By Rhijuta D
(Photo credit: Rhijuta D)
I check myself in the mirror. What I am wearing is pretty acceptable in the West, but I have to add an extra layer because I am living in the East. Figure hugging outfits are not what you step outside your house from, especially if you have curves. Fair enough, I respect the culture and I try not to offend other people’s eyes (men and women).
I am walking late at night. I am accompanied by a male and female friend. Most people I see are men. Usually groups of two or three. They don’t say anything to us because we have a male figure walking with us.
This one time, a group of men walked by closely, most other times, I try to walk out of the way so they don’t walk so close to me.
I watched Emma Watson’s speech, like her, my father didn’t love me less because I was born a girl, and my teachers didn’t expect me to perform differently because I was a girl. I certainly didn’t think there was a limitation to my career because one day I might have a child. Although, I know even in the most developed country, there is a subtle form of gender stereotypes. But I am not in the West anymore.
I live in the East. In a country where women with big breasts feel obliged to wear an extra layer of clothing or cover it with a shawl/ scarf because why should she be walking around making others feel uncomfortable. Or in other words she should have some ‘laaj’. Laaj is shame. I don’t understand, why is this ‘laaj’ meant to be felt by the woman? Shouldn’t the guy and his luring eyes with his dirty thoughts feel ‘laaj’. I really don’t understand.
I am living in a country where a woman cannot pass down her citizenship to her children if the father is not from the same country, how dare she even fall in love with a foreigner?
I live in a country where some women get up at 5 am, cook for their family, get their children ready for school, come to work, go home and cook for their family again in the evening. The husband is there, but why can he not share some responsibility? It’s not like she is sitting at home doing nothing all day.
I keep overhearing people saying ‘chori manche bhayera….’. This translates to ‘being a woman….’
I hear disapprovals upon a couple wishing to marry each other living together abroad. They say the woman is impure now, why is he marrying her? As if the guy is always pure no matter how many partners he has had. And they are in love. That’s why you marry someone, not because the girl is a virgin.
When I was younger, I used to sit with my friends at family gatherings and the elders would say, “why don’t you girls make tea for everyone?”
A woman who speaks up is ‘khai, ali arkai khalko’ (bit different)
A woman has two choices, either not give a sh** about what her in-laws think and lose her family members or actually do what is expected of her.
A woman leaves her husband, whether she’s at fault or not, why is it always her fault in Nepal? I don’t understand.
Why so unequal?