A girl turns into a woman when she gets married, while a boy is born a man. How society puts this irrational belief forward as a logical argument every time a girl demands a little freedom or independence is simply pathetic. “You do you once you are married,” says the excessively caring (read: orthodox) parents.
Why is ‘once married’ their sole concern? It is because they would then no longer be accountable for her actions; it would be the man she’ll get married to. My friend has been told to not rent a flat or stay in a girls’ PG just because she’s not old enough to take such big step (she is 23). Not to my surprise, her mother said that she’ll do whatever her sons suggest her regarding her daughter’s matter. As expected, my friend’s brothers refused and asked her to clear her CMA exams first.
This typical behaviour where male members of the family are empowered to take decisions for a woman’s life is awful and appalling. As far as I can recall, rarely is a woman given the free choice to decide for herself: be it her clothes, her career and of course, her husband. When I asked my friend “Why don’t you speak up?,” she said: “Being the youngest kid, that too after two elder brothers, speaking up has never been an easy path.” I am amazed by the irony that it’s our family that makes this world a difficult place for us to live in, instead of making it simpler. Is there any end to this or is this battle an endless one?
I remember being a kid and hoping that things would change in the forthcoming 10 years, but it’s been five years already and nothing has changed. Does our society feel any need to change or are we trying in vain? Whenever we think we are independent and mature enough to take our own decisions, there comes the ultimate weapon to smash our expectations once and for all: marriage.
My friend’s mother said to my friend that she’ll stay in their house for whatever time is left for her before she gets married (26 years to be precise). “You’ll be here only till your education comes to an end” is the phrase small town people use to indirectly say that they’ll find us a suitable boy by that time. The only time girls are understood to be women is when they are up for marriage and needless to say, when it’s arranged and not a love marriage.
On the contrary, my friend’s brother had been living in a flat since his graduation days. He’s the same brother who said that she should first clear her exams before talking about living on her own. Could they be more hypocrite? Many women refuse to speak up against such discrimination just because they can’t hurt their parents and sometimes, they simply dismiss it by saying that their parents are just caring and concerned.
This is not the concern a woman in this fast-moving world needs. Be a little less concerned, if that is the case. Let girls ‘turn into women’ when they want to. Don’t make it tough for them by saying, “If you are not happy with the given freedom, then pack your bags and come back.” This parenting is not helpful. It’s high time we witness a change in the remaining five years and raise our voice and bring change.
Hopefully, it would get easy for someone, someday.