By Chhavi Bajaj
Because being a girl is not an insult. Not a weakness.
I recently came across an advertisement on the television about how being #LikeAGirl is seen as an insult by 1 in every 2 girls. That powerful advertisement made me think.
And as I sat alone in my room, only one thought came into my mind. Why is being a girl considered a weakness?
I wondered why it never came to my mind before. I recalled my personal experiences with my male friends and how they insulted each other by saying “ye toh ladkiyon ki tarah khelta hai”, “ladkio ki tarah mat ro” and what not.
The lessons of patriarchy start when we are kids, from ‘Girls are not strong enough’ and ‘Girls cannot be into sports’ to ‘Girls cannot drive’ and ‘Girls cannot be in charge’.
As we grow older, the lessons change to ‘Girls can’t go out at night’ and ‘Girls can’t wear short clothes’ to ‘Girls need a man to survive’ but ‘Girls can’t have sex before marriage’.
These ideas are so deeply internalised that we don’t even realize the sexism in phrases like ‘Like A Girl’ and ‘Be A Man’ unless someone specifically points it out.
Just thinking about our society and its hypocrisy infuriates me. On one hand, ‘women empowerment’ and ‘independence of women’ has become a cool thing to say.
While on the other hand, the same women are mocked and ridiculed at every step because their independence poses a threat to the male dominant society.
And the people who despise them are not as rare as one would think. They are our friends, our family, and sometimes, even ourselves. Because patriarchy has made us so ignorant that we unknowingly support victim shaming, rape culture, body shaming, and misogyny.
Today, when Feminism is finally getting the attention it deserves, make a change. It is not enough to share a Women Empowerment photo or video on social media. Do something about it. Believe that girls are just as powerful as boys. Dare to defy the hypocrites and sexists around you. Empower yourself and every girl around you. Not every girl is a damsel in distress who needs a Prince Charming to save her. She can save herself.
What we now require is to unlearn these set notions.
What we now require is to neutralize the way we bring up the future generation which shouldn’t follow a different set of rules for boys and girls.
Let not your sex become an insult or a matter of pride as that is none of what you have done for yourself.
Your gender/sex does not give you the ticket to play the victim, nor does it give you a privilege.
Like a girl.
With contribution from Navneet Arora
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.