Proud to be a woman
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been told not to be “friends” with a boy, not to “hang out” after school. When my mum asked me to give up dancing, I gave up. When my aunt thought it was not a right thing to play football with boys at school, I gave up. During my teenage, the media brainwashed me by asking me to grow taller, slimmer, and fairer because that’s how “beautiful women” are. Dress in such a way that it is not too traditional yet not too vulgar. Smile in such a way that makes you likeable but not too “easy.” As I got older, I find out it was not the same for my brother or someone who was born as a man.
Why are women expected to be under these social norms? Why are we expected to undertake certain gender stereotypical roles of cooking and cleaning? Is it hard for women only?
No, it is not. I know there are different struggles in the men’s world as well. Having to oppress your emotions is not easy. That burden to earn more than what your wife keeps you under the constant pressure. The horrible job that you cannot quit because you are the breadwinner of the family is killing you inside. I know how many times you wished that you could share that special bond with your little baby just like the way your wife does.
The point is there are downsides to each gender. However, the main difference is women are discriminated right from their birth and sometimes even before the birth. The only problem with women of my generation is we are aware that we are discriminated. I know it is wrong when my neighbor’s son went abroad at 18 for a better future and his daughter who was of 20 was married against her will. I know it is not okay when my society thinks my mother is “lucky” as my dad “helps” my mother in the kitchen.
It is more painful when you know your rights but you cannot claim for one.
I know this preference for a baby boy can end easily as soon as we agree to share a surname of the mother. (I know this point seems funny in a country where women still are fighting for equal citizenship rights). Nobody would go for selective abortions as long as society approves that it is normal to live with your son-in-law just like the away it is now with the daughter-in-law. Would you hesitate to give the equal share of your property if your daughter takes care of you as your son?
The problems aside, when I look back to my journey I still feel proud to be a woman. Yes, we face a lot of problems just because of our gender, but at the end of the day, these complications have made me a better person today.
I never had to struggle to prepare a pancake for the breakfast and to make a nice set of dal-bhat. I can digest the meanest comment with a smile. I do not get mad over petty issues. I cannot think of being violent in my darkest dream. I have the confidence to balance my work and family even after having kids. I would not be disappointed if there is no cooked meal and clean sheets when I go home after work.
I am proud to be a woman because I can cry while watching TV soaps or reading a novel. I am proud of being a woman when I feel empathy for an unwell person. I am happy with how much I have experienced at home, school and work. I am getting older and I no longer compare myself with the beauty standards created by male-dominated media. I know well that I can never look like the cover girl in the magazine because the girl in the magazine does not even look like the girl in the magazine. I have developed the confidence to win the world.
Importantly, I am proud because I am not sure if I would have the same emotions and skills if I were brought up as a man in a Nepali society.
(Koirala is a PhD Student at the department of media and communication at the University of Oslo, Norway)
We take pride in Sagarmatha and also Bhagwan Buddha. We should introspect as to what has been “our” contribution in the making of both. The tallest mountain landmark is the outcome of tectonic push against the bigger landmass creating the upward drift that created the Himalaya. Prince Siddhartha, on the other hand, was born 2556 years ago or 23 centuries before Nepal got unified under Prithivi Narayan Shah. Siddhartha is believed to have attained enlightenment at the age of 35 or around six years after leaving Kapilvastu.
All this pointed that the election will be held with public support despite efforts by those against it. But all that changed after three people were killed in Rajbiraj after the police opened fire on Madhesi Front cadres who were ‘hurling petrol bombs’ toward the venue where UML Chairman KP Oli had just finished his short address.
Men at work
Currently the larger part of our urban area resembles a war zone with bulldozers and mechanical diggers running amok. What is left behind the unfinished work typically consists of mangled water pipes, jumbled up and torn telephone and electric wires, mounds of dug earth and gravel heaps, unfilled ditches and incomplete manholes.
A great aviator in the Nepali skies
Deepak was not only a competent pilot but also someone who had the inner strength to always remain cool, calm, and collected. That nature helped him make a total of three emergency landings in his career as a pilot when he suddenly had to deal with technical malfunctions while flying an aircraft.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.