Where do I begin? We say that this is Gen Z, a generation where people are accepting, but is that really true? Do we still not judge people? Are we not scared to be ourselves in fear of what they might think? Hm? Of course we are! Why? I'll tell you. It’s because of you, and your stupid goddamn expectations from people.
For example, the other day at the mall, when I was trying to buy a pair of shorts from Forever 21, a random lady walked up to me and told me it was unacceptable for a girl my age to wear “revealing” clothing like that. That's not even the worst part. You know what she whispered to me next? In that soft, condemning, patronizing voice, she told me that even if I did buy the shorts, they would not suit me, since I didn’t have the "figure”to wear them. She even had the audacity to recommend a couple of weight-loss and diet plans to me.
I cannot begin to explain the emotions that coursed through my mind. I felt like breaking down. I wanted to bawl my eyes out in front of everyone. Why? Why must this society force its old fashioned, preconceived notions on people? Why must this society have such a rigid and immovable idea of "beauty"? Why indeed? And it’s not just for women. Boys are told to hold in their emotions because it’s considered “weak” for a man to cry. Do you REALIZE how messed up that is?
"Toxic Masculinity". Do you know what that means, dear society? It means you are forcing young boys to forget themselves, keep their emotions bottled in. Creating a ruse to deceive their friends, so they may appear strong and powerful in front of them. In other words, you’ve normalised men acting like complete and utter jackasses! Apologies for the language, love, but it's true, isn’t it? On the other hand, you’ve practically criminalised a woman being self-sufficient and independent. Sure, times are changing, but we haven't come very far, have we now?
Oh, don't even get me started on the LGBTQIA+ community! Do most members of society even know what it's full form is? No, they don't. There is such low awareness being spread, that I'm surprised at the fact that even a few people know what the term means! I remember when I first heard it. I was in fifth grade, I don't remember what had been said, but there was a mention of the transgender community. My friend, who was much older than me, had whispered the term "TG '' in my ear in such a manner that I felt as if it was something so bad; like a swear word. Back then, I had no idea what that term even meant. When I asked her what "TG'' meant, she told me nothing and said I was too young to know. I had forgotten about it, although her words were still there in the back of my mind. It wasn't until I got my phone that I got to know what it really meant. At first, I found the concept somewhat unusual. But then, I began to explore these topics. I realized the freedom and beauty that came with people being themselves! And these people that society calls such derogatives are actually brave and free! They have seized the liberty to be themselves, unafraid of what anybody might say.
I wish I could do that.
I wish I could be myself, without constantly worrying about being judged by the world around me; without constantly being criticised for doing something that doesn’t align with your conventional ideas. I’m sick of having to look behind my back, scared that I may be followed, just because I’m wearing shorts, like any other goddamn person!
I'm done being your perfect little dog. I'm done being the girl who bends to your every whim and rule. I'm done! I'm done!
Go find yourself another puppet.
Every woman in your goddamn grasp.
Authors: Nandini Patil and Saptaparna Chakraborty
Editor: Anousha Ambar