To Be Clear About Gender Stereotypes

Men and women are beings from different planets. This axiom was proved for a long time ago, and daily millions of people confirm it from different corners of the earth. However, the main gender questions are remained to be open: what do women want, what do men speak about, and finally, how do they need to understand each other? How to live? Like our parents lived? Or as it is shown in the progressive countries: actively and share everything fifty-fifty? Who has more rights in Kyrgyzstan: men or women? And how is it shown? Are only women rights always infringed in our country? The authors of the television project “To be clear” have tried to find a golden mean and to understand the main gender stereotypes. The production-studio “3b Media” has prepared four movies about it in Russian and Kyrgyz languages. With the help of the project’s media partner, the “Independent Bishkek Television” Broadcasting Company, not less than one million residents of the country could see these movies on air. The main character of the first movie is a girl, who has not even graduated from high school; her mother has early married her off, and now the girl dreams to get a profession, but the spouse does not allow her. The second movie tells about a stigma: how should a Kyrgyz girl live, if she has a sex life before marriage / she has been divorced / she was kidnapped – these are the highlights of each Muslim girl’s life, that leaves a brand on her for the rest of the life. The third movie is about child custody following divorce. When the moment comes where men will be treated equally with women for the right to custody of a child? The main character of the movie is a man, who is divorced for many years, but has brought up children by himself. The forth movie is “Men don’t cry…” In the countries of the Post-Soviet Union since the childhood, everyone tells each boy about the stereotypic attitude towards men: men do not cry! You should not be weak! Since the childhood, a certain gender roles and stereotypes are getting into child’s head – how difficult (or easy) it is to be a so-called real man? The television project “To be clear about gender stereotypes” by the production-studio “3b Media” has been realized with the support of Internews in the framework of the program of small grants, with funds provided by the United States Agency forInternational Development (USAID).
Valentina GALICH Internews in Kyrgyzstan