So What if I am a Girl Child?
This post was selected by Blogadda as their for the last week of 2009 🙂 Click on the icon to read more about it.
While commenting on a post by IHM on whether parents should make adequate investments for their future or be dependent on their off springs, I remembered something, which I had told my mom some time back. My mom was generally remarking about the fact how lonely she would become, if I leave home, either for job or after marriage and I had told her that I want her and dad to come and stay with me. She was perfectly fine with it, as long as it was for a job; but she told me that the same would be difficult in the case of marriage.
After all, you are a girl child! It won’t look nice if the girl’s parents are staying with her and her in-laws!
In my usual way, I started “So what I am a girl child? If my husband’s family can stay with me, why can’t you two stay with my husband? Why can’t both the sets of parents stay together?” But we did not end up discussing it further and the issue lay buried then.
Its strange how so many stereotypes are imposed by the society on the girl child. And to each and every one of them, I feel like telling
So What if I am a Girl Child?
1. If I am expected to take care of my in-laws, why am I not permitted to take care of my own parents, whose only child I am?
I do not subscribe to the school of thought of daughters-in-law who prefer privacy with husbands over responsibilities towards in-laws. I will very much like the shelter of elders in the family, unless of course its impossible for them to stay with us for some reason or the other. Similarly, my parents can expect my company and support in later years of their lives, in the same way they would expect from a son. Till date, I have never let them feel anything amiss just because I am a girl child. So, why things should be any different after marriage?
2. Its ok for a guy to be late from work, but why is it difficult for fathers to understand that they are not required to stay up till midnight waiting for their daughters to reach home from work? Why can’t they stop calling or messaging their daughters to find out their whereabouts the moment its past 9 pm?
My father, for instance, refuses to acknowledge my age and my grown-up status 🙂 My work demands frequent late night conferences, which are a cause of regular strife between my dad and me. He is ok with the whole thing, just that he awaits my return, even if its midnight! I remember once when I had to travel to Delhi all alone for an internship, my dad insisted on accompanying me. I fought with him for two whole days and dissuaded him from coming all the way to and fro Delhi. I hate troubling my parents for such stuff, especially I know that they would not bother with safety issues had I been a son! I eventually managed to travel alone to Delhi, and thereafter to Mumbai. I was glad that my parents had the confidence to let me travel alone.
3. Why is the Girl’s side inferior to the Guy’s side during a marriage? I understand taking care of the guests and welcoming them properly are a few of the responsibilities of the bride’s family, but why are so many other conditions attached to it?
I know someone who married her long-time boyfriend recently. So it was not even an arranged marriage where traditionally, the bride’s side is inferior in status. There is a ritual in Bengali marriages known as exchange of “twatto” meaning gifts. The close relatives of the bride and the groom are given gifts by either side of family.
I overheard a conversation between the mother of the groom and the father of the bride:
M: We had asked for 28 cotton saris and 15 silk saris; you have given us only 14 silk saris.
F: Oh! That was a genuine mistake; we are sorry. We shall carry the one silk sari when we come for the reception.
M: No, no, there’s no need for that; we shall buy that silk sari today since we have to give it to the aunt of the grandmother today only; she is not staying back for the reception. Please don’t take any trouble of buying the sari. Its absolutely fine.
I was wondering how the father of the bride was feeling at that point of time. And in every such situation, I shudder to think that
I too, am a girl child.