The Burdensome Girl :(
This was the opinion of a very much opinionated reader of Times of India. He was just congratulating Aishwarya Rai on the birth of her daughter. Actually what he wrote was much more derogatory and insulting than the above given sentence, so I am not repeating the exact words here. It felt like hitting a nail into my head as I too was in the last stages of my pregnancy and I already knew that I was going to have a baby girl again (in this part of the world we can ask a few questions as to the gender of the baby) and me and my whole family were ecstatic about it. I sincerely hoped that the guy who made such a ground-breaking discovery about women didn't have any sisters or else he would have been calling his mother a prostitute. But anyway I am pretty sure his grandmother is a woman with no moral values whatsoever as she gave birth to his mother. That is, if he was born the normal way and he has a mother.
That guy represents the attitude of a vast majority of young Indians. They read all the online newspapers and they have their facebook profiles and they never waste an opportunity in questioning the morality of a woman. From where does all this hate for women come from? If his mother was a woman who commanded respect for herself and for her daughters, he would never have made such a derogatory statement. But as it seems, that is not the case. His mother attended to his father's and his and the entire family's wants and needs all her life and became a doormat. The one thing that she forgot to do was to teach her son to respect herself and other women.
I, myself, have come across a lot of mothers who absolutely value their sons more than their daughters. Some of them even go to the extent of saying "I have one son ....... (long pause)............. and 5 daughters." Why is it so difficult to count the daughters in? Aren't they humans too? Is it their fault that they are born women? Maybe there are a lot of issues like dowry and safety of women in our country that makes the girl child a burden. But if all the mothers revere their daughters too and give them enough opportunities and teach them self-esteem and self-confidence, tomorrow they are not at all going to be a burden to their family or for that matter to any other family.
We may think that the ignorance of women who belonged to an older generation will be due to the lack of education. If it was due to the lack of education and an ignorance of the world beyond their four walls, it is completely justifiable. But what about the women who are very well educated, but still prefer boys over girls? When I gave birth to my second daughter one of my aunts pacified me (I was just tired after not sleeping for weeks on end and it had nothing to do with the gender of the baby) by saying I can always go for a third pregnancy or else I can adopt a baby boy. And she is a highly educated woman who has traveled the world. She is open enough to adoption, but she feels that my family is incomplete and not perfect enough without a baby boy. And I told her that I too am open to adoption, but if at all I am adopting a child I am definitely going to adopt a baby girl, never a boy. Its not because I have any kind of aversion to boys, but because I know that boys will have plenty of takers in a country like India.
Whenever a divorce or something equivalent happens in our society, the society is eager to point their fingers at the women involved. They never take heed of the woman's side of the story, but are quick to make judgements about the woman's arrogance, lack of adjustments, and financial independence. But no opinions will ever be formulated about the men involved. And all the discussions pertaining to the divorce ends like this - "today's girls." There won't be any reference to today's men or alcoholism or extra-marital affairs or control-freaks or whatever. Its always the woman's fault and the fault of the woman will be discussed in length and breadth by the Aunties and Uncles of our society.
Sad to say, but we have a generation of Aunties who are as vain as the Sarees in their wardrobe. They belong to a category of women who are loud, boisterous, shallow, who have high regard for their sons, but absolutely no regard for their daughters or women in general. Maybe it is because of the patriarchal set-up that they were brought up in. The patriarchal values are so much ingrained into their brains that they stop thinking about their own kind and have the cynical mindset of men. They ask the younger generation of girls not to laugh loudly, but they themselves howl and curse. They have no sets of rules and regulations for their sons, but their daughters are supposed to adhere to their rules and regulations. These lot of Aunties are so adept in teaching their girls to be like this and like that and ultimately characterless and vain like themselves. But the one thing that they forget is to teach their sons too something. The only thing that they should teach their sons is respect for women and fellow human beings, but sadly that is the one thing that they most conveniently forget.
Sometimes it is good to follow our elders in some aspects. But times are changing and we women should also change accordingly. We should also start thinking for ourselves and teach our sons to respect the women in their lives or for that matter any woman they come across. That will definitely give way to a better society and definitely a much better country.
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