To show how gender-stereotyping of men in India plays a huge role in creating an unsafe environment for women, Vogue India released a powerful public service message, “Boys Don't Cry.”
The message is simple: “We have taught our boys not to cry. It’s time we teach them not to make girls cry.”
It is a well-documented fact that India – the world's second most populated – has constantly remained one of the most dangerous countries for women in the world.
In a June 2012, a poll of 370 gender specialists around the world voted India the worst place to be a woman out of all the G20 countries. It was way beyond embarrassing for the South Asian nation especially because Saudi Arabia, where women are not even allowed to drive cars, was rated the second-worst.
The video by Vogue is a part of a women empowerment campaign – called #VogueEmpower – a series of short films which feature some of the biggest names of the Indian film industry.
An article in Vogue India explains the connection between what parents teach their boys and how men behave later in life:
"When we teach young boys at an early age to not do something 'like a girl' – the distinction that what a girl does is insignificant is imprinted in the young boy's mind. Growing up, when these boys don't see eye to eye with their partners they feel the need to enforce their views through aggression."
Alex Kuruvilla, managing director of Conde Nast (Vogue) India, explains in a separate behind-the-scenes video that the short film was inspired by Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon’s statement at the Goa Film Festival: "If you want to make a change, start with the boys."