Thursday, October 23, 2008

On being a girl...

There have been a whole lot of discussion on male chauvinism and feminism over the past few months in my life that i thought a post was required to put an end to it... for myself at least...!! i have been called a FEMINIST at least a few hundred times by a lot of people... I have been known to raise voice against any sort of chauvinism that has the misfortune of happening in front of me... I have been called 'too forward for a girl', 'tomboyish', 'frank, blunt, out-spoken, rash, and a whole lot of other adjectives'... I have been subjected to lectures and taunts on how a girl should be or should behave in a society...
Now i think it's high time i write about it...
For me feminism is something that gives me a belief in myself that as a woman, I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to without letting the fact that ‘being a woman’ affect it…
This of course is a topic that has found its way into lots of debates, forums and discussions that it has been done to death and still not gotten anywhere… when Soorya wrote about this in a post a few months ago, the thought crossed my mind that I should probably be penning down some of my feelings on this too…

People who know me say that I am feminist, but they say it in the sense that I do not stand for any kind of male chauvinism. Indeed that’s true! I do not like it! And that would be the understatement of the century! I believe there are things that men can do and are more capable of doing, and there are things that we women can do and are more efficient at. But that by any means does not draw a conclusion that either of the sexes cannot do something that the other sex is more efficient at… and I have come across a lot of people, unfortunately, of the male category who have this derisive look on their faces every time when some girl suggests something that is not rather what they expected… and I hate it!

Of course, things have changed a lot in these past few years and there are lesser and lesser eyebrows being raised at something that women do, that’s out of the ordinary… but you still find some of those earlier species that I talked about… the patronizing look, the mocking smile, the cynical questioning face… I still come across all this a few times in the course of my life…

I have had people come and tell me, that I am different from other girls… I can tell you I am not… I am as girly as the other females of my generation are… it’s just that my definition of girly differs in leaps and bounds from them… I speak my mind out when it is required, I like wearing western clothes more than Indian and that’s because I am comfortable in them, I have a lot of boys as friends, I get along with them better than I get along with girls, I can do things on my own, I do not need the help of anyone especially not someone who thinks condescendingly that I need to be protected from the harsh ways of the world.. I have seen a bit of the world and what I have seen has taught me enough to differentiate between what’s good for me and what’s not… I swear when I am frustrated and I do not put on a different expression of being calm when I am actually seething with rage inside… I am not the kind to take an injustice meted out to me lying down… in fact I see no reason to do so and even more if it is because of my gender… that has nothing to do with it… I can do any work as good as any man and maybe even better! People say I talk a lot and I use words that are not generally said by girls… well... When did swearing become a gender-specific thing?? You are frustrated, you swear!! Fine maybe, you control your talk depending on the company that you are in… I do not do that sometimes!! I am not bothered… especially if it is my peer group… I think they all know me well enough by now that I do not need to put on an appearance for their sake…

I have come across a few mentionable incidents in the past few months… usually when someone talks about how they think/feel/believe that girls should be or should behave, I get pissed off… pissed off again would be a very mild way of putting it… Why have fixed rules in place on how a girl should be? We do not do that to guys do we?? We don’t tell how they have to behave, how they have to dress, walk, talk, etc... Then what right do they have to tell us how we are supposed to be??

I have had acquaintances of mine tell me that they think I am too forward for a girl… I tell them that they are still living in the old age then!! Recently there was this conversation about marriages etc… and there was this acquaintance of mine who was telling us about his idea of a wife… fine I agree that it is his opinion and prerogative about how he wants his future partner to be… fair enough! But some of those conditions that he set forth were too rigid for my thinking and ideologies and I told him the same! And well that sparked off a debate… and a debate that left both of us a little cordial towards each other… I could not accept his ways of thinking… he could not accept mine… fair enough! But I felt that a lot of his conditions rested upon the premise that a man is the sole bread winner for the family, the woman is limited to taking care of the kids, household etc… now that seems to me as a case of someone who is not yet out of the old fashioned way of thinking. And that I could not relate to… I can go out and earn as much as my man would and at the same time run the house too…

I have gotten comments for every single thing that I do, from people who think that it’s out of the ordinary…

So what if I am friends with a guy? So what if I spend time with a guy on a date? So what if I am better at being friends with a guy rather than with a girl? So what if I talk about sex openly? So what if I make jokes? So what if I talk loudly? So what if I wear a lot of western attire? So what if I want to go out on a walk all by myself? So what if I get things done easily because of my gender? So what if I wear shorts and walk around my house?

So many what ifs … so many ifs and buts when it comes to being a girl…

Agreed it is not safe for a girl to do a whole lot many things… but give us a little credit! I mean, we are old enough to realize what’s good and what’s not… who’s being sincere and who’s fake!! We do not need protection or caring at all times… have confidence in us to let us venture out and explore the world… so what if we make a few mistakes along the way?? That’s learning!!!
I do not want anyone to curb my freedom and clip my wings if i want to try something unexplored, or new... I want to be able to have the independence to take decisions on my own, at least those that concern my life and my personal ambitions... I do not want people thinking that I am not strong enough to face a few troubles and overcome it...
I know I am strong, I know I am capable, I am confident about myself...

Am I a feminist??

I do not know…
Am I a woman of today??

Yes I am!!


  1. Oru mayathil okke ezhuthu kuttiye :P

  2. I too as a girl share similar thoughts ... maybe not so strongly as you do.. or maybe I do but wouldnt want to declare it out since I am of those who believe in the take-it-or-leave-it attitude but in a more mellowed or placid manner !!

    But, am sorry, somehow your blog came across as if it is you who is stuck up in the 'old-fashioned' sense of thinking and are desperate to do things to prove out to those who think otherwise that you are 'different !'

    If you really believe the way you behave or as you said dress up is your own individuality and is genuine then why should what others say make a big difference to you ?! To hell with them !!!

  3. @ Rat --> This is for the sake of certain people that i wrote :-)... avarku ee mayam mathi :P... hehehehe...

  4. @ Anon --> This blog was for the sake of certain people to get my point across to them..! 'coz i am sick and tired of the fact that i need to give justifications for whatever I do! I normally do not but when it comes to certain people they won't back down until you give them an answer of some sort! :-)

  5. oh then its okay..
    pottikkano ? aalaaraa ennu paranjaa maathram mathi.. baakki ente piller nokikolum :P

  6. @ Rat --> vendi varum.. Njan oru list tharatte...!! kure per undu pottikkan..! :) help cheyumo?

  7. :-S
    njaan ippo enthaa paranjey ?
    Nakulettaa.. njaan ippo enthenkilum paranjo ?

  8. @ Rat--> Ayyo, list aayathu kondu chodhichatha.. :) I thot u might think it is just one person .. :).. ninte thiruvathira gang thayyarano??

  9. Well...
    Njaan pillerum aayittonnaaloyikatte.
    Ippo thalkaalam back to "The Animal" on HBO. Buhahahahahhaah

  10. @ Rat --> No office today?? Innano Goa trip?? :) have fun!!

  11. inneneetappo oralpam late aayi :-S
    ennaal pinne wfh adichekaam ennu vechu.
    Goa Trip okke eppaleyy kayinju!
    Video onnum kandilley ?!!

  12. @ Rat --> No it was not opening here... and since u said trailer i did not know what to expect.. heheheh..!! trip details eppo ezhuthum?? :)

  13. :P
    ithippo blog um comment um thammil yaathoru bandhavum illallo :-S
    Well, for the trip updates, part I is already online! With the fanciest title ever :P

  14. @ Rat --> Yup...!!! :-) but that's ok.. will read it ... second part eppozha avatharipikkunne...!! :)

  15. 2nd part 3rd part and the final part will come one after the other. I would luv to see them online on a regular per-day-gap basis. 3 days of holiday. Should be possible ! :)

  16. Dont want to comment on feminism as i am not an expert to comment on that.I just wanna convey one thing that the so called"do not do' kinda "rules' exist for men also.Men shouldnt cry . if i cry people will say.hey why dou cry you are a man.You are not supposed to cry. You are theone who is supposed to propoese a woman.So why cant it be otherwise????/.why cant a woman propose first ??????.Wanna Tell you one simple truth .At the end of the day - Are u happy in life? do you have people who love you ,care you and stand by you???. If you have why worry about people "labelling" u ???

  17. Very well written, Aishwarya. I could identify myself in many things that you wrote. And am I a feminist? I don't know. Am I a woman of today? Definitely yes. Cheers !


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