Why being born with a silver spoon in their mouths doesn’t guarantee women freedom?
Witness the silver spoon-fed girl’s world, belonging to the Kathmandu Valley. We are the princesses of our families—priceless, valued, educated, important, and independent. Our opinions are of importance, and our voice matters. There’s no discrimination between us and our brothers. But it comes with a price.
The price questions our existence about our identity. Since we come from a middle-class society, we need not break a stick at home. Basic skills like household chores are not known to us. And we aren’t compelled to do it, neither are we interested.
Going abroad for higher education isn’t much of a hassle, because our parents will willingly pay our tuition fees. And when we return, there’s a job fixed for us in one of our relatives’ office, which is located within the 5 km radius of our home. It won’t matter how much we earn, because, at the end of the day, our families will give us all that we need. We were born to live an easy life and told to not struggle.
And the ‘privileges’ don’t end at this. Our marriages are bound to happen with sons of reputable families. It’s not that we aren’t allowed to make boyfriends. But if we want to tie the knot, then all the criteria should be met by the candidate; specifically, they must own a house within the 5 km radius.
We wear high heels and dresses, and are allowed to drink at parties, as long as it’s a glass of wine or two. We are active on social networking platforms as we post our selfies with profound quotes on love and life. Our timeline shows a happening life. We are free to go anywhere as long as we are back home by 6 PM. “You’re a free, 21st century woman,” they tell us.
If these are the privileges that come with being born with a silver spoon in our mouths, maybe we just want a bronze spoon. We just take the things that we want and spend our weekdays working hard in schools, colleges and jobs, and weekends at relatives’ parties. We dress up, have fun, laugh, and gossip like there’s no tomorrow.
If we have to go somewhere, we need not worry about transportation. I’ve always believed that love sets us free; it encourages us to be who we are. But this love always binds us. Few decide to revolt. But at some point or the other, we become influenced by our families because not only do they love us so much, we have also already become dependent on the facilities they provide us with. We spend our lives in a world where everything happens with ease. Even the US feels nearer than places outside Kathmandu. Plus, we’ll definitely have a family to take care of us even abroad.
Sometimes our reputable husbands turn out to be cheaters. Other times they just aren’t so much into us. Our sisters don’t want to break free even from those marriages. Not that our maternal families won’t support them, but because they are so used to living a dependent life that the prospect of independence makes them nervous. It’s easy to stay back and convince yourself that he is sorry, that it will get better.
So our life goals should have been to become trophy women from childhood. Some of us may even have established a business, but our fathers or husbands are our partners. We try to find contentment when given any post in companies founded by them. We have learned how to swallow our feelings and not express emotions.
Our dreams live on in our daughters. My mother’s dream is me. My rider stunt-loving mother turned into a dutiful sari-wearing wife. To break this chain, we have to be strong, fierce, and ruthless. It’s too easy to pass your dream onto your daughter. Try chasing your own dreams. Try believing in yourself. Try being you.
Sameeksha is a Civil Engineer, currently working at Singh Consults in Old Baneshwar, Kathmandu.