Before dwelling into the topic and expressing my thoughts I would like to ask something.
What comes to your mind when I say SIT LIKE A GIRL.
Are you trying to elongate your spine maintaining your posture and putting one leg above
the other? Or are you trying to stick both of your legs from thighs to feet in such a way that not a single ray of light can pass through it? If you are trying to do this then you must know the problem erupts from this very point. Many of us have been told to behave in a particular manner. A manner that adheres to the societal norm. Being a girl I have always been directed by some or the other.
Don' t walk like this, walk LIKE A GIRL. What are you wearing, dress up LIKE A GIRL, dress up like a ‘DECENT GIRL’ Don't laugh loudly, talk politely LIKE A GIRL. Don't sit while having your legs spread, sit LIKE A GIRL. Don’t wear too much make-up. Don’t be so strong headed; what’s with having an opinion on everything? GIRLS SHOULDN’T DO THAT. When it comes to boys this sentence suddenly grasps a different meaning. For a better understanding I'll be giving examples about people close to me.
My brother was jogging in the field. While jogging his waist and the pelvic coordinated and moved like a pendulum. I know you must be imagining this or doing it right now to see if yours does the same. My cousin pointed at him and laughed saying, 'hey, stop jogging like a girl' ; How convenient LIKE A GIRL now sounds like an abuse. It occurs to one that doing anything like a girl is not manly. Whether having love for pink, expressing emotions or learning dance forms like Kathak or belly. Of course many will say that these activities are feminine. And that, there, is the very problem.
My question is who told you this? Who laid down these rules that doing something like a girl by a girl is manner building but for a boy it becomes shameful. And most importantly, who is this girl in ‘Like a Girl’, is she your definition of a subservient girl on her journey to become a victim of and later contribute to patriarchy?
There is only a biological difference that exists between men and women. All the other
differences that create a large gap between the sexes are societal constructs. Patriarchy has such a strong hold that it has deteriorated the thinking of both the men and women.
Gender roles are a neatly knitted web, one that has spread with time like a tumour.
If I'll have my head shaved, wear a men's shirt and start working is this going to be the end of the world? If men started wearing pink, did household chores, cried whenever the hell they want to, will the sun rise and set in different directions? Will all of this lead to revolving of the earth rather than rotating? The answer as we all know is NO.
Feminism never taught us to swap duties rather it suggested for mixing of duties, or rather an equal share of it. It's not the society that decides your capabilities but you do it for yourself. If you want to join the army go and do it. Being a boy if you want to learn belly dancing, go and do it.
If one really wants to bring revolution then the next time when you tell your girl child to
learn to do the household chores don't forget to ask the same of your son. Change has to begin within the four walls of your home and it has to begin young.
-Anjali, An optimistic thinker who wants to travel to find stories in those unlived places.
Going inches by inches to challenge societal norms but still waiting for my farewell .