She is a girl!

The little boy who lived in the next house pouted his pink lips sadly when his mother directed him to play with me.

“But she is a girl.”

I did not quite get it back then. I didn’t understand his mother’s embarrassed giggle, “Yeah, but she is the only one you can play with here. Go on and play with her.”

And I did not understand my brother’s indignant glare, “She is as good as a boy!”

I am blessed because no matter how strangely arranged my family is, no one has ever placed any limitations on me because of my gender. I might have been an engineer, if I had chosen to be one. I chose to be a writer and a kindergarten teacher. I might have been a doctor, or a pilot, or a chemist, any of them if I chose. That is one thing I have always understood.

So when the girl who lives next to our apartment tells me that she loves construction sites, but will not study construction engineering because, because she is a girl, I stare at her with incredulity. Why not because she hates the noise of machines, or because she loves something else more? Why does it have to be ‘because she is a girl’?

The cute guy in the office frowns when I talk about super bikes. I think it is because he knows I cannot afford one. He tells me, when I ask, that I am a girl. I should be admiring curtains and my boyfriend’s SUV which should be able to accommodate a baby seat. I am so outraged I cannot speak for a whole minute.

Of course, I am a girl! Does he really think that I did not notice that part of my anatomy when I woke up this morning? What do curtains have to with any of it? So maybe I do like curtains also. What makes him think that I cannot admire Ducati 996’s too? And who told him my boyfriend drives an SUV? I ride with him in the noisy matatu every morning. But he plans to buy a decent Maruti that can deliver the confectionery he makes to his customers. I’d prefer to buy a sleek black jaguar. Goal. Written down. SMART. (Sniff)

Anyway, I am a girl. And I have a voice. My voice says that there are a whole lot of things that people cannot do. And a whole lot that people can do. Whatever those things are should never be followed by, “She is a girl.”

Ladies, go out and find your strengths and explore them to the full and with some smart sense too. Curtains or Super bikes! Uh- it migh help if you read up on it. But damn! 1000cc. What!


One thought on “She is a girl!

  1. i find it quite irritating what stereotypes do. they place limits and put people in a box. aanybody can do anything they want to do, male or female.

    personally i do like motor bikes too and i might get one when i can afford it, and i will not care who is looking at me and wondering whats up with me.

    we are all human beings… i am glad my father with all his flwas, never made my sister and I feel like we were second rate just because we were girls. he had two girls and he was happy and we got to do anyting boys could do.

    women need to stop placing limits on their own selves.


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