I have a big family on my paternal side. My dad has 4 brothers, 2 sisters and a lot of cousins.
While both of my aunts have sons, there's a coincidental pattern visible with almost all the brothers in the family. Three of the brothers (including my dad) have an elder daughter and then a son.
When my youngest uncle and his wife were expecting their second born, I had a funny notion that it would turn out to be a girl. And it did. :) When I happily announced it to my parents on how I always felt that they would have a girl, my mom smiled and said - "That's such a sweet thing. If only some other people would think so. Don't share this with your uncle and his family, sweety. Apparently, they were expecting a 'boy'. "
I didn't understand the real issue back then.
Years later, when I started working and became a financially independent adult in my family, a relative complimented my parents on how lucky they were to have not one but 2 sons.
I beamed with pride at the comment. I felt proud and happy at myself. I felt ecstatic on being able to help my parents financially and being applauded for it.
Today, when I think of that comment my relative made, I feel "disgusted" and "insulted".
Recently, a much-hyped and talked about documentary, portraying a rape incident of 2012, was released and aired all over the world except in India. I watched how some men, belonging to our country, conveyed opinions of how women need to "behave" in society.
After seeing the documentary, I cried and ached not only for the rape victim but also for the numerous other girls and women who have been similar victims and still continue to be.
I felt anger and anguish on how these men shared such bold views on television with no remorse whatsoever. I even watched a couple of these men debate in a news programme thereafter to justify why they said those controversial statements and how all those statements are true even today. While the documentary just gave us a peek of the real issue there are hundred others who would gladly agree and share similar patriarchal views.
As a woman, all I want to say today is - I don't need a male counterpart to benchmark my achievements of life. I don't want any appreciations in comparison to how a male would do it.
I am a woman,
I am happy the way I do things,
The way it is meant for me.
My life is my own
And not for others to judge.
And least of all, it's definitely not for those who think a woman, who achieves bigger milestones in life, has magically acquired powers meant only for men and is therefore great.
Maybe that's the reason ever since I was a child, barely old enough to understand society and it's weird norms, I have wished and wanted to have a girl child of my own.
It's time we abolished all age old quotes praising males over females.
It's time we changed our primitive thinking to not always want a male child.
It's time we cherished our daughters for all their achievements and sacrifices in life.
Going forward, if a person ever judges a woman on why she can never be equal to a man, we just need to commend the person for having said the truth.
"Yes, a woman is never equal to a man because she is so much more than what a man is or will ever be. There is nothing a woman can't do that a man can and yet there is so much a man can't do that a woman can."