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Being a girl can be the worst thing to be in a male dominated society that does not allow its women to live lives as autonomous human beings.
From the day a baby girl is born, she starts facing the inequalities of the male-dominating society till the time she dies. Right from the childhood she hears stories of a princess searching for her prince charming; why not tell her the story of a prince searching for his princess?
When she grows a little, she is expected to learn the household work and help her mother in the kitchen while a boy is never asked to help his mother ever in his entire life. Why is it shameful to ask a boy to help in the kitchen when girls are going out to earn and do all the work that boys do?
Every one of us might have heard sometime or the other by the elders of our family to learn cooking, embroidery and all the household work before marriage to get a good family or to please our future in-laws. Are they not looking for a sensible, educated, smart and supporting daughter in-law? Or they are just looking for a permanent full time maid who finishes all your household chores free of cost? Are we preparing our daughters to be a good full time maid even if they can achieve heights in different fields of their choice? In India, we teach our girls to be a good wife and daughter-in-law but, we have never prepared our sons to be a good & supporting husband.
If a girl is not getting married because of any reason, she is asked to do ‘vrat’ for getting ‘manchaha var’. Have you ever heard of a boy doing any ‘pooja’ and ‘vrat’ to get ‘manchahi vadhu’? We see our mothers doing ‘karwa chauth’ for the long life of fathers, no one ever heard of any ‘vrat’ for our mothers. You might have seen Hindu wedding cards quoting ‘saubhagyakankshini’ (who desires for fortune) for girls and ‘chiranjeevi’ (immortal living) for boys as girls are not as important to live a long life.
In our entire lifetime, we hear it for more than hundred times that one should have a son. Nobody ever cares how a girl child feels hearing these words when she doesn’t even understand the difference between both the genders. From the very beginning she starts feeling less important in her own family. She starts feeling herself as the ‘other’.
When a boy talks about his girlfriends or shares his likes about a girl, his family feels so proud of him and enjoys the conversation while on the other hand, it is a big crime for a girl to talk about boys even if they are just their friends.
You can see almost in every second home the authority of a father over the mother and other members of the family. Male dominance starts from one’s own family and become enormous when a girl goes to her in-laws after her marriage.
Throughout her life, a girl feels discriminated against. As it is well said, “a woman’s worst enemy is another woman”, starting from grandmother to your mother to your mother-in-law, all will make you feel you are a person under the authority of male members of your family; first your father, then brother and then your husband. Feminism is not biological. I know enough women who are totally patriarchal.
Marriage is a second biggest punishment for girls in India as she is expected to change herself into something her new family wants her to be. She has to transform herself from what she loves to be to what the husband’s family expects of her. She has to give away her favourite dresses, food (if there is vegetarian-non vegetarian issue), hobbies.
No offences but, customs and traditions are made (most probably by men) to torture women that too without logic. Women are asked to wear saree, cover their heads and transform their selves into some completely other creature soon after their marriage. Do we have a special body part attached to us after marriage which needs to be covered by wearing saree only? What is there on head which needs to be hidden? If there is something, all the hair stylists and makeup artists should close their business.
Why there is a lot of difference between a daughter and daughter-in-law? If you want a daughter-in-law to treat you like your parents, why can’t you treat her like your daughter? If you can see your daughter in all the modern dresses like jeans, shorts, why you can’t see your daughter-in-law in the same dresses? After all she is also human. She also has likes and dislikes; she has her own taste to everything.
If you talk about our traditions and so-called ‘sanskriti’, man should also wear ‘dhoti kurta’ or ‘kurta pajamas’. But, they are wearing all the western clothes. Have you ever heard from a woman asking any of the man to stop wearing something? Why do people change according to their convenience? Why, always, is a girl is asked to adjust without any sense? Why have we all given rights to men to rule our life according to their views? Having different views are not wrong. Everybody have their own perception but, imposing your perception on others is inhuman behaviour.
A mother-in-law always expects her ‘bahu’ to do all the house hold work even if she earn and work more than your son. Even after a tiring day at work, when she comes home, she is expected to make tea for everyone, make dinner and do other household works. Will you also treat your daughter the same way?
How can a girl feel at home in her in-laws house if she has to live according to others choice? Are you not killing an innocent soul by forcing your customs/traditions and views on her? Is it a home or prison? Even our constitution gives equal rights to everyone to live the way they want, then why not our so-called ‘apne’?
A girl may or may not speak what she wants but isn’t it your duty to make the most beautiful creature on the earth happy just by letting her live the way she wants. And come on, she is not harming any one by wearing clothes of her choice, eating food that she likes and living according to her wishes.
Please grow up guys and be more human, more open-minded. If you cannot treat this special creature on earth ‘specially’, at least treat her ‘equally’.
Image source: wikicommons