This is going to sound crazy, but there is this one day in the year, when the world celebrates women- something they should do all the time, seeing how we are the ones with the reproductive capability. But no, it doesn’t work that way. YET. So, it’s just this one day. Like a festival that comes in to remind you of your forgotten relatives and heritage. There is a one day carnival to celebrate women.
That day is around the corner. So, I thought it would a good time to write to you- as a woman this time. When I write this, you are 17 months old and I think for at least another decade and a half, I will only be Amma to you.
When you come of age, though maybe you will realise that I am also other things in life. That is probably when it will hit you that your amma, is not just your amma, she is a woman too.
In the spectrum of genders, I identify myself as a woman. (What it means to be a woman in the post-modern world we will talk about another time). The key word in that sentence is IDENTIFY (not woman). I feel like a woman on the inside and turns out, I look like one on the outside too. So, everyone around me agrees I am a woman.
You don’t know it yet, but some day you might identify yourself as a woman too. Just because you look like a girl now, doesn’t mean you are one. It is what you feel like on the inside that matters.
We are trying to give you every bit of exposure to create a space for you to build your own identity. We fight our innate desire to see you as an extension of ourselves. This is because, we want you to know that your gender identity is partly a choice and only partly biology. Sometimes biology doesn’t understand your choices. It happens. And it is okay.
It is possible to look like someone on the outside and feel like someone else on the inside. In big people language, we say that your sex need not always co-relate with your gender. When you know what is a girl, what is a boy; when you hear about the gender spectrum; I hope you know that you can choose one that makes you most happy.
Why are we so hell-bent on teaching you about gender identities? Human wiring is such that we judge people’s gender in a super-automated way. We see some kind of clothes, hairstyles or body language and quickly pin one or the other gender on them. THAT judgement influences a lot of our behavior towards that person too.
We’d like for you to accept diversity in all aspects of life including your own. Tolerance is very precious in the times we are in and I honestly, don’t know where the society is heading in the coming years. I’d like for you to be armed with this information, and the strong faith that your parents are with you, always.
The world is a big place, there is space for everyone here. Every different, unique one of us can carve out a spot for ourselves here. It is not always easy to do so, but it is definitely possible.
As a woman, this is what I say to you today:
Ask yourself : WHO AM I?, when time brings you the answer to that, I hope you will be brave enough to not just accept it, but also celebrate it.
I will wait for your answer.
P.S: I say I feel like a woman, but there are days when I am pretty sure I am an elephant on the inside. Elephants, your favorite.
This blog is part of a #WomensDayBlogParty
I’d like to thank Shruti for introducing me, you can read her post for this blog party here.
Also, do go to my friend Krishna’s blog by clicking here to read her perspective on the topic.