grandparents again reminding him that boys don’t cry. As Rohan grows up he faces the same words from his friends on the playground, from his swimming coach, from the nurse in the hospital, from his football coach, and from his buddies.
The ad ends with Rohan now married and looking on in guilt and confusion as he firmly holds on to his wife’s hand before he lets her fall to the ground. We see her bruised, battered and bloody face, shedding tears of sorrow, misery, and pain.
“It’s time we teach boys not to make girls cry. Start with the boys.”
The ad ends with these lines leaving an impact on the viewers. Vogue India wasn’t afraid to expose the truth in a bold way. Domestic violence and physical abuse still plague most households in India only to be ignored and covered up.
All this because mothers and the society have instilled in their young boys not to shed a tear or emote any kind of feelings whatsoever which only cultivate pent up anger, frustration, and aggression. Maybe it’s time we let the boys cry and mature emotionally so that they learn the importance of not making the opposite gender cry.