I have a son, now 8 years old. From the time I knew I was pregnant, I wished, wished & wished for a girl child. I had my reasons. Yes, I could dress her in pretty clothes, and there was the general belief that girls would be more loving. But there was a stronger reason. Often termed a rebel by many, I wanted to raise a girl with the belief and confidence that this life is hers to live the way she chooses to; encourage her to be proud of her dreams, her body, her choices. A right, a freedom denied to many of us while growing up. I have faced many gender-specific restrictions, from family and institutions. I have seen other girls face severe versions of it too. I wanted to try and encourage at least my girl to live life without the fears, reservations and discriminations of being a girl.
The moment came and the doctor told me, “it’s a boy”. Even in that exhausted, half-drowsy state, I remember my disappointment. I was shattered and let me tell you it took me weeks to recover. I felt disappointment. I felt frustration. But soon, all of that was forgotten. Diapers, baby tantrums, etc took over, and I was a happy mom to my son.
But today, I have realised that contrary to what I believed, the girls are actually doing fine. They are conquering heights, following their dreams, travelling the world, living life on their terms, speaking up for the right things and celebrating the girl in them. It is the BOYS who NEED HELP. It is the boys who need to GET A LIFE. It is the boys who need to get responsible about their body, their choices, their actions.
We have had people say, ‘Oh, she’s a tomboy, one of the boys’. Not any more! Now, we need boys who are just as strong and sensible as girls; boys who don’t think ‘opportunity’ when they see a girl walking alone in clothes of her choice; boys who don’t think they have the right to pull down their zipper anytime, anywhere their hormones act up; boys who aren’t afraid of a girl’s success. I hope to raise a boy who is ‘strong, secure, sensible, confident & cool...just like the girls’. The girls have it right already, the boys have miles to catch up. Let's raise our boys to be worthy of every girl's respect.