Have you ever tried to feel that stress prevailing outside a labour room or a maternity OT? Ever tried to listen to those silent lips but exceedingly loud minds, and ever noticed those fine lines on numerous foreheads? Very stupid question! Yes, we all have at some point or the other! But, have you ever tried to find out the different possible reasons behind the same? Well…let me provide you with a few potent options you can tick on as an answer.
- The lady inside is extremely unwell and both her families can’t afford to lose a wife, a daughter in law, a daughter, a sister and a lot more relationships, most importantly an integral part of their home (I meant home and not house)!
- This family has been waiting eagerly for an approximate nine months with the hope of an uneventful delivery and is badly craving to listen to that “first cry”!
- “No! I want it to be a boy and that’s all I need!”…unanimous tabs open in every mind there irrespective of their own sex!
I have absolutely no issues with the first two scenarios. It’s the third plot that draws all my attention, the simplest reason being I personally count this patriarchal protocol as one of the deadliest and the most humiliating insight of our so called “cultured” country. What can be the comprehension and logic behind such a terribly biased piece of thought still so prevalent across the Indian subcontinent? Why can’t the girl children receive an ebullient and exuberant welcome as the baby boys do? I guess the most dominant reasons would be a strong obsession for a boy as an heir (something like a trophy or a certificate of possessing a powerful sperm count as well) and considering girls as just a financial obligation or objects of pleasure/exploitation. But, do they really deserve this apathy? Are these nascent baby girls responsible for the sex they are born as and the myths attached with it? I live in a country where people worship deities (Ladies I mean), call them “celestial mothers”, impress them with religious offerings and make every attempt to honour them with oozing devoutness by even worshipping young girls (the ones who manage to survive) as incarnations of different Hindu Goddesses, pray for an issue…and then frown over the birth of a girl child; and some don’t even think twice before killing her. Can there be any better example to explain hypocrisy? But I guess the biggest irony lies in the fact that Motherhood gets abused, murdered and mocked at by a mother first, be it directly or indirectly, willingly or reluctantly and not even realizing the fact that it’s the men who unknowingly decide the sex of a child! Moreover, the sons choose to follow their mothers but they can’t choose their own daughters! YOU NEED A MOTHER BUT YOU DON’T NEED A DAUGHTER …and have these mothers ever pondered on how they have progressed towards being mothers? What if they had been killed when they were born as girls? Have these families ever tried to realize that with every single female infanticide/foeticide, they are killing a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. If all the girls on this planet perish, who will give birth, nourish and nurture, and most importantly, continue the process of bestowing life? Women are considered to be the symbols of power and peace, devotion and emotion, life and fertility and much more…but then, daughters are a strict NO! I am a woman and I feel extremely sorry while inferring this but…YES! I AM EXPOSED TO THE PATRIARCHY VOLUNTEERED BY WOMEN IN EVERY FORM, BE IT BY CHOICE OR BY THE MYTH OF HAVING NO OTHER OPTION TO CHOOSE FROM! It was since my birth what I have gradually realized and I have never failed to defy the same. Thanks to my parents who have recognized me as a human first when I was born, always loved me for who I am, taught me how to walk with my head held high and made me eligible, educated and independent enough to challenge this extensive bigotry at every point of my life rather than raising me as someone to be a part of the loop! Have you? ———— ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Payel Sarkar, our intern.