When you’re a girl – Lessons to a girl by Anisha Singh
When you are a girl, you are taught different lessons in life, lessons that often leave you scarred for life. Anisha Singh writes about the lessons a girl is taught while she grows up in a society functioning on patriarchal dictates.
When you are a girl,
they teach you many things,
but most importantly,
they teach you to hate your own body.
They tell you to slouch when walking past a group of boys.
They teach you to hide the small mounds growing on your body.
They tell you not to laugh loudly or talk too chirpily.
They tell you not to walk too fast
For ‘they’ will sense fear
And they also tell you not to walk too slowly
Lest you linger too long
For ‘them’ to sense your fear.
They teach you to be invisible,
a magic trick,
a secret disclosed only to girls.
They teach you not to be too attractive
And they also teach you not to be too ugly.
When you are a girl they teach you many things,
but they forget to teach you to love yourself.
A woman’s job, they say, is loving her family.
Not others, not herself but the ones who are her family.
So what if the man you called Uncle fucked you,
Forget it and love him and love us.
But don’t love the neighbor’s boy
Because when you are a girl, they teach you many things
But most important of all, they teach you about honor.
And how honor is your responsibility
And how despite being the damsel in distress
It’s your and your only for safekeeping.
When you are a girl, they teach you many things
But they never teach you that you can be loved too.