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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Students of different backgrounds discuss gender issues

Less than a century ago, women finally gained the right to vote after years of fighting for their rights. Just four years ago, Hillary Clinton ran for president of the United States and became closer to winning presidency than any female candidate ever had before.

There have been many steps taken to equalize both genders. However, despite these efforts, gender separation is still apparent even today, especially in Eastern cultures. Whether Korean, Indian or Persian, men and women have always had different roles expected of them in society.

“In the Persian culture, the man is the bread provider, and the woman is the mother,” junior Mostafa Rohaninejad said. “But they are both very crucial roles to our culture.”

Rohaninejad explained that in some cases, the roles of the mother and father are switched due to necessity. However, he
thinks  men and women have specific niches in society.

“In America, everyone thinks they should be completely equal, and they don’t recognize that there are differences between the two,” he said.

Despite these differences, however, Rohaninejad said that there is much more interaction between men and women in his culture now, as compared to when his parents were younger, when the two genders did not interact in any way.

Sophomore Preethi Ravi, who grew up with an Indian background, also says that there is a gender gap in her culture, and she wishes girls were treated the same way boys are.

“Being Indian, girls are often viewed inferior to boys, due to the fact that many families expect dowries from incoming brides and the fact that girls do not carry down the family name,” she said.

Fortunately for Ravi, her family pays no attention to the fact that boys are preferred in her culture.

“My grandparents on my dad's side have four granddaughters, and I'm sure they could care less about a male ‘heir,’” she said.

Sophomore Mounika Narayanan, who is half Indian and half Caucasian, feels the same way, stating that “in India, people prefer males over females because they carry on the lineage.”

She also explained that it is less expensive to raise a boy, as parents need to pay for their daughters’ dowry, a large sum of money or property to the husband, when they get married.
According to Narayanan, mothers are often blamed for giving birth to girls in India.

In Korea, however, there does not seem to be as much of a preference toward girls or boys.

According to freshman Daniel Eem, modern South Korean culture views women and men as equals.

For example, Korea had its first female president elected this past year.

Eem believes that Korea is becoming a more progressive country, since it is opening up to western cultures and accepting gender equality ideas.

Both Narayanan and Ravi hope India can make this change as well.

“People need to realize that boys are not the only ideal children,” Narayanan said. “It’s really not their choice whether they receive a boy or a girl.”

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