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‘I Wish I Were A Boy’: A Young Girl Opens Up About Her Encounters With Patriarchy

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By Deepti Chaddha:

If I were a boy, would I be stronger? If I were a boy, would I be safer? If I were a boy, would I be more loved? If I were a boy, would I be happier? These questions run through my mind every single day of my life.

They say that we often think about things we want; it keeps running through our minds. And what I think about is how life would be if I were a boy.

Being born and brought up in a Punjabi family, I always heard, ‘Ladka hua hai, Mubarak ho’. And that followed by sweets being distributed to everyone, even by neighbours that you never talked to. And that boy was treated like a prince. We often hear stories about how the girl child has been killed even before being born. Luckily, my family loves girls. When my sister was born, and then eight years later me, my parents were on top of the world, because ‘laxmi ghar aayi hai’. Although my mother did worry about what my grandparents would say. My grandfather was disappointed because according to him, if there is no boy in the family, who will earn? My sister proved him wrong, by getting a job at 22 and earning a lot more than he ever did. My grandmother loved us girls unconditionally and never cared about how our relatives talked about our family not being lucky enough to have a boy.

But what about other families? Those who consider themselves unlucky because they have a girl child and honestly if anyone says that this used to happen in the yester years, and doesn’t anymore, I wouldn’t believe them in a million years because I have very well witnessed it even today. And living in a society where people do not want girls to be born, I would rather be a boy.

girl child india
Image source: Harsha K R/Flickr

I have come across many girls who are deprived of basic human rights, one of them being education. A girl is married off as soon as she turns 20 and all her dreams are crushed. My mother’s were. She wanted to study, learn, paint, until one day my nana ji put a laddoo in her mouth and told her that she was getting married. My mother still paints and talks about how she feels she could have done so much more in her life. And it upsets me. Every woman out there who has been forced to stopped studying and get married is a future I would never want for myself. I want to earn, be known to the world. I would rather be a boy.

Why does every fight scene I have ever watched in a movie have a male hero or villain? And why does every mandir (temple) scene have a lady in a saree? Why do I see men going to work and women staying at home? Why do I come across scenes which include the husband screaming at the wife? Why can I not see a woman fighting and going to work and the husband sitting at home and chopping vegetables? I have faced the fact that I am living in a patriarchal world and that is the sad ugly truth. So I would rather be a boy.

I won’t say that men are not raped because they are. But, 90% of the time, it’s a woman. I do not feel safe coming back home alone at night from my class, I would prefer having a boy walk me home because I do not want to be looked at by men, ogling at the sight they see. I do not feel safe when my mother is not home and the plumber comes to repair a leak. I do not feel safe knowing that someday when I get married and I have a girl who will be born to this cruel world where women and girls are not respected. So spare me the misery, I would rather be a boy.

Another aspect is about us girls having to worry so much about how we look and present ourselves. We keep hearing things like, ‘Cross your legs and sit’, ‘go change your clothes, your bra strap is showing’. ‘Don’t wear that, it makes your breasts look big’. I want to be able to wear what I want, where I want, without people judging me. Because a boy can wear a top and baggy pants and no one would say a thing. So, I would rather be a boy.

Being a girl, I have learnt a lot. And I have had a bitter sweet relationship with being a girl. But today, as I ponder over it, if I had the power to bring about one major change in my life, I would be a boy.

You must be to comment.
  1. B

    If you are a girl, you don’t have to earn and have the luxury of choosing to sit at home. No one will call you ‘nikamma’, ‘nalayak’, ‘kaamchor’, ‘anaaj ka dushman’ or shower you with other names. You don’t face the stress of not earning enough, or have to go through the torture of being jobless. At the time of marriage, you don’t get asked about your bank account, what car you drive, your house, salary, what vacation you can afford, etc. In case of a divorce, you don’t have to pay alimony, child support, or part with half of your property. In short, you don’t get ripped of your life savings. You don’t suffer from false cases of dowry, domestic abuse and rape. You have reservations in buses, metros, colleges. Even lifeboats are reserved for you. You ask boys to leave their seats for you. You get leniency from courts for the same crimes as boys. You get away with a warning from parents and teachers while your brother and male classmates are slapped over the same mistakes. You are released first in hostage situations. I can go on forever …. feminists, count your privileges.

    1. shuadi99

      well as a girl you don't have to listen to”…….. bla bla bla bla”. thank your patriarchy that you so earnestly also follow. not being asked half of these questions do make us sad we want to be asked how much we earn, what car we drive(here comes the stupid joke about a girl who can't drive) want to pay alimony to a husband who doesn't earn enough during divorce etc. but your stupid patriarchal mindset which 3/4th of the nation has is only interested if we can take care of the home,the child etc. its not our problem, it's not the feminists problem its the patriarchy that is the problem. so rather than telling us to count our priveleges,change your mindset.

  2. Spider-Man

    Girls are cunning and manipulative. Just watch Pyar Ka Punchnama 2, and good Hollywood movies like Mean Girls, Cyberbully, Wild Things (all parts).

  3. Jigsaw

    A man must work like a dog all day, with surmounting tension, having to meet deadlines, put up with a crazy boss, suffer from office politics, then come home mentally and physically tired to take the car to the mechanic, rush to pay the electricity bill, go and buy groceries, attend the plumber, take wife shopping, then return exhausted at night to satisfy a horny wife until 2 in the morning, and go back to work on 4 hours sleep, and then have to read articles like these.

    1. shuadi99

      a woman also works in todays world Mr., even she has to meet deadlines, put up with a crazy boss, suffer from office gossip and politics, then come home mentally and physically tired to take care of the child,cook food and clean,go and buy groceries, attend the plumber and electrician, go shopping to bring things that are over in the house, then return exhuasted to satisfy the horny but her own husband till 2 in the morning and go back to 4 hrs sleep as she has to wake up the next day before the kids or husband to wake them up and ready them. and then have to read comments like these.

  4. Batman

    A man exposing in public is a pervert. A woman exposing in public is liberated. Look at societal double standards.

    1. shuadi99

      ya right. which society do you live in Mr., because in this society a man taking off his shirt is Salman Khan and acceptable while a woman's bra strap if seen makes her a bitch/slut.

  5. swayam

    I would still want to be a girl….
    The article is what I had experienced in d past Bt not now…..
    Bt dats for sure I dnt want to a boy who will ogle a girl or d one who is a die hard fan of pyar ka panchnaama series…..
    Iam happy to be a girl who dnt judge herself nor anyone else in the surrounding irrespective of d gender and for me the pyar ka panchnama series is a movies to enjoy…….
    Iam a girl and I don’t discriminate…..

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