Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A life less equal

Does an Indian girl spend her life trying to make up for not having been born a boy?
‘You are not my daughter, you are my son’….is this the highest compliment her father/grandfather can pay her?
Is there a sense of loss when she abdicates her family name to her brother?
Does she chafe against the social diktat that acknowledges the greater right of her husband’s family on her unit?

Is there some amount of humiliation in being viewed as a “responsibility”, to be offloaded by her parents onto her family-in-law?
Is there a dip in her family status if she is not able to “give” her husband a son?
Must she take care not to seem too close to her biological family lest her commitment to her acquired family become suspect?
Is an eternal gratitude expected of her towards a husband who lets her be?

Will her middle name continue to be “adjustment”, ever and mostly?
How long is the pussyfooting to stay her monopoly?
Would you say if food, shelter, clothing and security are a good enough price for a lifetime’s devotion to one man and his family?
Should the children go off track, would that primarily be her fault?

A global survey recently ranked countries most hazardous in which to be born a woman.
Top five were Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.
An emerging super-power, India has female infanticide and sex trafficking to answer for.
The dangerous, gender stereotypes are too deeply ingrained.

When my second daughter came, someone offered condolences to my husband.
“Two Marutis down,” his colleagues told him.
I didn’t find it funny at all.
It is this terrible air that brings tears to the eyes of a new mother who is told, "You delivered a baby girl!"


Anonymous said...

awesome post!! great to come across your post. Should be made more famous. A woman becomes mother and propogates same thought in generations to come. It is time to stand up and say no. If not we just live down with it and accept is as the norm rather than outlier.

Honey Sangha said...

Thank you. My daughter, a law student, is standing up against victim blaming in cases of sexual abuse as part of what is becoming a world wide phenomenon ( but these young people continue to face resistance from adults who do not make the effort to look more closely at what is being addressed.