Riya was not as cheerful today as she would always be. I liked that spark in her eyes and the glow on her face, which was enough for anyone to get attracted to her.
Today, I was speaking to a different Riya.
“What happened?” I tried to investigate the matter.
“How would you feel if your mom says, ‘Tu beta nahi, beti hai meri’ (You are more like my daughter instead of a son) ?”, she replied.
“What? Haha, did aunty again say to you, ‘Tu beti nahi, beta hai mera’ (You are more like my son instead of a daughter)?” I tried searching for a little humour, only to comfort her.
My comment backfired, as she stood and yelled at me, “What’s the problem if I fulfil all the responsibilities as a woman? Why does everyone consider MANHOOD as a synonym of responsibility?”
She was right in a sense. Don’t we casually say to girls, ‘Aaj tune ladko wala kaam kiya hai. Shabbash! (Well done! You were as good as a man)’?
Think again and this time think from her perspective. She is your daughter, and she wants to be treated as a daughter. She isn’t a son and she even doesn’t want to become one. Why should she? Why would she like to be called a son? Doesn’t she hold her own identity?
Whatever she does, she does it because she can do it. She isn’t here to prove her superiority over males.
Why can’t a girl do job? Why can’t she earn a livelihood for the family? Why can’t she do outside chores?
She can do everything without a second doubt. Then, why do we encourage her for the efforts by comparing her to a son? We aren’t encouraging her; we are just playing another card of discrimination.
Even the girls become happy hearing that they became the ‘son’ of their homes. This isn’t appreciation, you have lost an identity for yourself and all other girls trying to make a distinct identity.
Look around and you’ll also find those couples who say, “Arre beti hui to kya, achi baat hai. Bas ek ladka ho jaye to parivar poora ho jaye (So what if a girl is born? That’s great news. Now, if a baby boy is born, our family will complete).”
Why? Why isn’t a family complete as soon as a baby was born? The day she was born, she became an integral part of the family (and not complementary to a baby boy).
This whole concept is bullshit. We shouldn’t be comparing the ability or efforts of the daughters and sons. They are both fulfilling their responsibilities and making their families proud.
To all the women reading this, stop comparing yourself to men and their efforts. What you are doing is equivalent to the efforts of every person on this earth.
To all the men reading this, let’s go ahead and tell the world that we shouldn’t be compared to each other.