‘Are all girls alike? Should all girls be alike? It would be boring if they were!’
Satrangi Ladkiyaan/Satrangi Ladke, an illustrated flip (picture) book for young children, written by feminist activist, poet and author Kamla Bhasin and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan, through its simple narrative and diverse representations of girlhood and boyhood, offers its young readers a space to re-imagine gender roles and expectations. Satrangi Ladkiyaan, a feminist book does the important work of pushing back at and challenging gender stereotypes that exist around girls, their bodies, likes and dislikes, abilities, interests and personalities. Girls are not alike, so how can they be expected to act, dress, speak or conduct themselves in similar ways? Kamla Bhasin’s writing is a celebration of a feminist worldview and gently offers its young readers an alternative to the normative ways of thinking about girls and their identities. Yes! Some girls like climbing trees and some like playing with dolls; some like getting dressed up while others are happy being scruffy; some keep their hair short, some like it long and there are some who prefer being bald; sometimes they are naughty and sometimes they sit peacefully!