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Our society often holds girls back from realising and utilising their full potential to ‘protect them.’ But it’s time that we let girls fly!
In this camouflaged web of the gendered world, the gender roles defined to create boundaries and limitations within your mind. Questions like ‘What am I capable of doing and what can I not do?’ keep popping in each gender’s minds.
Especially for children who grow up in conservative middle-class families. Their minds are influenced by their society, and families with whom they spend most of their learning phase as students.
There’s a difference in how a girl is brought up and how a guy is brought up in our society. Yes, for the sake of equality, both genders are given education but the expectations from them are quite different.
A boy is given more freedom to go out anytime he wants and to manage the outdoor roles. Meanwhile, his sister is restricted from going out anytime and expected to cater to the indoor activities and household chores. Because ultimately she has to manage a household after marriage.
She’s not expected to be outgoing, sporty or adventurous. Girls who get their family’s full support in whatever they want to do in India are the luckiest. Otherwise, they have to battle against their own families to chase their dreams, fulfil their desires and live their own life independently.
Yes, we are in the age of women empowerment and are blessed with easy access to the internet and globalisation. Everything one seeks to learn about is at our fingertips.
So, the younger generation is definitely able to rationalise things and not just blindly follow what society has to say. Especially young girls who are not allowed to go out freely and interact with people. They have a big helping hand in terms of technology and the internet to learn about all the things they wish to learn.
However, is that enough for a young girl to venture out in the world to fulfil her dreams and eventually be independent? Not in India, I suppose, until you’ve proper support of your parents/guardian or anyone. Family support matters in India – financial, emotional and mental, for one to go out and struggle to be what you want to be.
But there are so many cases where parents and families fear sending out their young children especially girls to go out and learn to fly on their own. They doubt their potential to be self-sufficient, one reason is India not a safe place for women given the atrocities happening against them. And also because of the fear of them getting into relationships which would bring bad name to their families in society.
As a girl from a similar background, I had to prove at every step of the way that I am capable of being on my own and away from home. I had to overcome all the doubts that I was brought up with. In fact, I had to take several brave steps to give myself a chance to explore the world on my own.
However, I did find the confidence once I started taking risks and making my own decisions while experiences new things with a straight face. A lot of this also happened due to the values inculcated in me by my family.
At the back of my mind, I was carrying the pride of my family and had the responsibility of proving to them that I could manage it all on my own. That girls do not need their families, partners or siblings to support them with everything that comes their way.
But now, with the pandemic, almost everyone living on their own was forced to go back to their parents’ house. Well, for a certain period of time, it was good to be home and spend time with the families and bond with them. However, after the lockdown was lifted a lot of people were ready to go back to work but parents weren’t willing to let them go, especially the women. A new fear had now popped up.
The women turned into girls who were forced to stay at home. They had to muster their self-belief and confidence to go out and face the new challenges the world had to offer. Once again, they had to convince their families to let them go out and be on their own.
Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Katelal & Sons
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