Before I start I would like to say that "I am a feminist”. I hate following the stereotypes of being homely and kind to every idiot I encounter.
Few days back, I went to my rented apartment in a small village, (where I live with a very orthodox family -my landlord), I went in their house and I was greeted by not a Hello or Namaste beta but with
“Aree tu to akeli aa gayi, hume to laga iss bar shadi karke hi aayegi”
Means a girl my age is not supposed to stay single for so long!! Well I was obviously stunned at the greeting, no matter how hard I tried but it did bug me for a long time.
Few weeks back I saw the movie Queen by Vikas Bhal. I was quite impressed by the movie – the theme, Kangna Ranauts acting skills the setup and everything. Most importantly the story was really unorthodox and I am sure many parents of young girls especially, who are of marriageable age won’t like the movie, which is quite expected taking into account the generation gap.
After watching the movie, I was also quite elated as I am also from a home science background and looking at a girl from the same background who took a stand for herself was a quite endearing feeling. This feeling was given a boost by an article on womensweb.in by a friend of mine “Of Homely Girls & Other Home Science Stereotypes” which I could closely relate to.
But after reading Vikas Bhal’s interview in a magazine I could realise that the movie was not concentrating on home science or any discipline per se, but it was a reflection of my life, or I could say every Indian Girls life. How the life of an Indian girl has a fixed itinerary, which she is supposed to follow, no matter if she is willing or no.
Interestingly, I was watching a Punjabi movie today, Jatt & Juliet 2, its quite a hilarious movie, even in that humour the director tried to convey something, I would not tell you the whole story but here is one line which I liked
“Ladkian nu dhakka marna te sadda culture hai, munda hunda te uh kuj vi kare, but kudian nu te ohi karna chahida jiyhe assi dhakka mariye” (from memory)
Meaning “Girls are supposed to be bullied into what we want them to do, but if it would have been a guy it wouldn’t have mattered what he does”. This was being said in a positive context to persuade the mother of the girl to shed gender stereotypes. But it got me thinking, we are so educated these days, I personally don’t believe in caste, religion or the money differences all that matters is what you are as a human being, but today the most educated of the society are the most gender biased.
It has been rightly emphasized by Vikas Bhal in the movie, the life of an Indian girl has been fully planned since the day she was born, good education, MBA (for better marital prospects), then she is not given any time to even think, let alone think of a career, while she is pursuing her MBA match making starts and by the time the MBA is finished the girl is already married.
Why can’t we let her live her life, let her think about her career why can’t we let her live her life her own way? Everyone has a preconceived way in which a girl should behave, the way she should live if she does not follow that, she is a bad girl ( trust me I am using the cleanest possible word), and if she does no one sees what she goes through.
There have been many examples of girls/ladies who are at very good positions in India, but we still think that a girl in our culture should always be below a guy, homely and not having any aspirations.
When is this kind of thinking going to change?
I am not trying to prove anything here, the two genders have been made different for different roles and they cannot be matched and should not be matched, but before even knowing a girl deciding her fate is a not something which an educated society should do.
“Before judging a person one should look in one’s own shoes”
Girl with a Tripod
Originally published on girlwithatripod.com