“Its a baby boy”
“Whew! Very Good. Thank God it wasnt a girl”.
These words left me stunned. Twenty first century. An India we proudly show off to the rest of the world and I am standing here in my kitchen listening to this awful gender discrimination. Worst thing to hit home, my cook happily said that to me, a girl.
After two more huge gasps of relief from other people whom I was told to inform, and one blessing I got (already) that I would have a baby boy too, I was feeling a little hurt. To hell with all the gender equality. Even today, majority of this country treats women as second-grade, a burden and a second-choice when it comes to children. Sad, very sad.
You might argue that education is the key but I am amazed at how gender discrimination exists in the most subtle forms even in the most forward societies. The most hi profile families focus on how to make the boy achieve the highest qualifications and leave the girl on the pretext that in any case we’ll get her married by 25. End of college for a girl in many cases moves on to the next stage of life i.e marriage and hardly are parents concerned about careers of their girl-child. Then comes the whole social factor of marrying her off in grandeur, saving money, minting jewelery and all that hogwash.
I wanted to turn back and ask those people in what way are girls inferior to boys. They help at home, are more responsible and match up to a boy in every sense of the word. In any other forward society, never is there a discrimination of the sexes. Nowhere else in the world will you hear gasps of relief when a boy is born or even dream about female infanticide. It all happens only in this country.
This suddenly makes me feel we haven’t moved an inch from the olden days of sati and dowry.Just now that the situations are rather different. Indian women are beaten when they go to pubs. Jeans are regularly banned from colleges everyday.A bold statement by a woman is instantly called lewd and the character of the girl comes under the scanner. A girl is ruthlessly ogled at by every cheapskate, sex-deprived Indian male everywhere she goes. Women who work late hours are chased behind by drunk youths and shot in the head when they try to evade them. Groping, rape, eve-teasing, I can go on and on and on. Its sad to be born in a country where people are disappointed by your very existence.
I know this post is all feminist and all, but happy as I maybe on the arrival of my nephew, I wasn’t actually thanking anyone that he is not a girl. It just pricks when someone throws such an offhand comment on you making you feel second-grade. India needs to sensitize itself to the female gender. Only then will we really surge ahead.
Till then, I’m celebrating my new Aunt-hood. 😀