And I am told I am a girl…
Some time back a neighbour of mine was blessed with a sweet little baby girl, the extent of happiness and sheer joy was unsurpassed… but since it’s a baby GIRL, so here comes the asterisks. When I congratulated her relatives, masi, naani, all they had to say is, “Ab theek hai, jo hai, Beta hota to mubarakbaad hoti” . I was numbed, numbed into silence as I realized that God’s greatest blessing has turned so miniscule only because of the fact that it’s a girl.
But it’s just incipient; there are endless moments in a girl’s life when she is so brutally told that it’s a CRIME to be a GIRL.
Spiraling numbers of cases of female foeticide and female infanticide show that the punishment for this crime can be death. For those who are privileged to escape this horrendous punishment, lying ahead is a thorny path of silent sacrifices without a word of recognition.
Endless movements for women emancipation have no doubt improvised the scene. Girls, especially in urban areas, have the right to education, free expression but all this is a mirage as this is a pseudo freedom. While growing up, a girl is told to be very peculiar about her ways. The way she sits, the way she talks, walks, behaves etc. she is expected to take permission for spending every bit of her life while her male siblings, no matter how naughty, insensitive they may be, straightening them is barely a case.
And when she grows up, comes the moment of wedding, something that she was being prepared for since her birth. The guy is the lord and she, such a deserted princess, begging for his acceptance. The whole process is so demeaning. Recently, a meeting for the proposed wedding of one of my friend’s sister was organized. Before walking out of the home, her mom told her to go and pray to GOD that the gut may accept her.
So, she makes a bio-data, actually goes to a studio to get a picture clicked and even pray to God and all this with a YES pasted on her face. It’s the guy who has the privilege to accept or reject her. For him she is just a list of attributes, height, looks, complexion, education, earning potential. And finally after so much turmoil, she lands up into a new home.
And there begins a new series of do’s and don’ts.
She leaves her friends, family, home and may be her name but still all the adjustments are to be made from her side.
In all the fairness to the sensitive new age guys (SNAG’s), shouldering a number of responsibilities that were hitherto the sole responsibility of woman of the house. This sharing on their part does make parenting or housekeeping much easier for females. Even then, evaluation norms for her are more unsparing and allowances for her are few and far between.
It is still the mother’s obligation to attend her child’s parent teacher meeting. If a father is unable to attend his child’s parent teacher meeting, how easily he is excused by saying, “he is so busy”. If a husband on returning home at any odd hour, straight away attacks the food without much a thought to whether his spouse has eaten a morsel or not, how often it is explained away as, “oh! He must be so tired after a long day”. And even after this, permissions from the husband are inevitable.
Two weeks back, I and all my friends planned to go for a movie. One of my friends (engaged) called her fiancé in US to take permission for the movie and was disappointed to have “NO” as an answer.
I fail to understand that how a man who was sometime back, so remotely attached to her, gets the right to decide for the tinniest bit of her life. How a woman surrenders all her liberties?
And how a man takes pride in enslaving her freedom?
After this and many other instances, where all the talks of equality, all movements of women emancipation seem colorless and all that persists is a deafening cry of women, muffled by the woes of this male dominating society.
After all this, she feels betrayed as the freedom granted to her was a mere lip service.
She feels betrayed as the freedom granted to her was may be with an implicit clause that beneath this coating of freedom lies a deeply permeated layer of silent sacrifices.
She feels betrayed as the wings granted to her have these tiny loopholes which are weakening her flight and pushing her into the claws of the world to which she doesn’t belong. A world where she is told everyday that she is a GIRL…