What if I am a girl? If I earn less “chalta hai”, if a boy earns less “koi ladki nahi dega!”

Garima Aggarwal| The Hush Post| 04:35pm| 

When you start your career, you set certain goals. You put in hard work to graduate further. But what if somebody else, especially the opposite gender, takes away all the credit of the labour that you put in?

I recently asked a male friend “what if one day you are given an option to change your gender and become a girl ?”

What he said surprised me, “I would happily accept and become a girl.”

When I asked the reason, he said, “My sister wanted to be independent but didn’t have any career idea. At that point rather than helping her out, my parents got her married to a rich boy and I am still struggling to settle down”.

“Now she is happily married to a rich guy although she is dependent on her husband for money. The reason why I want to be a girl is that if a girl earns less or does not even earn, then chalta hai. If a guy earns less, he is immediately told you need to work hard otherwise koi ladki nahi dega!” he went on.

Otherwise too, I have faced, seen and heard many such incidents where even if a girl willingly wants to work hard, she is given an edge over men despite not asking for it. Perhaps, more opportunities, less struggle, they think.

With time, opportunities for women have increased manifold, but broadly I feel girls are given an easier life compared to boys, even when we ourselves don’t want it.

Girls are flourishing in every field — medicine, education, and career by breaking stereotypes, but if she achieves something, the reason is that ‘she’s a girl!’

In journalism too, my gender sometimes becomes a restriction on field work and while doing certain kind of news stories. Many a time, I hear, ‘she is a girl, she might not do it’. Who said a girl cannot go to a murder site or she cannot hold a DSLR or she cannot pick up heavy baggage?

We don’t want an edge above boys. We want to work as hard as boys do. We too are worried about our careers. We too want to settle down, which  does not mean marrying a rich guy and having kids, but being equals, emotionally and financially.

Women are no less or more than men but equally responsible for their actions. I heard a guy talking to his friends, sharing about a girl who took their company to a good position but the reason was ‘kudi hai nah fir.’

Being a girl is not an advantage or a plus point. In traditional households, everyday we fight old shibboleths, like girls are not made to earn but to run households, girls are meant to be seen not heard, etc.

I never think that as a girl I have an advantage. We want to equally settle like our brother, father, or husband. Give us a chance not because we are girls, but because we deserve them. We are not less than men, we don’t want to be more than them either. All we want is a level playing field.

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