Is being born as a girl really a curse?

There is something that I haven’t been able to forget for a day since last 21 months & 25 days when I had just come back with my new-born daughter. Though my husband had deserted us (the mother & the child) at the hospital itself, I was happy. The gate watchman at my parents’ house asked us, “Is it a Boy” and I replied happily, its my sweet daughter. He became sad and said with a crying gesture, “Oh Don’t worry. Next time God will give a son”. Initially I avoided the notion but when neighbourhood aunties also went on in the same lingo, I have asked this question every since, to myself  — Is being born as a girl really a curse that everyone wishes boyhood for you?

However, somehow I have been able to pin down the problem that is prevalent in the Indian society.

All cultured girls in India, no matter what religion they come from, are taught from the childhood by their parents that the house in which they are born is not actually their’s rather they are like guests and one day they need to go to their real home, that is of their husband and in-laws. The girls have to “manage” and “adjust” in their so-called actual homes, no matter what the case is. And today if you look at it legally, married women do not have any ownership of shared marital households.

Married women not only have to deal with ever rising demands from in-laws (which many a times ruin the happiness of the households they were born in) & work as a domestic help, but also deal with physical, social, emotional & physical harassments coming from their darling husbands, or should we say, “pati parmeshwar” (meaning a husband who has a stature not lower than God for his wife).

Women fast for the long life of their husbands in the name of rituals. They are denied right to wear colour if the husband dies. And in case of divorcees, they are looked down upon as if it was all their fault for the breakdown of marriage. Most of our society does not even consider women to be human beings if they are stuck in a bad marriage. Things are changing slightly in urban India but it still hasn’t been easy for divorcees.

The problem lies in a quintessential question: Is it really correct to make your own daughter so separate from yourself after marriage ? What was it that you gave to her in her years before marriage ? What is really love or just a comfort that we give to our guests when they come to stay with us at our home ?

Here, I am not talking about that there is no difference between girl and boy, I am talking about the authority and responsiblity of parents towards a girl even after her marriage.

To put it in perspective, would like to put forth a distinct point: Do cast an eye on the percentages of girls versus boys in class 10 and class 12 board exams. It would just bring forth how girls are far ahead of boys. And to “equalise classroom basis sex“, colleges in Bangalore have a higher cut-off for girls and a lower for boys! None ever did that for girls when few came to school?

So in times like this, shouldn’t we teach not only our daughters but also their parents, that the girls are not equal to boys, rather they are superior! And thus all this though process of girls being paraya dhan (belonging to other), is nothing but sheer crap. Girls should not “adjust” and “manage” in their in-laws just to please the parents or the society in general, rather they should be a judge in their own rights, their respect and for their own honour. This jigsaw called our society has to have a different set of constituents to remain symmetrical now & high time we all learn to accept it.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roshni
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 18:42:57

    Hi!
    The link to the cut-off list being higher for girls than boys was really interesting. It is strange how something like this did not make it big in the headlines when anything like this in case of SC/ST/etc would be cried out loud (whether in favour or disfavour).
    Interestingly, something like has been unheard in places where girls are less in number. The government/schools/colleges then don’t say that as there are only 7 girls, only 7 boys can be part of the classroom. Equalising is only required when the number of boys is going down! So much for education? Probably, 10 years down the line when my daughter will need to apply for college, the cut off list may be raised to 20. 😀
    Boys, its time you can enjoy for there is not only cushion for you in the womb but when you enter college for “higher” education. 😉

    Cheers!

    Thanks.

    Reply

  2. Nicky
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 22:53:58

    Hi!

    Being a woman and mothering a girl, I tend to understand the dilemma you face. Our problem is that we respect norms of our society which somehow we should not always. Any norm, thought, etc which makes us weak should be avoided like plague. After all, being weak leads us to problems in 9 out of 10 cases.

    Being a woman I feel can actually be a very strong thing if we prepare to shoulder the responsibility it gives us and live it. We nurture a household — this is something that is not what anyone can buy. You can get a service against payment but not nurturing. The difference is huge and must be respected. For if we don’t respect ourselves and the tasks we do, we cannot expect us to be respected by anyone.

    Be strong. Be bold. Take care of yourself. Take responsibility for your actions. And there is no need to be a superwoman.

    Nicky

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Boy, just a boy! « Being an Indian Woman

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