Feminism | Posted by Mansi K on 02/13/2013
I’m Not Sorry I’m A Girl. I’m Sorry You Care.
How are you supposed to feel the first time you realize your grandparents wish you had been born a boy? I’m still not sure. I do know, however, that if my paternal grandparents had the option to transfer my identity into a body with a penis, they would gladly capitalize on the opportunity. I, the oldest child, should have been born a boy. When I came out penis-less, this hope was transferred to my younger sibling. Well, exactly 4.5 years later, my mother disappointed again. And that was it; my parents didn’t want more children.
I have never doubted the fact that my grandparents love me. But every time I remember that I am worth even a little bit less because I have breasts or because I will not carry my family’s last name, I’m overcome with a strange mixture of anger and sadness.
I know my mom shares my emotions. After all, she’s the one that has constantly reminded me that being a woman makes me strong and compassionate, but never less, never inferior, never unwanted. Despite anybody else’s opinion, she is ever grateful that she has two daughters.
She raised the topic with my father’s sister once, delicately conveying her annoyance at her in-laws for their misogynistic viewpoint. My aunt laughed, fiercely defending her parents.
“You’re lucky,” she told my mom. “At least your in-laws accept the fact that you had two daughters. Mine are still upset that my oldest child is a girl, even though I did give them a son.”
I cringed at the comment and held back tears. Sometimes I’m full of anger towards my family members when they voice such opinions. And then I redirect the anger to the society that raised them, towards the society that still propagates this patriarchal structure. But mostly, I’m just filled with sadness. Most days, my heart breaks to hear my grandma talk about how women belong to their husbands’ families. My heart breaks to hear my aunt describe a woman’s obligations. I want to wrap my arms around them and tell them that they’re wrong, that they’re worth more. I wish everybody could receive the lessons my mom has given me in the kitchen. While my aunt teaches her daughter to cook, mine teaches me to be strong. I’m still learning how to effectively feed myself, but dammit, I know what I’m worth, and I wish all the beautiful women in my family knew it too.
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