Worries of an Indian Girl

The recent articles and blog posts about sexism and frustrations of Indian girls made me write this post.

Couple of months back my Mother asked me whether I had met one of our family friends in Chennai and I replied no. The background story is one of my family friends saw me in the Railway station and the complaint was that I was wearing a loose sleeveless top. The lady got alarmed seeing me in a sleeveless top and complained to Mother saying I should be wearing Salwars as I am Malayali girl.Apparently,the lady is worried that I am spoiling the name of keralites and Kerala’s highly boasted culture(?).Now, this not new to me. Forget about sleeveless tops and party wears, wearing jeans can earn you the name slut.I find it very difficult to understand this concept. If a girl wears a salwar/saree, then she has a good character. From when on wards did we start making analysis of a person’s character according to the clothes they wear.Now,do men have such an issue? Imagine we girls making such an analysis about men — men wearing formal shirts and pants want to sleep around, men wearing veshti don’t think about /look at girls, men wearing lungi want to eve tease or rape and so on. When women don’t judge men according to the clothes, why does vice versa exist? Do not generalize because we don’t think that a guy is bad if he is wearing clothes which he likes.

I remember getting a message in my blog page after writing the post Shadows of a Girl. The message was from an old classmate who was a constant faultfinder of my posts. The message was an apology for the rubbish comments he had posted on some of my posts. The change in attitude happened after he took his newlywed wife to Delhi for honeymoon. The message said that he fumed in anger and helplessness when his wife got lost in a crowded street and she was groped badly. He wrote that his wife cried in shock that strange men squeezed her breasts and waist in those ten minutes she got lost in the crowd. And what was her dress?A pardah!! He apologized for his earlier views on women.But,what I want to tell the world is why should you wait for something to happen to your dear ones to change your attitude? What is so difficult to think that women are human beings too? And I know, in India, men get groped too.

Don’t do such things because a girl should not do such things”. I grew up hearing this dialog round the clock from my Grand Mother.But, thanks to my parents for letting me grow up doing things from playing cricket with neighborhood boys to rolling in mud. I thought such mentality was only in Kerala but as I moved out of home and started meeting people from other parts of the country, I understood that it is a national problem. Here are ten rules which I have heard often.

1)Girls should not talk loud

2) Girls should not play with boys after 10 years old or getting her period, whichever is earlier.

3) Girls should not go out alone

4) Girls should not stay outside the home after 6 PM (This still exists in Kerala. Thanks to the men in Kerala)

5) Girls should sacrifice

6) Girls should obey their parents, elders and whomsoever who has the right to rule/shout at her

7) Girls should give more importance to her wedding than her education.

8) Girls are the honor of a family and should save it at any cost

9) Girls should not tell their opinions because they don’t know what life is

10) Girls should give more importance to her husband and his family than to herself and her family

Most of these dialogues are followed by a story from the religious books praising women in those books who made sacrifices, who were epitome of patience, who obeyed her husband without any objections, who grew up according to her parents’ wishes, who saved the honor of the family and so on. Now stop right there. First of all, it is dumb to force girls to grow up under such rules and force them to be examples of the so-called “the good girl”. Women are humans too — what’s wrong in getting angry and shouting? Why should we sacrifice things which we like just because we are women? Why should we suppress anger and be patient just because we are women? Above all, why should we be good girls, why can’t we be just girls? Imagine a society telling the Indian men to be like the ones in the religious books?

One of my friends was narrating the story of a movie. Then she said, “after that they will have this” and giggled.”They will have what?“. We asked.”You know, that“, she again giggled.”You mean they had sex?”, somebody in the gang asked. And she said, “Don’t tell it openly. It is a bad thing”. Yes, I heard this from a married woman who has a kid.Sex is one of the words which will spoil a girl’s name. People often forget that sex is a simple thing. Even when they celebrate a girl becoming pregnant, they conveniently forget that she became pregnant after having sex with her husband. It is a ubiquitous fact. The mankind still exists because people are having sex; let’s tell it that way than the rosy way of telling that babies are born. So why should a girl be bad if she talks about sex?If you want a baby then a woman should have sex with a man. This has been happening since Adam and Eve and how is a woman talking about sex a sin? (That too in this century!!)

I am in love”. How often have you heard an Indian girl telling such a thing openly?90 % of the Indian women don’t let this out because having a past relationship will spoil her chances of getting married(even if the guy who rejects this girl would have had many relationships and is not a virgin).Yes, pure-girl concept is prevalent in Asian and Eastern countries. The usual dialog from the family, “Guys can do anything. Even if he rapes girl, he will get a girl to marry” discourages women even more from telling out their feelings.Recently, one of my friends informed me that she rejected a proposal. The reason which she gave me was that the guy’s parents are dumber and my jaw dropped. Looks like the guy wanted somebody who hasn’t been in a relationship, so she politely withdrew from the proposal but his parents wanted somebody who hasn’t had any crush or infatuation so far. She asked me how they can even think of such a thing when she is already 26 years old. How does it matter whether she or he has a past? Infatuations are mementos of our teenage life. Having a relationship will only help a person grow better. I read this somewhere “Relationships are never a waste of time. If it didn’t give you what you want in life, at least you know what you don’t want in life”.

I saw a comment in a forum which discussed about the above problems,”Twenty years ago, I was reading articles on the same lines. Twenty years from now, we will continue to do so. Some themes never grow up!”

Related Read : http://tamilculture.ca/an-open-letter-to-young-tamil-men/

25 thoughts on “Worries of an Indian Girl

  1. Nice Article. Completely from the heart, and very plausible. We the current gen, and the next gen should imbibe the equality between men and women unlike the older generations. It’s just the virtues and values of the culture, along with the equality of gender, when imbibed properly, there can be drastic change in the society.

    1. Trust me,men can make a huge impact for the change.I’m glad to see that there are young men who have a different mentality from the cliched old generation

  2. the comments i read for that linked post were really disturbing.. why cant women show their interest on sexuality openly?. why is virginity still a priority? does this mean if i lose my virginity before marriage i would be looked down by society? is it ok for me to preserve till i get married and sleep with others after marriage as i proved my self to be good to so called husband??
    aren’t we giving wrong mixed signals to younger generation ? why cant men/women treat hymen as just a tissue?
    what is wrong with women who want to experiment and try on a sexually compatible partner?
    i want to know what others want to teach their kids? to make virginity important? let them choose their way of life? make sex a taboo, or allow them experiment? let them have multiple partners or teach so called being loyal to one partner??

    1. The questions you fired away are very relevant.It is sad to see people,read it as educated people,still clinging on to beliefs a century ago.A century ago virginity was an issue and it is still an issue.A century ago a girl having a relationship was looked down and even today there is a big change in that attitude.

  3. Avvvvvvvbbv…yaaarachum give soda pleeeesssee…..baaaviaaaa….evlooooo periaaa postuuuu!!! If I say its nice will it be a gud comment or bad??? !! Either way we concur 🙂

  4. Bhavia,
    It will take decades for this mentality to go away.
    If it would have been left to me, I would have given orders of shoot at sight for such nosy aunties. It would have saved our generation a lot of trouble.

  5. the issue you discussed has posed a problem for years and will continue for many years.
    what u are not realizing is there is a small number of parents who don’t think that way.i believe whenever a girl marries she should be sure that her would-be-husband falls in the latter category so that their married life is not hampered by such beliefs and fear of social stigma.that woman has the responsibility to ensure that her siblings and daughters don’t be a victim to the ‘orthodox’ and ‘old’ beliefs.

  6. Love the way how article turned into male bashing which is default setting for most feminists (like you). Reality check baby, it was a women who had problem with what you were wearing and your whole article then turned into male bashing. Let me update a new word in your dictionary MISANDRY which means hatred,dislike for men. And yeah you are a misandrist.

  7. i completely agree with you. being an Indian girl is not easy. And being surrounded by men who dont understand is worse. an excellent perspective! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s