The International Writers Magazine: The Pressure
I’m only a girl [?]
For centuries wide, we have automatically grilled the female gender for being pernickety over selecting a prince charming of her dreams to support her for life [it would be advantageous if he could financially too in this current era]. In all the fiasco and lost glass slippers, we forgot to slide under our meticulous scrutiny, the man in question, rather any man at all!
A girl is usually said to have the highest level of fun in life. I wonder if by level, they - the theory makers- were referring to flexibility in thought of being able to find fun in any activity. Even something mundane as reading a book on logistics and statistics! A man, however does have his fun, but can walk away with a moral sin practised with a female on account of good looks and a handsome lawyer to help divert her emotions. Contrary to this, a female could exonerate, but does risk a stigma or scandal that wouldn’t normally fret a man much. If at all, it’d just make him sexier and more mysterious to the ladies.
From the time I can remember reading in books, and from television reality cases, and grandmother tales on women being the object of evil, I fancied it must be a fortunate way of events to be a man. To be so sublime and respected, worshipped and be the apple of God’s eye. Each time I was visited by a man to be interviewed before he deemed me preferable [a marriage was still a long walk to Hell. I was still awaiting approval for a second time meet], I modestly prepared for the job with fidelity that would have otherwise won me first prize in any competition between man and wife. However, during each of those arranged alliances, I forgot I was entitled to my criteria as well [rather taught that I had no right to a profile of choice since it was a man’s world]. Like the girl who would act appropriate shy, less talkative, obedient and dressed the way to please a man, I volunteered to be stringed like a puppet in the game show in hope to win a cookie. I still do, because I haven’t earned, yet, my right. I had temporarily forgotten I was only a girl and I wasn’t supposed to like it anywhere. I could just as well put a plug in it.
My mother vehemently opposes divorce. She is of the belief that a marriage ought to never end till natural death presides. Then, you go straight to Heaven for having suffered so much. We could incessantly debate this with her, but I understand her school of thought. I don’t accept it, nonetheless, accede that a rural society overrules the sophisticated urban kin powerfully.
One of my friends had been subject to verbal and physical abuse during the first three months of her marriage. A typical self-respecting individual would immediately announce an end to the nuptials, but self-respect usually calculates to a nought over a spirit of self-sacrifice [in the predominant society]. She persisted enduring the abuse, despite her parents being conscious of her situation, fearing they would be slighted for bringing a daughter back from the grave. She sought no help either predicting the turmoil she’d undergo, knowing that ensuing the few months of aid and support on a bold divorce settlement, a next suitor would be clandestinely searched as a replacement. She wouldn’t be offered the time to medicine her ravaged pride, since emotions mean loyalty towards God and the man she’s bounded to. If she resists the “correct” decision made on her part by the judicious aged members of our rural society, she is ex-communicated or treated as a pariah. Worst yet, she is lectured on tolerance and her saga turns into teaching material for the younger, growing girls.
It amazes me endlessly that the aged having lived decades through earth, still resolve the same problems they witnessed in the long years of life in inexperienced ways. I’d like to diagnose this as selective amnesia where they erase from memory the past episode and continue repeating the mistakes they pledged to remedy for the future. Precedents are conveniently unrecorded and unremembered.
The condescension of the urban society when questioned about the rural mentalities rattles me. The same cultured lot in tandem behave just as they would in similar matters only with a touch of class and subtlety. The true hypocrites of society are the educated who permit their rural peers to dictate their actions, when they verbosely defy them, yet slight, ex-communicate and isolate in less aggressive mannerisms. Or, the topic becomes the latest round of “cultural discussion” over a cup of casual, afternoon tea.
I can forgive the rural lot for their illiteracy, which is expected of them. But through rose-tinted spectacles of the urban, this world is envisioned a place of co-existing societies that pretend to acknowledge and unite in social issues. Ironically, they become better ignorant than informed.
For most readers, this piece may come across as salt in tea and wonderment; without posing much of a bias towards just my part of the world, strands of the events mentioned here are a tendency for reality in most parts of the world. It isn’t just the third world countries that are wracked for ego and logic in addressing sociological matters. I believe that the behavioural sciences of the common man (regardless of age, gender, education or global placement) remain the same. In fact, education chisels and makes finesse the style of addressing whilst the core principle remains the same. The female gender has a better situational advantage in other parts of the world through better law management and freedom to practise rights but, I also believe that being (just) a girl bear the pressures of society enormously and stay under a microscopic, rumour-peddling threat no matter where they go or what they do.
Who is anyone to judge, anyway?!
© Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani
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