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Today’s word for the daily prompt is ‘fishing’. There is nothing I can think of to write about fishing (and yet here I am!). For one, I have never gone fishing,  and for another I have never really seen anyone engaged in the activity.

The word itself brings to mind serene and beautiful surroundings with a man sitting with a fishing rod in hand by a beautifully blue lake, patiently waiting for the fish to take the bait. Now, here’s an interesting question: Why does the word bring to mind a man in particular and not a woman?

You bet it is the years of brainwashing.

The strong, silent man, one who loves solitude and can spend hours without speaking a word to anyone, content with only himself for company is something we all have been fed liberally. Still are, as a matter of fact. Pah. As if there aren’t women who love solitude too, and who can spend hours without the need to utter a word. In case you are wondering, yes, there ARE such women. whatever the popular wisdom says to the contrary.

Let me ask you a question. If you entrust the role of running a home and taking care of children and other members of a home to a woman (till recent times that had been her only role), is it fair to accuse her of talking too much? A home is not a machine at the factory which can be used without a word being spoken. It would be like expecting a teacher to do her work without uttering a word in the classroom. The work at home does not get done by silence but through words of instruction, requests, orders, corrections, praise, love, admonition. Those men who crib about women talking ‘too much’ must try it out.

The assigning of clear-cut roles since centuries has led to a visible difference in the way men and women communicate, but it STILL cannot be accepted as absolute truth. There are men who talk the ears off people just as some women. And also indulge in gossip, that supposedly female forte. Talking a lot is thus not gender specific, nor is being silent, but based upon the inclination of individuals. Another important point to note is that men who talk or gossip are NEVER the butt of jokes like women are. Yes, what people find funny is based on gender, it seems. And that, I can tell you is really, really lol-worthy.

©Shail Mohan 2016

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