Yes. I am a girl and I am proud of myself. I am proud because inspite of your numerous attempts to make me feel inferior and degraded, I have succeeded in stepping upto your ranks. I have accomplished what you never thought I could. Most importantly, I am grateful to you for helping my reach this stage. So today, this is what I have to say to you.
Whenever I would walk out of my house wearing either a burqa or a bikini, your eyes would eat me up. You would stare at my breasts and at my lower body, knowing that I felt uncomfortable and relishing that fact. I thank you for that because you taught me to fight you. The next time you stared, I abused you, next time I slapped you, then I pepper sprayed you and you never stared again. I saved myself.
A few times during my period, my skirt got stained and you laughed at me. Then you pointed your finger at my skirt and stepped away as if I was untouchable. For days after that, I couldn’t sleep. But I thank you because the next time, I didn’t run. I stood upto you and I shouted out trying to knock some humanity into you. I walked around deliberately, showing off my stain without a hint of pink on my face. You taught me pride.
When I dated a guy but didn’t like him and then dated another, you called me a whore, a slut. You refused to talk to me and spread rumours that I was “available”. You made me depressed and I began to cut myself. I thank you because a few days later when I spoke out about it, I found people who had suffered similarly and together, we created a massive reform.
When I realised that I was a lesbian, I confided in you. You told me I was abnormal and suddenly, the world became hostile and its people dangerous. I thank you for doing the same to everyone you considered “abnormal” for today, I can gladly say I am homosexual.
When I refused to marry and wanted to work, you locked me up. You forced me to marry a man I had never seen before. When I told you he used to hit me and rape me, you snarled at me to shut up. When I wanted a divorce, you slapped me across my face. When I ran away, you disowned me. I thank you. It is due to you that today I live safely, happily working and meeting new people and even falling in love.
When I denied to go on a date with you, you stalked me. When I complained, you threw acid on my face. I was burnt, deformed into a demon. But I thank you, for today I not physically or socially conscious. Today I hold my head high and walk with other people.
You said my gender would not let me achieve success. You held me back, demotivated me. I thank you. Your “wise words” made me try my hardest and today I am an officer, a CEO, a Prime Minister, a boxer and even a wife and a mother.
You told me I was inferior, a pain, a burden. I most heartily thank you. For your words and actions have made me realise that I stand on the same podium as you, that I can do everything and more than you can, that I am the best thing that could ever have happened to you and this world. Yes. I am a girl and I am proud of myself.