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Girl Things and Boy Things…

It so happened once that one of my boy cousins had forgotten to pack his shoes when visiting us. I happened to have a spare pair of brown shoes which I offered to loan to him for that day. His response was astounding.

“Chi! These are girl shoes! I won’t wear them!”

And they weren’t even pink.

It did not matter to him that a total stranger on the road, not acquainted with our circumstances, will not guess that the shoes he is wearing belong to a girl; it was the fact that he himself had possession of that knowledge that irked him the most.

Likewise, there are times when I am capable of doing a job, but am denied that chance simply because I’m a girl. There might be numerous shopping bags to carry, exceeding the capacity of  my brother’s two arms and still I would  not be allowed to help the poor boy.

They would say, “Being a boy, you should learn to do all this and become strong.” And against my will I’d have to witness him lugging three bags in each hand up two flights of stairs, while I follow with one measly bag, despite being able to carry the same amount.

Although my nucleated family is quite modern, it is not so with my extended relatives. All gatherings of cousins over holidays see the girls helping with the cooking and washing and mopping and sweeping and clothes- drying and whatnot, while the boys are fawned over and attended to.

Imagine my vicious glee when one of my uncles decided enough was enough, and when the washing machine broke down, flooding the house with soapy water, ordered all the boys to mop it up while the girls watched them with ice cream sundaes. Oh, they blew it off and said, “How hard can it be?” until they were slipping around on the floor, struggling furiously to drag the mop across the floor in one smooth motion.

There are no such things as “girl” things and “boy” things.

If you can lift weights and ride a motorcycle, so can I.

If I can cook and accessorize, then so can you.

If I can be “boyish” then you can be “girlish”.

If I can be what I am, then so can everyone.


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'Girl Things and Boy Things…' have 2 comments

  1. August 5, 2014 @ 11:02 pm Radhika

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Shradhaa; may you continue to fight for you believe is right and wrong; and help educate others as well that anything ‘Boys can do; Girls Can Do ( Better) 😉 : you know what I mean..
    I remember the classic example we were told in our teens, my friends and I that girls are much stronger than boys.
    When we were old enough to start menstruating, and began to make more frequent trips to the hair dressers – my friends and I came to the conclusion that the concept ‘boys are stronger than girls’ is infact a myth!
    I wonder at what age boys think they can’t wear pink! As a teacher of a preschool, a lot of my little boys like the colour pink ! One even insisted on wearing his little sisters socks to school, because they were pink and his weren’t.
    Today for example a boy came to school with nailpolish on his hands, just because he wanted to wear it.
    And though I greeted him with a great big smile when he proudly showed them to me, i couldn’t help but think there would be others who would have told him, he can’t wear it !
    Alas there are somethings that girls can do that boys aren’t meant to, but I enjoyed witnessing little boys follow their own hearts, before they are told , they can’t do something, because only girls do them!

    Reply

    • August 6, 2014 @ 4:54 pm Shradhaa

      Do you know how they say we go through two childhoods- the real one and old age? Boys are like that. They are free and unencumbered by these meaningless restrictions when they are young and innocent. Then they transcend into adolescence with the new found knowledge that forbids them from certain colors and habits. And then they will grow up and revert to their childhood ways of “if I want it I can do it no matter what”. Ah, the time they waste in between… :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts Radhika. :)

      Reply


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