For most of the men I’ve had in my life – from my father, uncles, brothers, most friends and boyfriends – there has been one thing in common with them all. Strangely enough they’ve tried to inculcate this one emotion into me – fear. No matter what the situation has been, they’ve always asked me to be scared or have a problem because most often, according to them, I’ve been too fearless for a girl. Whether anyone believes it or not, the only person in this world, who has taught me to be myself and do/react however I want to, has been my mother.
I don’t understand how and why, most of the men who have meant something to me, have tried their best, in whichever way possible to imbibe this emotion that I truly don’t relate to. I am not stupid, I definitely don’t do things that are not practical or harmful, but minus that, I do not understand why I should or shouldn’t react to situations the way I do because I am not a boy! From getting off on the road and regulating traffic to giving a piece of my mind to a tenant who’s torturing my mother – if I think something is wrong, why should my gender stop me?
It hit me yesterday, again, when I was asked by a certain very important man in my life, to fear the situation I was in. “That’s no way to talk to him… you’re a girl!” and that’s what got my blood boiling. I’ve never understood why me, a girl, needs to be afraid of people just because I don’t have more testosterone in my body.
As a child it was my father who didn’t let us do quite a lot of things because ‘we’, my sister and I, were girls – and I grew with this constant fight at home, where my mother was the pillar who managed us permission for doing it because she didn’t consider us any less than sons. Stupid things like joining HPS in my 11 th and 12 th , or going out for a party after sunset, with boys – were issues! And all this was coming to me from the most important man in my life – and why?? Because I was a girl! He didn’t think I could manage myself in a co-ed school or take care of my character at a party.
My argument has never been about why I can’t do it – my only question is: If you can, why can’t I? Things that shouldn’t be done by either of us are the valid ones. But if you’re allowed to do something because YOU were born a boy and I can’t because I am not – is what I’m against.
It was only because of these men in my life that I actually realised what a hero my mother has been in my life, and I am truly grateful to her for being herself. She brought me up just like she would have raised her son, with the assurity of being there by my side, through everything. And of course, for not putting this demon called ‘fear’ in me only because I am a ‘girl’.