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They Took Away My Right To Dream Because I'm A Girl

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Are dreams gender specific? Being born as a girl proves to be a curse, especially in India. The minute I was born, my parents decided to save money. Not for my education, but for my marriage. I do not want a grand wedding and precious jewels in life, for they are not going to help my confidence, self-esteem or career.

What I want is the right to dream and freedom to pursue it.

Is it my fault that I have these capabilities and talents in me? My intelligence and talents are God's gift to me. And I wish to make something of it. I cannot be like my mother or grandmother and just marry, have kids, and raise a good family. That is just not enough.

I need a purpose in life that is much higher than just raising a family. I want to achieve something in life. I do not want 'what to cook for tomorrow?' to be the biggest decision I make before going to bed every day. I do not want television to be part of my everyday schedule. I do not want mid-day naps or gossip. My only opportunity for dressing up should not be for grocery shopping or for my weekly family dinner at a restaurant. This is not who I am.

I want to be part of something important. I want to worry about things other than cooking or shopping or cleaning the house. I want to live in anticipation of what comes next, other than the soap operas on TV. I want to feel the refreshing happiness I derive out of fitting in my hobbies between my busy schedule. I want to dress up and look nice as part of my everyday routine, instead of making it a big deal. I want to experience the feeling of going to bed after a busy day of doing something that I am appreciated and valued for.

I want to be appreciated for my work, valued for my knowledge and respected for my achievements, and grow in life. By how do I make everyone understand all this? Being born a girl somehow seems to seal my fate.

According to my parents and society, my knowledge of traditions, prayers and household skills outweigh my education and career. I am looked upon more as a responsibility than a person. They feel it is their responsibility to hand me over to a suitable man, safely, no matter what the cost. I cannot go abroad for higher studies, because then, there would be no money to spend on my wedding gala. I cannot go to another city to study, for I am their responsibility until "they hand me over to my groom", and nothing can ever happen to me. I cannot pursue higher studies even in my own city, for it may take longer and it's time for my marriage.

You think they'd limit their sons by the same excuses? Why can't anyone understand that I am an individual, a person first, before being a girl?
Why do I have to give up a career just because I am a girl?

Even men marry and even they have kids. I understand the limitations I have by being born as a woman. But it's the same for every woman across the world! If women from other parts of the world can dream big and achieve bigger, why should I be deprived of the right to dream big and pursue it?

Dreams, they cannot be implanted, guided, controlled or restrained. That is why they are called that. Dreams. When will this society free it from being defined by gender?

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