I did not choose to be a woman. I was born a woman! People are oblivious to the fact that I am a human being. I was taught to break saccharine into my father’s tea at a tender age with a bearing in mind for the future. Soon, I was taught everything with the future in mind-for the husband for the new family which would eventually own me. I am the chosen one for this somebody. I wonder what he has been taught. “Never talk back!” My mother told me when I raised questions. “Never fight back” and my father admonished me. Little did I know that these were manners to be inculcated to a girl at a young age to satisfy the husband! I wonder what he has been taught. Does he even know that he is my chosen one? Wedding Bells knocked at my door when I was 23, demanded a fair girl, a post graduate who is well qualified for household chores. “NO!” was my answer. “I would be married when I am ready when I know that that the guy is right for me” I slashed at them. To think of being a part of somebody else’s life when I haven’t started living mine is unspeakable. Whoever told you that the ultimate ambition in any woman’s life is to be married and produce progeny would probably be a man or a woman in disguise! Marriage is the beginning of problems in life and children I believe are the victims, therefore, I decided against being a mother even if I was married. Well, a husband is nothing but a grown up child and a wife can gift him pleasures that a mother can’t. Yes, call me a slut and tell me that this does not come from God. Slavery does not come from God! Dowry does not come from God! Hell broke loose. A woman has to serve a man all her life. She is made for man so that she reproduces. The rich varied and rigid culture teaches us so! My perspectives will bring me failures. My attitude is selfish and self centered. My dear parents, don’t I come from God? It was a woman like me who gave birth to a child of God on a cold December night. He gave man the power to impregnate me but HE bestowed me with the power to produce life, to rear life and raise life. “Ain’t I a woman?” a speech by Sojourner Truth shook many during her time. I wish I bore her courage, her strength to persevere during trials. The life of a woman is charity personified. I am charity myself. My wings are cut before even I can utter “no”. My identity my choices and ME are shaped by my parents, later to be molded by my husband. I am a woman and I am flexible. My presence is most felt in my absence. Without me, life isn’t worth living. Isn’t that why society encourages the man to be married to another soon after I die? I discover and venture into new paths when the man goes away. I become independent. I am overwhelmed with freedom that kills my forced dependency. I know I can be without a man because I am willing to adapt to my changes. I am charity. I have only love-love is a clichéd term. I give so much yet I do not complain when I receive so little. Being born a woman is a higher call. I long to be a man, I long to be myself, I long for a healing touch when in affliction, I long for a walk by the sea, for a companion who would throw me into the air, who wouldn’t judge me when I enjoy him in bed…Why should I suppress my thoughts? You say it isn’t for a woman but for a man to derive pleasure, to desire in the hidden curves of an unknown and then a wife. I have lost my virginity to a million men in my thoughts, well haven’t you? Too scared to talk or express I leave my thoughts of such space for this husband for whom I was trained the day I was born a woman. With forced humility I accept this higher call which I never sought… ————- ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is contributed by Sheryl Thomas, our intern. Sheryl finished her Masters in English from Pondicherry University. She writes because she can’t express otherwise. Like various other girls, she is not allowed to come out openly about certain things because it’s a taboo. But she turns out to be a fighter out of all those girls and joins hands with Respect Women to let the World know more about Violence against Women.