That’s a lot of emotions, isn’t it? I have been through these and more such emotions growing up in a gender inequal world. Gender biases are so deep rooted within the society, within each of us that many times we don’t even realise the damage we are causing by carrying on the said and unsaid rules established thousands of years ago. And not only the women, but even men are harmed by these perpetuating gender biases.
From a young age I noticed patriarchy and gender bias all around me. And as a child being raised in a gender-neutral family, a lot of what I observed around me did not make sense. To start with I did not understand why my mom, grandmom, aunts etc. had to change their surnames after marriage. I loved my name, and I just did not like the idea of changing it after marriage! And it was even more shocking when I found out that in some families, even a girl’s first name is changed! It’s like she had no identity of her own before marriage!
I couldn’t understand why one of my mom’s employees, continued to sire girl after girl in the hope of having a boy someday (he had 7 before he finally had a boy and stopped). I found it insulting to say the least that he felt a girl was not enough. I remember feeling angry when I found out that the doctor who delivered my younger sister said that she was sorry!
I didn’t like it and neither did I understand, why only a little boy could sit with the groom on his horse in a wedding procession. Nor could I understand why my aunt only called the girls to lay the table and help with dinner while my cousin brothers continued to play….
And mind you, these questions bothered my when I was just between five to ten years of age. Once I started to read more and became more mature, and gathered more life experiences, these questions only became bigger and stronger.
“why couldn’t she continue studying after 12th– she is a topper”
“why was she married off so early, she had so many dreams?”
“how come a woman is blamed for the sex of the baby? Or a childless marriage?”
“why do so many women end up leaving their jobs after marriage or child?”
“why do boys try to look up our skirts? Aren’t they our friends?”
“why is a girl’s izzat so important?”
“boys will be boys – what does it even mean?”
“why is everything for girls pink??”
“why the hell should my parents give dowry to the boys side? And why should we bear the expenses of the marriage?”
“Why are there so few women at the top management of institutions?”
“why is a homemaker’s work not considered work?”
“why are women victims of hate, rape and abuse?”
“why does a woman continue to live in an abusive marriage?”
“why don’t parents of a married girl welcome her back into the family?”
The list is endless and instead of just raising questions, I want to raise awareness around these issues, reach out to young girls and women and tell them to start pushing the barriers they face in every realm of life. Because only by pushing and rebelling and saying no will we continue to create and bring positive change to our society.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and this is post is part of it.