Teach Your Girls To Stand Up For Themselves And To Raise Their Voices Only Then, Will They Be Free!

Marriage changes everything, she thought. Changes you... changes them, And there’s no support. Parents are for life - is what she'd thought.

Marriage changes everything, she thought. Changes you… changes them, And there’s no support. Parents are for life – is what she’d thought.

When she was just a little girl
Being a girl child was her world

She loved to play outdoors and in
Play all day and smile within

Football was her pet play then
Kicking the ball about, till day’s end… when

Her mother would shout for her to retire
Because she wanted her to aspire

To a career that didn’t include…
Ball and foot!
She said, “Foot games won’t make a stalwart of you”
And that, she thought, was true!

She kept playing and studied too
Aspire and perspire went balancing through!

Such freedoms she had of affluence and education
You’d think it was the ideal combination
She took these for granted as so many kids did…

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Parents who let her fly
A childhood was spent on high
A carefree, yet disciplined life
Until —
She became a wife.

Now someone else had a ball,
Because she was being kicked around

Her husband thought he was entitled to be
Just by dint of his gender the football player of she!

Her mother-in-law was the committed coach
Never admonished the son; males were beyond reproach

She turned to her brother,
But he shrugged and said,
“You’re married now…
So make your own bed.”

She was shocked at the reply of her brother
So she turned to her father and mother.

Her mother said,

“Wait… I’ll ask your dad,
Because I know you’re sad,
But I don’t want your dad to go mad!”

She never expected this
From her mother, a lawyer
But now, in a different light
She saw her!

“Ask my father?” questioned she,
“Ask him what, for the life of me!
I’m being beaten everyday!
So it is here, I’ve come to stay!”
But, “Wait here,” is all her mother could say.

She stood in the house
One she’d known so well
Questions with tears
Filled her head —

Marriage changes everything, she thought
Changes you… changes them,
And there’s no support

Parents are for life – is what she’d thought
Isn’t love unconditional, during your own child’s strife?

Then her mother returned,

“I’m sorry my dear
Your father is angry, says you cannot stay here”

She half expected this, so she turned
This was classic patriarchy as now she learned

She went to a friend who took her in
And fought for her cause and eliminated the sin

But how many women find help so fortunate?
The numbers are dismal so we have to alter this mindset

There’s no getting away from a realistic today
And abuse won’t disappear, or go away
Whether poor or rich
Or even educated –

But what education does, is it teaches you
To get inner strength
To see life through
Whatever’s thrown at you!

You feel you can break free of chains
And you can fight
Being enslaved
And even this
Is not enough
At times
Because you doubt yourself
So you don’t ask for help

Every girl child
Needs education
Needs exposure
For a better later

Mindsets are so strong
In patriarchy
It’s so wrong !
Patriarchy anarchy

Fighting this
Is tough enough
Without education
It’s rougher than rough

So mentoring the girl
Should be mandatory
And this quality service
Should be given free
If we want to change

Mentoring parents
Mothers particularly
Should be made

In a patriarchal society
It’s not just men
Who promote misogyny
It’s also women, you see

If only women
Stand up for themselves
Will their girl-children
And boy-children
Be able to tell
The difference between
Right and wrong

And the true meaning
Of gendering along
Independence of the mind
Is the ONLY one of its kind

Hence, not just academic
But a mindset overhaul
Because it can take years,
If not a lifetime or more,
To change a single thought
I’ve said this before
I’ll say it again
Till my voice is hoarse!

Picture credits: Still from Puma’s Propah Lady campaign

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About the Author

Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade is a Clinical Child Psychologist, Part-timeish mother, blogger, French teacher and IATA teacher. She has worked with the differently abled, and now works on and off as a teacher, and freelance verse writer... & read more...

2 Posts | 3,103 Views

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