I don’t remember the first time I heard these words.. (usually followed by – “You should/shouldn’t/can/can’t”). Conveyed mostly with self-righteous zeal, often with a smug tone, a smidgeon of ‘concern’ and always always unsolicited. “You’re a girl” has been suffixed with many a gem of patriarchal wisdom and, of course, “Indian culture”. J
Some absolute winners I (and girls I know) have heard over the years:
- You’re a girl.. you should know how to cook
- You’re a girl, you can’t use ‘bad words’
- You’re a girl, don’t argue with (obnoxious) elders
- You’re a girl, no sleepovers for you (said a dad to his 21-year-old daughter)
- You’re a girl, why are your parents spending so much on your education?
- You’re a girl, you smoke/drink? I thought you’re “decent” (said the guy on his second drink)
- You’re a girl, are you allowed to wear skirts or dresses?
- You’re a girl, of course you need not do the karwa chauth, just ask if your in-laws are ok with it
- You’re a girl.. brilliant career or fulfilling family –pick one
- You’re a girl.. I don’t care if you have exams tomorrow, get started on dinner
- You’re the girl, why’re you making your husband do the dishes?
- You’re a girl.. here, let me explain this investment plan to your dad/husband
As corporates, HR departments and greeting card companies all over the world celebrate Women’s Day this year, various platitudes will be composed to pay homage to “the strength of a woman”. Resolutions will be taken to honour, protect and respect her.
All I ask is, please, for f&*k’s sake, STOP SAYING “You’re a girl”. I will not do/say things BECAUSE I am a girl. But just because I AM .