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Good Girl, Bad Girl: What Kind Of Girl Are You?

Posted: February 25, 2015

Good girl, bad girl: The neat categorisation of women into these two categories continues, based on deeply held sexist norms.

With Facebook timelines being flooded with silly online quizzes like ‘Which celebrity should be your roommate’, ‘Which is the ideal city for you to live’, and ‘Who were you in your past life’, the day is not far when just for Indian users, a quiz will go viral on ‘What kind of girl are you’.

A woman could use her Facebook login, allow the app to access all her online data, post and comment on her behalf and share with her connections the final result.

Below are 12 images (from a poster doing the rounds of late) and you can see for yourself and decide if you are a bad girl or a good one.

Poster created by Furqan Jawed and his team

Poster created by Furqan Jawed and his team

Judging girls is normal – and more so if the girl under observation is one who breaks stereotypes. This poster shows how easily we can label girls as bad and this is not an exhaustive list at all. There are many more additional pointers that can be added to this list. A bad girl is also one who:

  • Talks too much
  • Is friends with boys
  • Comes home late at night
  • Laughs loud
  • Can’t cook
  • Argues with others
  • Wears short dresses and shows her legs
  • Shares a ride with boys on a bike/car

I’m sure if I leave this list open, many more can be added. We are a country where on one hand we are working on Mission Hazaar and on the other hand, more and more women are being raped and killed. Sometimes, I fail to understand why even after 68 years of Independence, “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” had to be launched. Education is a right and neither Beti nor Beta should be deprived of it. But this is what lack of education does. A girl is judged on how she walks and what she wears; not by her qualifications or the traits she possesses.

There are still cities in India where people will look at you twice and continue to do that with mouth wide open if you ride a two wheeler or sport jeans. What adds fuel to the fire are our TV shows that show the same thing and these soaps get awarded as the best entertaining ones with the most TRPs. Our female lead actor is dropped to the college by her younger brother every day, she walks towards her class with zero confidence, books close to her chest and eyes on the ground. This same girl is married to a guy from an affluent family without her consent and then she transforms into an ideal daughter-in-law. Her father tells her that after kanyadaan, she is the pride of her in-laws family and if she has to ever leave that house, it should be when she leaves the world. She is the same DIL who does everything possible under the Sun to keep her husband’s family happy, yet has no rights to step out of the house alone. She then one day becomes a mother and expects her daughter-in-law to do the same thing she did two decades back.

I think this is a vicious circle and unless we start respecting and stop judging, even after another 100 years of Independence, nothing will change. It starts from the parents who are happy to bring a daughter into this world, the ones who teach their sons that all human beings should be respected and that women are not objects.

It starts with a little more trust and yes, understanding that no girl is a ‘bad girl’!

Top pic of good vs bad concept via Shutterstock

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  1. Yes, this objectionable poster is truly appalling. What sort of stereotype are people trying to propagate? C’mon a roti in another other shape will taste just as good. Okay maybe not ‘perfect’ , but how does one become a ‘bad girl’ for making non-round rotis? That has to be the height of how ludicricuos these sort of things are. And a girl who goes out with her ‘hair open”?? Which era are we living in? It is a shocker to see that so called ‘educated’ youth in this country still harbour such primitive and baseless
    ideas. Speechless…..!
    It’s great that you’ve brought this up, Parul : )

  2. Wow! Well articulated post. Agree with every word you say.

  3. Before my marriage I was a decent cultured girl because I married a guy selected by my parents. I was a good girl. But after marriage everything changed coz I cant cook properly, dont cover my head with a dupatta or pallu in front of my in laws, talk with my husband in their presence n what not. Suddenly I am not as good as I used to be. But I will still be me. Great post n the poster truly reflects the double standard adopted by our society.

    • Thank you Priya! I am proud of our generation and I feel that we are atleast voicing ourselves. I also see that we are courageous enough to stick by ourselves and are not giving up on our identity.come what may.

  4. I like the part where you said the same girl starts expecting her DIL to do the same she did 2 decades back. Its like seniors ragging their juniors just because they were ragged at their times…

    • You are right Neha! This is the same as ragging used to be..A lot of women talk about their MILs and feel bad about behaviors. I think women should promise themselves to be a MIL who would be as they themselves expected their MILs to be. 🙂

  5. Sad but true!!! Good one again Parul

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