I was a small girl and me and my mom had gone to visit my aunt who had just given birth to a little baby girl. I was really excited to be meeting a baby girl for the first time as I only had a little brother for a sibling. I was happy, but I found my aunt was not so happy for a mom who had been blessed with a baby recently. I tried to ask my mom. But she told me to ‘shh’. I found other women empathizing with my aunt. I was astounded. That scene had built a strong mental picture in my brain. Of course, I only later came to know why these women, my aunt and my mom were behaving so differently.
Girls are considered ‘curse’, a ‘bad omen’ in my society. However it is totally irony that we worship goddesses. The biggest festival of our country ‘Bada Dashain’ as we call it celebrates the victory of Goddess ‘Durga’ over demon ‘Maisashur’. Still women frighten and fear with despair on the possibility of having a girl child as her first child. More I grew more I started to notice differences made by people regarding gender. As I stepped onto womanhood, I was again told to ‘shh’ when I tried to speak up about ‘menstruation’ the taboo that it is considered in our society. I was surprised that after hitting womanhood, we ‘women’ were also referred to as ‘hot’, ‘sexy’ and many other beautiful beautiful but not so beautiful words. Having just stepped into puberty, I did not realized the meaning of those words and little did I knew what measurement ’36-24-26’ meant for. Now that I am a young woman who is pursuing Bachelors degree in Business Administration, I am still told to ‘shh’ when I discuss my future plans of pursuing an international MBA degree abroad “ALONE”. And by alone, I mean not married. It is surprising that in this present 21st century when we are advocating for the cause of ‘Women Empowerment’, we still consider that a girl, a women is not capable, not strong enough financially and mentally even to pursue a educational degree abroad. We want our girls to be educated, to achieve something in life but at the same time we want to see them married and having kids by 28.
All the ‘shhes’ and hushes that I have been on the receiving end of have inspired me to say proudly that Yes, I am a girl and I am capable. Girls are the ones that carry a light of hope towards mankind. Girls are the one who shows the miracle of life. And if we girls can handle period cramps and delivery pain as pros which we do, then I think we are capable of doing anything, we are born to lead.
And if my aunt and many other women are still in remorse, if they fear to smile or to be happy on the most beautiful day of their lives ‘A day from which they embark upon the beautiful journey of motherhood’ just so because they have given birth to a baby girl as her first child, I seriously worry!!
All the ‘shh’, All the ‘hushes’, All the ‘no’s’, Why?
Because they wanted a boy!!