It was just one of those family get -togethers I don’t really look forward to. Why I have such an aversion to them is because they often lead to such discussions that leave me wishing I could do a la- Mr. India disappearing act!. Well, in such a chit chat sessions with my relatives the other day that I realized that I don’t need to read reports about unfairness with girls, it is so deeply entrenched in our society that it is rampant in the minutest of forms. We have got so used to it and it has weaved itself so intricately in the social ideology that we have started ignoring it as something that would never change.
I had just announced casually that I had decided to pursue law after b.com. The reaction I got was like I announced I was planning to elope with a guy. “Law??”, “why law”, “women lawyers have broken homes”, “Narinder (my father) did u tell her lawyers don’t get good grooms”, “law is not a career for women, women are supposed to be docile and submissive”. I stared at them and for the first time I realized my argument would never change their beliefs. As my parents tried to dodge their question and reason out, I was lost in my own thoughts. Brought up by well educated and broad-minded parents, I had never been introduced to what is a “conventional” career for a girl.
What irritated far beyond the glass ceilings they defined and reminded me about was their concept that viewed every girl as another docile woman in the making who would be meek follower of the wishes of her husband and led by the males in her family. I fail to buy the viewpoint that suggests I should compromise with my dreams and passion just because it would lessen the chances of me getting a good match.
This was just a peep into the realty. The situation is much worse and grave. There have been numerous instances when I have been told by some aunty ji on how useless my education is and my being a good home maker would be the only thing that would be helpful to me later in life. There are others who advise that on face of eve teasing and being harassed with opposite gender, we should dare not reply back and just lower our eyes and ignore. There are other specimens who narrate how they started saving for their daughter’s dowry since she was in 12th like she is some commodity in the marriage market to be traded.
We have known of evils like female foeticide, early marriage, dowry, harassment of women at work places, eve teasing, molestation and preference of male child. These issues have laws being legislated so as to bring women at par with men. However, the bare fact is that we cannot eliminate these vices until we change the mindset. Today when women have broken all marble ceilings and have carved a place for themselves in every sphere of life, it’s high time to stop regarding her as an inferior. To all the parents and taejis-chachajis-buajis out there, realize that your daughter and the girl in front of you has the acumen to be the next Kalpana chawla, Indira nooyi, Fathima beevi or Pratbha patil. For all the girls out, learn to bring out the change you wish to see by being what you want to be.