By Nisha Susan
In the speculative fiction world that this Amul video was made in, we Indians really need to celebrate the birth of boys. So please suspend all disbelief.
A man brings home a new infant (we barely catch any sign of its mother but evs to that. The man’s mother is certainly there to congratulate him on his achievement). When the man’s elder child, a little girl, tells him that she has made everything ready for the new baby, she is gently mocked because on this day this masculine child was hardly likely to play with these teddy-type dolls. His infant testosterone requires a Spiderman doll, no less.
The elder child, in a Virginia Woolfish move, retreats to a room of her own made of bedsheets and a floor lamp, to contemplate the new world order. This is a truly speculative fiction world in which the father now attempts to tempt her out of her sadness with… milk.
When she says to him that he had said he wanted a girl, he replies like Hannibal Lecter’s clueless younger brother, “Saari girl child khatam ho gayi thi.” The young girl— who is not khatam— argues again that there is no point coming out to play since she doesn’t know how to play with these new dolls — a narrative crisis that DC Comics sometimes faces too.
The father has a magical solution. He will prepare her for the world in which little boys rule…by teaching her to play cricket. A happy ending.
Okay, goodnight, we need to go out and see if pigs are flying or cows are jumping over the moon.
(h/t reader Sulakshana)
September 23, 2015 at 10:03 am
theladiesfinger that was so quick…kudos! 🙂
September 23, 2015 at 10:03 am
gluppschlopp We live to serve.
September 23, 2015 at 10:40 am
rkarnad amul Wrong, indeed. Not just about having babies, but also making the girl play cricket, cause her brother can’t play with dolls!
September 23, 2015 at 10:47 am
theladiesfinger Cannot get over the wtf-ness of that TVC.
September 23, 2015 at 11:14 am
SaniaFarooqui point!! i didnt get why the baby cant play with a teddy or doll..rkarnad amul
September 23, 2015 at 11:25 am
September 23, 2015 at 11:54 am
theladiesfinger sadly there were many opport in tht ad 2 break stereotype by showing dad putting dolls back in crib realising he was wrong
September 23, 2015 at 11:56 am
September 24, 2015 at 4:20 am
monikamanchanda This promotion is so so so wrong on so many levels. Sigh.
September 24, 2015 at 4:21 am
vivekisms its like every second of the ad something is going wrong
September 24, 2015 at 4:22 am
monikamanchanda completely. A big disappointment.
September 24, 2015 at 4:24 am
vivekisms and so not expected from Amul
September 24, 2015 at 4:32 am
monikamanchanda kiranmanral That line was so so wrong! In fact everything about the ad is wrong! Unsettling really.
September 24, 2015 at 4:39 am
This is wrong on so many accounts, that it left a bad after taste 😐
September 24, 2015 at 4:40 am
This TVC is wrong on so many accounts, that it left a bad after taste 😐
September 24, 2015 at 4:48 am
ImpsMom Just read. Totally revolting.
September 24, 2015 at 4:56 am
theladiesfinger what a fucked up ad! Its just wrong on so many levels..i can’t even..aaaarrrrrggghhhhhhh!!!! gopikamisra pls see and puke.
September 24, 2015 at 6:09 am
theladiesfinger It reinforces the insidious narrative that it’s a man’s world & girls must somehow ‘fit in’. Utterly butterly pernicious.
September 25, 2015 at 5:59 am
On a lighter note, u know what will happen if we let him play with his sister’s stuff?
He may develop some gender identity issues later 😀
My niece n nephew have nearly the same age gap as shown here. We let our overly girlish neice influence our nephew totally. One fine day we realized.. All he wanted to do was to put on nailpaints n comb the dolls’ hairs 😀
September 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm
What’s wrong with that advertisement – 1. It’s 2015 and not 1915 ( gender equality and equal opportunity and rights) 2. Gender stereotyping – girls should play with dolls and boys should play with superheroes and play cricket 3. Giving the child false hope that she would have a baby sister – when the chances at 50-50 or having a baby brother or a baby sister. 4. The girl child has to let go of her preference to play with dolls in older to be able to play with her little brother( why not teach the brother to play with dolls??? And how do you assume the baby brother will love cricket and not another sport, what if he dislikes sport? What if he’s gay? ) 5.There is nothing wrong in a dad teaching his daughter to play cricket, but giving her the message that if she wants to play with her male sibling, she should learn to do what he will enjoy and let go of her likes to fit in a man’s world!!
September 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm
What gender issues? You think your nephew won’t be masculine enough if he paints his nails and plays with dolls? Should a dad not brush his daughter’s hair ? I have kids the same age and my little boy loves wearing his sister’s pink sparkly heels and dressing up in her princess costume, it’s not going to make him any less of a man … I can assure you that. Even if he’s gay … So what!!!
September 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm
Ohh come on now, I think I said tht my comment was ‘on aa lighter note’ in case u failed to follow. M well aware tht he couldn’t ever have a gender identity issue at tht young age. He was only 3 (n gender identity hits one’s brain at 5 yrs )
And yeah, being gay and being a transvestite are two very different things. I don’t know what homosexuality has to do with my comment.
Anyway I wrote this only coz I found it funny.
Kindly don’t deduce silly conclusions. I believe I am pretty much clear on the subject of a child’s psychosexual development. Anyway thanks for your ‘valuable’ reassure that he’ll turn out to b normal. I had no idea. LOL.
October 6, 2015 at 7:01 am
genderlogindia Yikes! This is disgusting! So many problems, where to start?!! #speechless