I’m pretty sure there’s this recurring thought that passes through every girl’s mind every now and then, even if not very seriously… life would be so much easier if I was a guy!
This could happen when you’re stuck in office late night, and are fretting over how you’ll make it home. Or when you think twice before getting onto a sparsely crowded bus with only men. It happens when you get left out of a dirty men’s joke in office, or when your parents refuse to give you permission to go clubbing in Delhi. It happens every time you hear about learning to make a round chapatti, and it definitely happens when you’re on a road trip with a painfully full bladder and no clean restroom in sight for miles.
But then, there are times that I imagine life as a guy in this world, and I feel so much insane pressure that I feel very happy to be exactly who I am.
All the way from when we were kids, I always felt that a guy could be the best in studies, or a talented singer, but the one thing on which he was judged by peers always somehow came down to how he was at cricket. Because that’s what all the boys in school did during all their breaks. Every boy wanted to bat, and the ones who weren’t athletic enough were banished to field endlessly. But not playing was not an option. It’s what boys do.
And this display of physical masculinity doesn’t change through life. Sure, you can move onto tennis or snooker or some sport that suits you more. But I don’t think it’s still very acceptable for a man to claim he doesn’t like to play any sport at all. He’s judged. Way more than I am judged when I make the same statement. Because it’s easy to assume that I’m a delicate girly girl who wouldn’t want to break a nail. (That isn’t the real reason, though. I actually just suck at anything that needs hand eye coordination. So I’d rather just spend my time reading… Why spend time being bad at something when I can spend that time enjoying something instead?). But if a guy my age makes the same statement, I’ve seen the judgemental looks he gets.
Looks that are almost as bad as the derogatory jokes about men who can’t grow beards (yeah, like that’s a bloody talent!), men who have some effeminate characteristics (“woh jo gay hai?!” Let’s not even get started with everything wrong with the words and tone of that sentence), the rare guy who chooses to stay at home and take care of the household and kids while the wife earns instead. Like what’s with the pressure of being the man of the house?! In today’s world, why must the guy earn more, and be the decision maker of the house? What if he doesn’t want to be? What does 'Be a man!' even mean?!
When I chose to move to Mumbai before my marriage, A took a transfer to join me. I thought it was super sweet of him to change for me. But I didn’t think it was out of the world to expect him to. But the world did. The concept of a guy moving for a girl instead of vice-versa was very amusing to a lot of people, who let their thoughts be known rather openly by their smirks and jokes. A took it rather well, I’d say, and for that I’ll always be thankful to him. But what a load of crap to have to deal with to begin with!
And then I think, the worst of the lot. Boys don’t cry. Like, why the hell not? Why are little boys told to not behave like a girl? One small sentence to insult both boys and girls in one go. Just as bad as it is to say that you have to be careful with what you say to women or they’ll start crying, it’s horrible to expect men to not cry. It’s a bloody natural reaction. Stop gender-ising it!
Wow this ended up a very long post.
But like I said, it pretty much sucks to be a guy in this world.
Not that being a girl is a hoot.
But about time people realized feminism isn’t just about women, no?
Like really, about time.