Dear boys and men,
As a girl, I might not completely understand what you go through, but as men, you too might not completely know the magnitude what we, as women, go through too. It’s really easy to think that one is superior because they’ve been told that they are that, from the beginning. It takes guts to challenge that. Do you have the guts to do that?
These are my suggestions on how to treat/understand/empower girls/women.
1. Don’t assume we just live for marriage, don’t assume we are alive just for bearing children, we are not empowering ourselves for competition, we just want to breathe. We don’t want to be judged by things we can’t do, why is it that the worst insults you use are all based on feminine body-parts or based on just being a ‘girl’? (It’s not about how things have ‘always been’. It’s about WHY do you have to carry it into the future?)
2. We don’t want to be the ‘worst thing’ for you. We’re not insults, we’re humans too. Don’t assume we’re weak, or helpless or docile, just because we all don’t lift weights or harass you as you walk down the street for fun.
3. We’re not weak if we cry ‘too much’, why is crying associated with just women or even a ‘weak’ woman? Why is expressing what you feel like is ‘weak’? Why is being sensitive a ‘women’ thing? Why is that degrading?
4. Why is loving feminine things a degrading thing? Don’t assume that girls who despise loving feminine things are just a ‘higher form’ of females. Don’t insult other women just to praise one.
5. We’re not ‘too’ emotional, we’re humans. Please don’t forget that. No, we can’t endure much more than you. We have limits. We are breakable and so are you. So are you.
6. Just because we don’t raise our hands to smack your head into a wall when we’re mad, doesn’t mean we’re weak. Don’t treat us like we’re goddesses, we’re not that unbreakable. We’re humans. We’re just asking you to treat us like one. Every time you catch yourself saying or thinking of saying something to a female that starts with, “Well, you’re a girl so…” just stop and evaluate your words and your mindset. Just stop and evaluate. Were you really going to depreciate someone because of who they were born as?
7. Even if you can’t possibly understand what being a female is like, just try to imagine this.
8. Try imagining what would it be like, if you were just judged on what you LOOK like, like you’re entire worth, just from a look?
9. Imagine hearing your gender as an insult every time someone opened their mouth to insult somebody?
10. Imagine being made to feel WORTHLESS and useless and degraded because of just something you are?
11. Imagine being told that you can’t do SOMETHING, just because of who you are. Just for that reason. Imagine being seen as an object to dominate, to fuck, to kill. And nothing more.
12. Imagine being treated and viewed as something for mere pleasure. Nothing more.
13. Imagine being thought of as replaceable.
14. Imagine not having the choice to having a choice at all.
15. Imagine screaming at everyone to tell you that you’re more than your gender.
16. Imagine living wishing you were something else just so you could breathe.
17. Raising your voice for us isn’t being ‘unmanly’. Giving respect and privacy to us isn’t degrading yourself.
18. You are being a decent human being. Don’t underestimate us just because that’s what you’ve been told to do so.
19. We’re not more or less than you.
20. You don’t have to stand on our throat and crush us to prove how ‘strong’ you are. Don’t tell us we’re inferior just because we’re ‘different’ from you. We’re not. We’re really not that different.
The thing is, we’ll be understood if we begin to understand each other first. We’ll have to give equality to get it. Both, men and women, face tragic consequences of these discriminations. Both suffer violence, harassments from the other gender. BOTH OF THEM. The statistics may tip in the favour of one gender, but doesn’t mean that the other gender has to be overlooked. Both genders are EQUAL. We just have to make sure we GET there. This place where this is a fact, not a debate.
We’re all too preoccupied to dissolve the differences that don’t matter, but are ignoring that we aren’t different in the aspects that actually matter. We all feel love equally, we all feel pain equally. We’re all guilty for something, we all carry regrets heavier than what we’re supposed to. Our genders DON’T matter. We are so much more than what we ARE.
Instead of fighting about the differences, why don’t we spend time enjoying and cultivating the similarities?
I’m just so tired of all the fighting. All the screams, all the shouts, all the bitter laughter, all the snickering insults. Just all of it. The pointing of fingers. And all I can ask is WHY?
Everybody, men or women, is fighting for their place in this world. Why persecute each other for things that don’t really matter? We’re so busy putting each other down for their flaws and drawbacks instead of enhancing the good and essential contribution we all could make to each other. We all deserve to be defined by what we do, how we speak, what we think, rather than what we ARE. When will the day arrive when we’ll be free of this debate of whose shell is stronger and superior than the other?
What good will come of all of this? Why can’t all of us be free? Why can’t all of us be equals? Why can’t we all just live like we’re one and the same? We all have two eyes, two ears, same organs, same number of fingers and legs. We all bleed if we’re cut. We all cry when someone we love dies. Why do we insist on having instructions for living? When will we all be free?
Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says.