A substantial number of people in our society perceive modern Indian girls as a threat to our social and cultural fabric. They think that in their quest for equality, independence and a better quality of life, girls are leaving behind virtues which society expects them to uphold. In fact, girls with the label of being forward are also branded as irresponsible, insensitive and indecent. People also accuse them of trying to imitate boys’ carefree lifestyle, concentrating more on enjoying life than upholding cultural values.
It’s laughable that what is touted as carefree behaviour of one gender, becomes an issue of morality for another. Who is going to tell them that it’s this perception which is at the root of so many problems that we are facing today as a society. Also, is there nothing more to a girl’s life, than being a flag-bearer of values and ideal conduct? Must people consistently shame them for pursuing a career or higher education? For taking care of their lifestyle, fitness and future?
Stop shaming girls for doing what is right for them
It is every girl’s right to strive for equality and end of bias in our society
She is right if she wants to pursue higher education and get a suitable job. It is any day better than chasing a boy with the said profile, and then spending your life wondering what your life could have been, had you chased your own dreams instead. What is not right is to label her quest for equality and branding her liberal attitude as shameful and culturally demeaning.
- Many people shame modern girls for being self-centred and refusing to uphold centuries old cultural values which are handed down to them.
- Is a girl immoral or bold, just because she cares about her education, career and individual future?
- Must girls sacrifice their quest for equality and liberation because it leaves poor men helpless and uncared for?
- If people expect girls to be subservient in this day and age, then it is they who are wrong.
An essay called “The Modern Girl” reflects the backward mentality which Indian girls have to struggle against everyday. This piece of fine literature has found its place in a CBSE-intended essay book. People are sharing it on social media, amused not just at its repulsive portrayal of a modern girl, but also because we all know that a disturbingly large part of our population will agree with it. This essay basically criticises girls for aiming to enjoy life like boys do. According to it, the definition of being a modern girl is to be vain and self-centred. It says how in quest stay fit and beautiful, a modern girl has no time to look after the needs of the other members of her family.
What a disgusting definition of modern girl! Students should unlearn this if already they have learned from the book. pic.twitter.com/MONJdSFbkh
— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) August 21, 2018
But this masterpiece doesn’t just stop at accusing girls of playing sports meant for boys. Or taking up jobs meant for boys. It goes on to accuse their parents for their bold and self-centred nature. “A girl child should be guided how to behave at home, at school and with others from her early age.” Which basically means that giving girls too much freedom makes them unsuitable.
An adarsh balika must spend her time serving her brother or husband…Picking their dirty clothes from floor, handing them glasses of water and putting familial and social demands before their own wishes
Whether people like it or not, girls have better things to do than that, and why not? If people expect girls to be subservient in this day and age, then it is they who are wrong. Disguising misogyny as moral policing has done nothing but reduced females to sub-human levels in our society. It has given boys a sense of entitlement. It has also raised a tendency for aggression and recklessness among them. Instead of expecting girls to adjust and comply, it is time to do the same from our boys. That boys and girls are different but equal is something which everyone must accept.
Because modern Indian girls won’t give up on their aspirations of liberty and a better life. Not after coming so far in the quest of a society which functions on virtues of gender equality. They are done with centuries of adjusting and restraining just to keep everyone happy. They will now do what is good for their well-being and boys who understand will support them, instead of trying to hold them back. For the rest who refuse to adapt to the changing ways of modern world, the prospects don’t look bright. Because those who refuse to adapt go extinct.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.