“Are you sure you won’t harass a girl?” asked no parent ever while sending their son out of the house.
“Isn’t it too dark outside?” said no parent ever to the guy on a night out.
“Shouldn’t you wear something more covering?” asked no parent to the boy roaming around shirtless.
But clothes, timing, and ‘protection’ seem to be the buzzwords in the “How To Tame Your Daughter” manual.
I’m 20, I am still asked to not wear shorts, off shoulder clothes, dresses and anything even slightly ‘revealing’. Oh, but did I say asked? Well, being asked is a privilege that has been long kept from me (us). And it’s obvious that my brother, who is half my age, is allowed to stay out as long as he wants, with as many girl/guy friends, but hell breaks loose if I’m out post 6 pm or am friends with a guy. Obviously, they’re all protecting me. Protecting me from the luxury of consent and freedom, of fearlessness and rebellion. We’re denied the consent to our own body, it is covered, measured, abused and broken. Don’t mind dear, it’s all about protection.
I’m coaxed into believing that teaching is the best profession. Not because it is a noble and fulfilling job but because it’s patriarchy-approved for an ambitious person like me who wishes to study and work. Why, you ask? An attempt was made to condition 20-year-old me into believing that I should think of the long run, a run where the finish line is kids and a household. Obviously, both husband and wife can’t do a full-time job, who will take care of the house?
While pleading for night stays at my best friend’s place, the 20-year-old me was asked if I was sure if I can take care of myself considering that that house had male members too (duh). Despite being confident about my ability to take care of myself just fine, I was denied permission saying, “Nah, you’re not ready.”
I’m ready, not with succumbing actions, not with an army, but with questions. Do you have the answers?