How do we decide what makes us male? Or female? Are we born that way? Do we learn it? What is the difference between sex and gender?
These complex and fascinating issues were discussed, debated and presented by multiple schools at Resonance, the interschool event which focused on gender at Pathways School Noida.
The three day festival saw enthusiastic participation from students. Events included a panel discussion on defining gender which agreed that it is socially constructed and had a lively interaction on why even colours like pink and blue are gendered.
This was followed by the two pre-prepared inter school competitions – Film Making, where each school prepared a short 3 minute film on given topics and the Drama Competition where each school reacted to a given set of stimuli to produce a short play. The variety of foci and the depth of insight were evident in both the events. To develop an understanding of the role of media in shaping our gender ideas, participants created advertisements through a Mad Ads activity. At the end of preparation time, the participating school teams showcased their satirical takes on popular ads that had gender bias embedded in them. Dumbbells were no longer restricted to the male world but became implements for women to paste ‘masala’ and kitchen sets were a man’s best friend.
A major highlight was the input given by guest speakers. Sonali Khan, Vice President of ‘India, Breakthrough’ gave a fascinating illustrated talk on Gender and Media. The success of the presentation was evident from the engagement of the audience. Maya Rao, wove her magic in the next session with her stellar performance ‘The Walk’ a powerful piece of theatre written after the Delhi gang rape.
The combination of activity and education was wonderful. A number of students from different schools said that they had been transformed by the experience and would never see the world in the same way again.