Story of a lost journalist

November 11, 2010

‘But I am a girl’

Filed under: My Musing Moments,People — Cris @ 02:28

The other day, I was telling my friends about moving to another city. Somewhere in the conversation, we mentioned about another friend of ours in Bombay who went there recently. And at one point I said: “But I am not like him.”
“Why” they asked.
I said: “Cause he can stay anywhere.”
“Why cant you do that?” they asked again.
“I am a girl. I could be kidnapped!”
And one of my friends said: “Ahhh finally. I am so happy and relieved to hear you say that (nee ithu paranju ketathil enikku santhoshavum samadanavum thonnunnu).”
I retorted: “But you should be sad.”

Shouldn’t they be? What is the good thing about a girl not being able to enjoy the same peace of mind as a boy? (or about a girl letting herself think so?)

My friend said this because he, like many others, considers me an utter core feminist, who wouldn’t say one word that might make a girl sound helpless. And I immediately hated myself for saying the ultimate line “but I am a girl”.

I realize it is not about what you say, but do. And I never never have to prove to anyone “how mighty and self-dependant a girl is”. No.

But somewhere along the line, it becomes a matter of conviction. Again, not words, but action could do it. Because, belief does not come without conviction, neither does acceptance.

So who needs belief, who needs acceptance? “You be your own self, and let the rest of the world go to hell”

If you think one way, what is wrong in voicing it aloud? Why do you have to speak carefully so you fit the image you want to project? As much as I’d like to say otherwise, I cant help saying this – yes you have to be careful. Not to fit an image. But there is something about conviction I place importance on. You cant convince everyone, agreed. But when or if at least one person hopes for a difference, because they look up to someone, because they see someone doing what they wish to see, you cant let them down.

It is not about being the brave one who suppresses. No. It is about the need to be all that you believe in, happen through you. And you become the smallest little negligible speck of light that finally fell upon the world. It is big, in a small way.

The lines are meaningless I know. Isn’t it funny that you find it most difficult to express what you feel most strongly about? No wonder all proposals end up messed-up tongue-tied affairs!

PS: I used the g-word (girl). But I am no young thing :-). It just seemed the right word, and the one used at the time. Us oldies have a habit of still sticking to the g-word. Cheers.



  1. ithinaanu “But a girl” vs “What a Girl!” phenomenon ennu parayunnathu.
    Ottu mikka feminist kuttikalilum athi saadhaaranamaayi kanduvarunna ee pravanathaykku njangal psychologists pseudo self-attribution complex ( 😛 ) ennu parayum.

    As the smbdy @Zyxware says, Be the Change!

    See a good doctor. 😉


    Comment by Anto — November 11, 2010 @ 08:51 | Reply

  2. Expectations Crissie ..expectations … Its a bane at times but for the sake of larger good ,shake off the ‘g’ word and lead the way ….

    Comment by gaavan — November 12, 2010 @ 00:53 | Reply

  3. Expectations Crissie ..expectations … Its a bane at times but for the sake of larger good ,shake off the ‘g’ word and lead the way ….

    Comment by Aneesh — November 12, 2010 @ 00:57 | Reply

  4. Even Henrik Ibsen agrees with you, “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view.”But I believe that the things have been changing.

    But when you let the insecurity feeling of a woman rule you, for just being born as a woman, you should never forget the name Rani Lakshmibhai, The Jhansi Rani, who never feared to be in the war-front and fight for a cause which she felt noble.

    When it comes to muscle strength, a woman may lack the strength of a man but it never makes her weaker because I believe that men are given strength to protect woman,as in Manusmrithi..
    “Pitho rakshathi kaumare
    Bharthro rakshathi yovane
    Putro rakshathi vaardhakye”

    Hope with those words, I didn’t hurt the feminist in you,

    Woman is the one who has been blessed with the ability to carry a life within her, she only have the will to sustain the suffering for the ten long months, she only have the strength to take the immense pain of giving birth, and none other than her can forget the pain she is being through and be happy at the sight of her new born.

    So don,t say,”But I am a girl”, instead scream aloud “YES, I AM A GIRL”.

    Comment by Javed Miandad — November 12, 2010 @ 12:52 | Reply

  5. @Javed,

    I dont think a few examples like Rani Lakshmi Bai can even get close to nullifying the patriarchal nature of the society – let us open our eyes and see the world. And I should strongly disagree to your views on “strength”. In a modern society, physical strength should be largely inconsequential in most matters in life. Gone are the days when the person who can overpower, rules (“Kayyookkullavan kaaryakkaaran” – if you can read malayalam). So, the idea of men having been given “extra strength to protect women” is largely unfounded. And no biases are justified by their presence in some ancient scriptures like ManuSmrithi – those were the days when the balance in society was even more lopsided.

    Comment by Deepak — November 12, 2010 @ 15:54 | Reply

    • Deepak…

      Forgive my Ignorance if I am wrong.
      What I feel is that you have very well opened your eyes and have seen the world, but it seems that you missed to listen and feel the world. But being born and living as a brother to my sister, I have very well seen, listened and understood the “But I am a girl” feeling at different stages of a girl’s life.
      Examples like Rani Lakshmi Bai may not help to nullify the patriarchal nature of the society, but can’t it be of at least some help in motivating the women to stand up and fight against the patriarchal nature of the society to bring in the change.
      What I said about the strength thing, I have mentioned it clear that “I believe..” and I am never of the opinion that my belief is always right. But I never have been hesitant to use the strength I have in all means to protect and help woman, whether it be my sister, mother or any other woman who has been in need.

      “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
      I look forward to see an evolved society, where my sister, mother, niece, or any other woman would feel safe and confident to say “YES, I AM A GIRL”.

      Comment by Javed Miandad — November 13, 2010 @ 22:13 | Reply

  6. @ cris..a well written article..tht was bad from your friend’s side to say like that..but why shld he/she may feel happy when you say that you have limits..rather they should be unhappy about you not being able to enjoy the life you wish you may opt out him/she from addressing as a friend..think on that..and Cris, y u feels so low to say tht you r a girl..tht is a shame on your shld be proud to be a girl..and just out of curiosity are you an “utter core feminist” as your friend believes? if you claims to be a one, then i would say that you are a hypocrite, because i feels like you trying hard to fit into some kind of image that you arent in real..anyway solve these identity crisis and try to move have a long way to one will “kidnap” you 🙂
    @ Javed, well said man..Manusmriti is a great reference to all of us to know about our culture and traditions at that era..but some ignorant fellows who hasnt even bothered to go through it, condemns smrithi in many ways..I would say those who pukes at our ancient scripts which paves roots into our true self are just forgetting and insulting their own forefathers (“thanthaye marakkunnavan”-if you can read malayalam).

    Comment by manlywords — November 12, 2010 @ 19:57 | Reply

  7. cris, your caution about accommodation in mumbai does not make you any less a feminist. women are physically different from men in a way that makes us vulnerable. we must accept. but that difference DOES NOT MAKE THEM UNEQUAL. we are different but equal.equal does not mean the same.

    being careful when you go into the big bad 🙂 world of opportunities is only being wise. after all discretion is the better part of valour.

    btw, women’s vulnerability can be overcome if they learn martial arts:-)

    Comment by kochuthresiamma p j — November 15, 2010 @ 12:56 | Reply

    • Lathu correct! KTAPJ made the point.

      Comment by Anto — November 15, 2010 @ 16:09 | Reply

  8. Well, fear is a perfectly reasonable emotion but if it’s any consolation women really don’t get kidnapped in Bombay. It has issues like lousy commuting, matchbox accommodations, etc but is probably the safest city for women 🙂

    Comment by Madhavan — November 29, 2010 @ 09:38 | Reply

    • @Madhavan: I know 😀 It was meant to be a joke. Hehe.

      Comment by Cris — January 2, 2011 @ 04:06 | Reply

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