By Sambidha Sen Thakuri
Okay, I have to admit, I was raised like a boy. I bought track suits instead of frocks and sneakers instead of sandals. As I was growing up, my friends frequently told me that I was tomboyish. I didn’t know what it meant then. What girl would want to befriend someone with whom they could not enjoy talking about their new dresses or someone who wouldn’t compliment them about the color of their nail polish? It was not that I wasn’t interested, but I had some other interests. This included only a few people in my friends circle.
I was literally raised by my grandma and my only playmates were my older cousins who always watched and played wrestling and cricket. The only time I put on makeup, even now, is when I take part in dance competitions. My mum still doesn’t put on any makeup which is why most of my friends are bewildered when I tell them that we’ve got absolutely no lipstick at home. I swear we still don’t have one and none of us have had any interest in bringing in one yet. Well, I can’t assure you about my kid sister who is one heck of a girly girl. I’ve loved the way I’ve lived my life so far. Of course, my friends tease me sometimes saying I should get myself checked. But, hey, I’m sure I’m a girl and no one can be surer than me. I get butterflies in my belly at the sight of cute guys (no, not at cute girls, if you ask) and even if someone does get me checked, XX is what you’ll find in my chromosomes.
A while back, I had an incident when someone freaked out when I called that person a ‘woman’. Okay I was wrong. It was totally inappropriate of me to call someone ‘woman’ when they’re actually a ‘man’. And no, it was not in a bad way. I just said that the person was a little woman like, by the ways he handled his emotions and also made perfect plans like a girl would do. But seriously, is being a woman so bad that people start condemning you for calling you one. No, really, if someone called me ‘man’, I’d just laugh about it because I know I’m a woman and I don’t need to prove it to anyone else. So why do men freak when they’re compared with women?
“Chya, kasto keti jasto royeko!”
Raise your hands, who hasn’t heard people quote this? Well, I see no hands. Hello, big guy there, EVERYONE cries!!
I think I’m studying the most feminist subject in our country. I think I developed a little more feminism than I had before mostly after the start of my junior year. You know, being around mothers and children, vibes get transferred. When we had our posting at the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), we watched contraceptive implants being taken out and a new one being placed back in. Despite the anesthesia, the woman was in so much pain and us girls were exchanging looks of telepathy, saying, “It’s so difficult being a woman in a male dominated society.” No, really! I’m not someone who can talk about someone else’s contraceptive preferences, but despite the easy availability of male contraceptives, it is always woman who are sent to the clinic. We saw no male clients during our 3 days there. This is just one simple example of how females are treated as pawns in the chessboard of life. I wonder if we could exchange our roles sometimes, how the male chauvinists would manage to keep up with nature. Yes, I’m looking at you big guy, who doesn’t cry like a girl, who doesn’t like being compared to a woman, yes, you, how would you manage to balance the nature? I’m sure you’d be begging us to revert back by the end of the day.
I’m not someone who has experienced the hardships of a real woman yet, but at least I know the world is not so easy being a female, but we’ve done so good so far.
“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” –by I don’t know who but some wise head.
Well I’m not a female activist and I don’t know exactly what they call someone who raises voices for women. Neither am I here to debate the superiority of either gender nor does my advocating here change anything in our society. But I’m a woman and I absolutely can’t stand being held down just because I’m one. It’s surprising how guys, when they date more than one girl, are cheered as hero in his circle while if a girl opens up, she’s called, I’m sorry due to the lack of appropriate words, a whore. What’s even more surprising is that these rumors are spread by the same community of women while the male population gets to stay back and enjoy the show. It’s heart wrenching how we hear news about rapes and rapists being set free frequently. We’re not safe and we’re not respected in the world that we created ourselves.
To whom it may concern, the one who feels taken down when being compared to a woman, well god bless you because you’re not lucky enough to be born one.
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