Monthly Archives: October 2011

You hold your thoughts, a grudge, your anger, hurt and much more in your heart. It never goes away; even if it sits silently for years, one day it must come out. I find myself becoming very vocal day-by-day on the issue of girl-child dicrimination. Perhaps a demo of this ‘rebellion’ could be found in my Twitter bio (which I have recently changed) where I described my identity as a ‘girl-child’. That’s who I was born as.

Many Indians must know how Rajasthan is known for its backwardness in the treatment of women. Even if you haven’t read your stats, the soap operas feed the unhealthy stereotype of a Rajasthan household where women are constantly under the shadow of the male or her mother-in-law.

Unfortunately, most of that is not incorrect. Since my childhood, I have observed this culture (in our Rajasthani community) of the woman being inferior and it has shocked me how acceptable it is. I see how it’s completely acceptable for a husband to swear at his wife in front of others and ridicule her cooking, stop her from driving a car or wearing certain clothes etc. A woman handles the house chores AND the errands outside. She runs the entire house; takes care of the children and lends emotional support to her husband. Yet, she is always ridiculed and made to feel weak. But this is her strength: courage in her softness.

Now, I cannot take it anymore. I will not be a back-bencher just to allow the men to sit in front. Raised on a staple diet of sexism, when I voice my anger, I get told off…by women. One told me that I am ‘flying high because of my education’ and that when I get married, I would meet the same kind of man (who ridicules and swears). I decided then that I would rather be single than get married to such a guy. I did not get educated to be a slave. Last time I checked, slavery was abolished long time back.

I don’t see the privilege in being born with different genitals. What has your role or accomplishment been in the fact that you were born as a man? It’s just nature. Besides, a pair of balls never made anyone more superior. A woman was never lesser than a man. In Rajasthan, till now, you see women who work at construction sites alongwith men. They carry loads, they cook, they take care of the children and yet they are treated badly.

I don’t know what is more unfair: the treatment of women or the fact that The Son gets away with everything! How many times have we seen that after a broken marriage/engagement, it is so easy for the guy to be married off while the girls lives with the social stigma of being a widow or a girl who suffered a ‘broken engagement’. Rape is another stigma and so is divorce. Why is it so easy to assassinate a woman’s character?

Once in a Rajasthani village, I was having a meal with a family. After which, I went on the terrace because it was a cool, cloudy day. The women in the house refused to join me on the terrace because people will backbite about them and call them flirts if they were seen on a terrace. Needless to say, with a tainted reputation, not many ‘good guys’ will marry her. How easy it is to sluttify us!

I have seen how the boy is treated as a king while the girls are given no attention from one or both parents. In most villages, they don’t send girls to school because it’s a ‘waste of money’.

Why are the rules different?

The attitude towards women has not changed much. It is simply camouflaged under the guise of being educated. How many of these so-called educated, classy men are wife-beaters?

I am no feminist and I don’t like to call myself one because I don’t think any gender should need self-appointed lawyers. On the other hand, because of such unfairness, I also understand why feminism exists. But this is it, I am done tolerating such behaviour. There is absolutely no reason why I should think of myself as an inferior despite my work and contribution towards the society. This mentality has spoilt so many men, who are also in a way victims of this traditional thinking.

If you think I should respect you JUST BECAUSE you are a guy, sorry, you must go elsewhere for that ego trip. My uncle told me recently that ‘this is the way our society thinks and this is how it has always been.’ But I see no reason in continuing such thinking when it serves no good. Just because a ridiculous thought has existed for generations, does not mean that it should always be entertained.

It doesn’t matter what you are born as. What matters is what values you are given. If you continue to bask in the glory of your gender, you will continue to remain a burden to the society.