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An Open Letter from Every Other Girl in the World

Dear society,

You have been influencing my life for quite some time now. Everything I do, everything I say, is kept on a platter for you to judge. Sometimes, even when not required. No, I am not being critical of you. I am too diminutive to question your credibility. I just want you to go easy on me.

Yes, I make mistakes; and quite often, truth be told. But isn’t it quite natural for me to deviate from my determined path every now and then, just like my chromosomal counterpart? Then why be so harsh on me? Don’t get me wrong – I am not accusing you! But don’t you think the weight of your judgement is quite unbalanced? I need freedom too. I want to breathe a critique-free air too.

Don’t tag me as ‘easily available’ when I wear hot pants, skirts or dresses; I wear them not to please you. Don’t tell me I am trying to attract unwanted attention; I wear them for my comfort. Don’t tell me I am not appropriately dressed or not decent enough; I very well know how to guard my decency. My clothes are not a mirror to my character!

Don’t eye me suspiciously if I have a tattoo or two on my body; I may be the most respectful woman you know. Don’t look at me disapprovingly if I have my navel pierced; it may well be a secret fancy of an otherwise unadventurous girl. Don’t judge me if I go out with a boy, he may be just a friend.

Don’t you think am judged too much?

If my hair’s dyed purple, it doesn’t mean I have gone wayward; if I party on Saturdays, it doesn’t mean I am careless; if I am outspoken, it doesn’t mean I am coarse.

I am much more beyond your tags.

On the flipside of it, don’t tell me am timid if I don’t speak out my mind quite often, I might well be rebellious. Don’t tell me am old-fashioned and boring just because I dress simply. My clothes are not the deciding factor for my nature. Don’t tell me am fragile just because I am quiet; I may have a volcano ready to erupt inside me. I may appear simple and boring, but don’t make the mistake of judging a book by its cover; I may have a spark inside me ready to erupt into a light-emitting fire!

Don’t tell me am not capable, just because YOU think am not strong, I may be able to endure more than an average man. Give me a chance to prove myself. Don’t be incredulous of me. Don’t think of me as something which needs fervent protecting and restrictions. Don’t think of me as some ‘thing’, consider me as someone! Don’t bind me with your rules and restrictions. I am a bird who wishes to fly. I do not like to be caged – it may be a golden cage, but I don’t like it. Don’t domesticate me!

Don’t underestimate me! I can be a doctor, I can be a journalist, I can be an engineer, or even a plumber, electrician, mechanic or even a wrestler. I have the skills, I have the brains, I have the strength. Don’t suffocate me with your assumptions.

I can be soft and warm in the face of a mother, I may be the forgiving and compassionate Mother Teresa, but don’t take me for granted. I am Kali, I am Durga – I am Rani Laxmibai as well! I can be fierce if need be.

I can be anything but a victim of your censure. Don’t create barriers for me. Instead of confining your daughters, educate your sons. Instead of controlling your daughters, civilise your sons. The basic biological fundamentals of your daughters are not much different than your daughters – just a difference of ‘Y chromosome’. One chromosomal difference aggravated to a difference of two worlds – a man’s world and a woman’s world, all because of you, my dear society!

Don’t call me a man-hating feminist if I say all this, I just fight for my own freedom.

This is a humble request to you, the overpowering society and its inhabitants: Let me live my existence and not just breathe through it. Set me free, set me free, set me free!

 

Yours truly,

The Average Girl Next Door

 

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Shefali Banerji

http://www.instagram.com/weaving_poetry

Image Source: Internet

 

 

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