Dear Society, Stop Telling Women How They Should Live Their Lives!

Women have to go through a lot every day. India, where every woman is worshiped as a goddess, is the same place where girls are burnt for dowry, killed in the womb for being a girl, where rapes are as common as a road accident, and where girls are not supposed to go out of their home at late-night hours.

In my town Alwar, Rajasthan, a place where girls and women feel vile and impure for bleeding once in a month, girls are not supposed to enter the temples and kitchens while they’re menstruating. They have to wash their hair on the third day of their period. Nobody cares whether you are well or not. One more thing, girls can’t utter words like pads, periods, etc.

So, when I topped my 12th board exams, I decided to take admission in the University of Delhi. However, the moment I told my relatives who live in Delhi about this, things changed. They tried every single thing to stop me from coming to Delhi. I tried to make them understand, but failed. I chose to hide everything and took admission without informing my relatives. They got very angry when they came to know about it. It was disheartening for my parents. It was not easy for them to fight with every relative when they asked them to stop me from doing this ‘drama’.

“Listen, you can’t say a word like ‘yaar’. This is unladylike. Don’t wear this dress. It’s very short. Don’t be late. Do whatever you want to do. But remember, if anything happens, we won’t help you,” my aunt used to say.

Why are the rules for boys and girls so different in our society?

So, when I boarded the metro for the first time alone, I was in the general coach. There was a huge crowd. A man deliberately touched my breast. My voice was gone. My whole body was shivering with fear. Instead of shouting and yelling at him, I got down at the next station. I couldn’t gather the courage to tell anyone about this.

I couldn’t bear any more. I started fighting. This approach didn’t work for a long time. It’s been two years in Delhi, but my relatives still can’t stop nagging.

Why are we expected to grow up like this? One minute you can be childish, and the next minute, you are expected to be an adult. Why are the rules for boys and girls so different? All the boys are expected to get a job. They should start saving and help out the family. They should get ready to look after a family of their own. But they should have all the fun. Because “Yeh age or time wapas nahi aata (you won’t get this age and time back).” And, the rest will be looked after by their ‘educated’, but ready-to-give-up-her-career and stay-at-home wife.

Why is it so difficult to make people understand that girls can take their own decisions!

It is okay to not get married.

It is okay to not know how to cook.

Menstruation is a natural process.

A bahu and maid are not the same.

Ladkiyon ki bhi ek hi zindagi hoti hai (girls also get only one life to live)”

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