I came across this documentary ” the world before her” from Madh Mama’s on FB. It documents the life of two opposing worlds – the traditional female wing of VHP (I was shocked and I did not know of their existence until now) and the modern Miss India beauty contest. They seem so different but they had a common thread between them – Women from both sides felt that they should be grateful for being allowed to exist on the face of this earth.
This is what the traditional girl has to say:
“He let me live. That’s the best part.”
This is what the beauty pageant girl has to say:
“They created me. It is my duty to work as hard as possible to make them feel, yes, the creation is good you know. You have just not added some waste into the environment. It’s something worthwhile.”
Both of these attitudes come from the same viewpoint in various forms-
I am a woman. I do not deserve to live on this earth. I am grateful for them letting me live because I do not deserve to live. I have to earn my place on this earth and show my utter gratitude for them letting me live/giving me food by sacrificing/doing my duty/whatever they ask me to do.
This is sad. We are worthy of living because we are born in this world. Of course, we all want to be the best we can be, to reach our fullest potential. Yes, we should be grateful for our families and love in our lives. That does not mean we are meant to be slaves. If they gave birth to you, it is their responsibility to provide for their child. That cannot be used to control children. We need to move forward. That is how life goes on. We pay it forward. We give it out to the world and to the next generation. This low self esteem is how they manipulate and control us.
I am grateful and want to prove that they did not make a mistake by giving birth to me. So,
“I will work on making them proud.”
“I will do what they tell me to do.”
“I will put up with abuse from them.”
“I will stay in an abusive marriage because I do not want to bring them shame.”
This logic can be our undoing. We are our own people even if we come from someone else.