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We decide that a girl is ‘characterless’ if she stays out late night for any reason, whether work or fun. It is time we realise that this is unfair.
“Hi, there is an event which will be organised on coming Friday. Are you interested?”
“Yeah, if it is about public speaking, why not?”
“Yes, it is an open mic competition. It will be organised in Mr. Beans Café. Timings are 6 pm to 9 pm. Shall I register both of us?”
“Wait! 6 pm to 9 pm on Friday?”
“Yeah, what happened?”
“Hardik, are you crazy? Papa comes back home around 7 pm. I have to be at home before 7 pm anyhow.”
“What? That’s weird. How can an event that starts at 6 pm get over by 7 pm?”
“Yeah, Ok leave it. You get yourself registered. I’m not so interested.”
“This is weirdness at its peak. I mean who puts this kind of a time restriction for a daughter in college? Tell your father the event is important.”
“No Hardik, in any case, he would give me a maximum of 30 min relaxation. 9 pm would be too much for even asking for permission.”
“So aren’t you allowed to roam outside home late night?” I was curious to know about her actual scenario.
“Yeah, 7 pm is the maximum time in any case. Sometimes, I take a relaxation of 30 minutes, but that too happens seldom.”
“But why has your father imposed this restriction?”
“He thinks that I shouldn’t roam around (specially with male friends) after 7 pm since it is a threat to my integrity.”
“Integrity? Seriously? That’s crazy!”
“Crazy? Hardik this is his rule, and I cannot challenge it. The roads are unsafe at night, you know!”
Maybe she is right. Maybe her father is also genuinely worried. Maybe the roads are too unsafe. Maybe time restriction really plays an important role in deciding character.
But, wait, I saw her brother yesterday, partying with his friends late night in a club. There were a few male friends and 2-3 female friends. He was enjoying without having any worries about ‘late night’ or ‘character assessment’.
I was curious, surprised and confused. I thought maybe the boy lied to his parents about party, else, he should also have been at home after 7 pm. I called her again.
“Hey, don’t take it otherwise, but I think your brother cheated your parents yesterday.”
“Why? What happened?”
“He was partying with his friends late night in a club.”
“Yeah, we know this.”
My confusion, surprise and curiosity were all mixed at her reply.
“But you told me that your father doesn’t allow you to stay outside home after 7 pm.”
“Idiot, that rule applies only to me, not to my brother. He can roam around till as much time as he wants.”
Yes, needles of clock have nothing to do when a boy stays outside home, late at night. Only the character of a girl depends on the time – if she is outside home late night, she is a characterless girl or there is a threat to her integrity.
Why do we always assess the character of a girl by her home arrival time? Why are girls always expected to come back home latest by 7-8-9 pm? And the parents who put all these restrictions on their daughters, are the same parents who don’t have any issue if their son roams around late night with his friends.
Even if a girl is outside home late night, roaming or partying with friends, it doesn’t mean that she is a characterless girl or there is a threat to her integrity. And the worst part – people aren’t concerned only if a girl is outside home for partying. They are ready to assess her character even if she is coming from a business meeting or an important career event.
Time is evolving and with it, event durations are also changing. You can neither finish any meeting exactly by 6 pm nor start any party exactly by 7 pm. There are business meetings or events late at night too, as well as late night parties.
Another major concern for parents – if she is with one of her male friend, her integrity is in danger and she could become a prey for him. Really? Are you considering all her male friends a probable rapist? If the boy is with a female friend, and she is safe with him, the same holds true for male friends of the girl too.
It is a high time that we should make an environment for girls where they breaching a 7-8-9 pm limit isn’t a punishable offense. That terrified look on a her face if she hasn’t reached home in the given time limit, shouldn’t be there anymore.
As long as you trust your daughter/sister/wife/female friend, and believe that she wouldn’t break this trust or cheat you, needles of the clock hanging in your bedroom or the time displayed on your mobile shouldn’t be the deciding factor if her character is good or bad.
Image source: shutterstock
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