“Amma, I was sitting in class with my knees pulled up against the desk. My legs were not spread out, I was just resting my knees (together) on the desk because my lower back was cramping. My teacher comes up to me and says ‘we are in a boy-girl school, don’t sit like that’. If she thinks boys will ogle at me if I sit like this (although I don’t know why they should: I wouldn’t look at a boy in my class if he sits with his entire legs on the desk), shouldn’t she be chiding the boys for ogling rather than me for sitting?”
Can any one answer my 12-year old’s question ? I can’t because I don’t know the answers to that or the following other questions she has had in the recent past:
- Why can’t I wear shorts to play? You let me wear them until last year?
- Why must I be penalised because men can’t control themselves from looking at my legs?
- Why can’t girls have a foot ball team in school?
- Why must girls only play kho kho or shuttlecock ?
- Why must girls wear salwar kameez uniform with a waistcoat when boys can wear comfortable pant and shirt?
- Why are boys not taught about menstruation in school? Shouldn’t they know as well? At least they’d understand why I was sitting with my knees against the desk.
- Why must I wear a waistcoat? So what if the shape of my breasts show through the kurtha? Aren’t breasts a natural part of a woman’s anatomy? Do boys have to wear a hip-coat to hide the shape of their penis?
I have a few more questions (e.g. why must I not stand on the balcony because a random guy whistled at me?), but mine have waited 30 years, they can wait longer. She is just starting out her life as a woman. Can someone please answer her? I can’t.