Tuesday, July 23, 2013

“Ever been called a girl?”

This is a rant more than anything else.

As an independent woman you'd think people would give me some credit for being a woman! But No. I'm crazy like a woman but strong like a man. That's how bad things are. I'm the 'man' of the house. I'm never the woman in charge. Women may be appreciated for being strong and independent but that compliment always has a  very "like a guy" element. And no, I don't think it's an insult to be a man, but to not be able to respect a woman in her own right, that's humiliating. 

Yes, I shop for my house. Yes I can pick up a few heavy things. Yes, I am not scared of the dark And no, I'm not too worried about how my face looks. I like cricket, I read science fiction and history. Yes, But that still doesn't mean I'm ok with being told I'm like a guy; even as a compliment. Because these things you call "guy like" is not a 'male only' territory. It's the 21st century for god's sake! I can go out and do things for myself, by myself.  

No, it's not a compliment. It's not flattering to say strong like a man, smart like one because the opposite is not considered a compliment. Even the stereotypical stuff.. Guy who has multiple girlfriends “Casanova". Girl with multiple boyfriends (even if it is over a period of time) “Slut”… Ever heard of the “sensitive man?” No, that’s never a compliment. This person will be called a “wuss”. Men can’t be openly sensitive (Wuss)... I didn't want to say it, but an openly sensitive man is called a "woman".. Imagine my horror when people I know say "He is such a woman". And the rule for women? they can’t be openly insensitive (Ice queen). They can't not care. They just aren't allowed to not care. They must want to feel like all hell is breaking loose. Women will be looked down upon wanting things like a career before kids, wanting things like identity. What the hell? It's like women are required to be meek and submissive as a rule. It’s like a gender rule. God help that woman who wants to be herself.

People from both genders are punished for having traits that ‘belong’ to the other gender. All the men I've met in my life will have never experienced a form of flattery where they are seen as "feminine". Ask a man "Have you ever been compared to a quality that a woman possesses that was intended as a compliment?" the answer is no. Ever been called smart like a women, or witty as a woman? Ever been called deep and insightful as a woman? Nope. Women themselves are not seen as bearing these qualities. Forget that.. Ever been called stylish like a women? NOPE. 

Women are seen as delicate, sensitive, fragile, crazy, confused, mysterious, chatty, gossipy, bitchy, caring, nurturing. Ask a woman how many times she’s been compared and complimented for doing fairly simple things that stereotypically men do.  I used to love watching cricket, but I got tired of being quizzed about it. But when I did well on questions, I got complimented. I get complimented for knowing basic GK. Ever seen a guy being complimented for that? Never. It’s like I am being rewarded for knowing things that I don’t need to know. Very patronizing. 

Somebody took a TV show suggestion from my male friend but not me because how could I possibly like anything a guy could like? I was later complimented for my excellent taste in TV Shows! (Ridiculous). Same thing happened with books. No! I don't read only romance and dream about being a princess.
While the compliments are not necessarily or directly aimed at calling me a guy, they are compliments for not being “girly". Ask a man if he’s ever got a compliment for being “less manly". Again, never.  

Oh! Don’t confuse me. The less girly ones face the wrath of not being girly. On multiple occasions it will be pointed out (by both men and women) that somehow as a consequence of not being girly she will not end up happy. I’m prime witness to this behavior.  Your liking certain things over others will make your life miserable, right from finding friends to fitting into social cliques you will have to prove yourself. 

Women have too much pressure to prove why they deserve to be treated equally and men have too much pressure to prove that they are not the weaker gender. It's a balance struggle. Women have been associated with so many negative traits that it has become impossible to compare anything about a man to a woman and mean it to be flattering. 

To end it “A caring man is a real man. He takes effort to be caring. He cares for his girlfriend or wife and child and society. He needs to be applauded. But a caring woman is just a woman. It should come to her naturally” That’s our expectation.


  1. I can safely say you have placed in my "must always be friends" list. Things you have written so simple and yet so starkly confusing for a woman. I mean we see it experience it everyday and then they say why is it hurtful to you to being tagged a woman. Because my friend you have made me feel less of a human being by saying that. You are not talking about me having my chromosomes assorted in a special way but by calling me someone less in your dictionary.

    *clap clap* my rant needs to stop here :D :D


    1. Hi Richa! Yes, I hate ingrained misogyny as well. It's a part of being society apparently, to treat women like they are inferior.

  2. Wat a Rant... How I loved it... Maggie, I think I have never read my thoughts so aloud as I did wen reading yours.. It gives me shivers whenever my parents are told " Shiva to Aapke ghar ka Ladka hai" .. Wat does that mean??? I equally hate it wen men are told.. "Aurton ki tarah mat ro" .. I feel pity for that "Sensitive man" who wants to cry over her mothers dead body like a child but cannot ..Y coz " vo ladka hai" N u know wat this awareness of being equal needs to be spread as much to women as to men.. The patriarchy mindset is so deep rooted dat they dun even know when they are being prejudiced, insensitive or unfair..

    1. Thank you :) Sexism works both ways. I hate for men and women to be hated for being themselves. If I want to cry I will cry and no one should say anything about it! Not my age or gender should matter. :)

  3. Such an excellent expression of emotions (raging of-course) but what you have said here is true but in a positive manner since more and more people like are you are becoming aware of such issues and they are making the world around them aware of such issues they are changing the society and the world.

    I personally never felt that being a "sensitive" person makes you less of a "man".. i think sensitivity is blocked in men by society's conditioning.. y r u crying r u a girl? So you felt bad about that? are you a girl?

    the more men become sanitized about the issue and start digesting the fact that this is 21st century and women are here to not match them but to lead men into a new and different era the easier it will be to accept the change!

    1. Hey Parv! Yes. Thanks for your comment! Society has been dictating terms on how human beings should be and created the idea of gender, the men are this and women are this is a messed up idea. As for women leading? Thanks for saying that!:D


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