Over the years, your support has made Women’s Web the leading resource for women in India. Now, it is our turn to ask, how can we make this even more useful for you? Please take our short 5 minute questionnaire – your feedback is important to us!
Trained as she is from childhood, a girl needs to try very hard to rebel - rebellion doesn't come easy to most Indian women
I am born. I hear cries of “it’s a girl, it’s a girl! Everyone is happy (I think…). I meet my mother. She looks at me with doleful eyes. Why the mixed emotions? Other people come to me and perform traditional and religious ceremonies. I am loaded with flowers, new clothes, gifts and shagun (money).
I am 3 years old. I wear frocks and play with Barbie. I dress her up, she is pretty. I want to be like her when I grow up. Papa says: I am like a doll.
I am 5 now. I go to school. Convent school. We learn, pray and learn. I want to play outside. But, it’s dark now, says Mamma. I play with Dhruv. He is my best friend. Papa tells me to call him “Bhaiyya”. But he is not my brother. I wonder…
I enter my teens. The school uniform changes. We wear shalwar kameez now. But we did wear skirts before. Why the sudden change. It’s so hot. I wonder…
Today we learned something new at school. Periods. Mamma says: be careful, and don’t talk about it in front of Papa. I also have to wear a bra now. I don’t like it, it hurts me, it’s too tight.
Mamma says I am a big girl now. But they don’t let me go out on my own. I should sit with closed legs and behave properly. I also help in the kitchen now. I can make tea, Maggi and chappatis. Mamma took me to a beauty parlour. I didn’t like it, it was so painful. Why do I need this? Don’t I look okay already?
School trip going to Shimla. I want to go. Papa says no.
I score 85% in 10th boards. Papa is so proud and Mamma is crying with happiness. They tell everyone neighbours, relatives and friends. I get new clothes.
I want to study Political Science. Papa says, take Home Science, it’s best for you.
I go to College. Girl’s College. Again. Boys are bad. Obviously.
I study English Literature. I learn a lot of different things. Mamma doesn’t like some of them. She says it spoils the mind of an innocent, sweet girl like me.
College trip going out again. I plead. This time Mamma supports me. But Papa says, it’s dangerous for young girls to go out alone. I keep quiet.
I graduate with flying colours. Gold medal from the university. Mamma and Papa are very happy. I want to look for a job. I want to write. I want to study further. Abroad. No.
Papa asks what are your future plans? Marriage: Love or arranged? No option.
Advertisement in matrimonial:
A fair, homely, convent-educated, bright girl looks for a teetotaler boy from decent family with a handsome package.
But I don’t want to, do I? I wonder … Mamma said I will start a new life, I should be obedient and dutiful.
Study further: Yes or No.
Job: Yes or No.
Marriage: Yes or No.
I try to rebel. TRY. REBEL.
Pic credit: Martina (Used under a Creative Commons license)
I smash the patriarchy for a living! Founder & Editor-in-chief of Feminism in India. Gender, tech, media and internet. Tweets @japna_p read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 might have had a box office collection of 260 crores INR and entertained Indian audiences, but it's full of problematic stereotypes.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 starts with a scene in which the protagonist, Ruhaan (played by Kartik Aaryan) finds an abandoned pink suitcase in a moving cable car and thinks there is a bomb inside it.
Just then, he sees an unknown person (Kiara Advani) wave and gesture at him to convey that the suitcase is theirs. Ruhaan, with the widest possible smile, says, “Bag main bomb nahi hai, bomb ka bag hai,” (There isn’t a bomb in the bag, the bag belongs to a bomb).
Who even writes such dialogues in 2022?
Be it a working or a homemaker mother, every parent needs a support system to be able to manage their children, housework, and mental health.
Let me at the outset clarify that when I mention ‘work’ here, it includes ANY work. So, it could be the work at home done by a homemaker parent or it could be work in a professional/entrepreneurial environment.
Either way, every parent struggles to find that fine balance between ‘work’ and ‘parenting’, especially with younger kids who still need high emotional and physical support from their caretakers. And not just any balance, but more importantly, balance that lets them keep their own sanity intact!