061: A Woman Chooses Her Place

Poco: Are you serious?

Mira: Of course I am. What makes you think I am not?

Poco: It's...it's just that I find it hard to believe that you are made for this, you know. It's too much for you.

Mira: (scoffs) Oh please, you're cracking me up. What's too much about me choosing to go after my goals! In fact, it is the best decision I have made for once, without seeking anybody's approval.

Poco: Oh wow, you really are serious about this? What makes you think that you can do that? I mean...not to be disrespectful but girls like you should be content with the good education they have been given. You should be thinking of getting married soon.

Mira: (In disbelief) Huh, really! And I thought that having such a learned friend...you have a pHD...you really believe that my place is in the kitchen?

Poco: Exactly.

I cannot recall the number of times that I have had such a conversation or a similar one whereby someone, read a man, seems to know more about what I want or need than I do. I have always found this concept absolutely ridiculous. I really can’t bring myself to even fathom that someone somewhere sat down and decided that any woman, girl, female is beneath a man, boy, male. What is astoundingly astonishing is the fact that, people listened to whoever this person was and passed down these thoughts from one generation to another.

The reality is that being born on this planet as a woman is already a fight because you have to endure being treated as lesser than in your family first, even before maneuvering into society and the world at large. Woe unto you if you are outspoken because it makes you the ungrateful, disrespectful one. Woe unto you if you don’t like cooking because you are failing at being a good daughter and not preparing well for marriage. Woe unto you if you like wearing a mini-skirt or shorts (because you want to), because you are purposely seeking attention from men. Woe unto you if you are born a woman because your whole existence is expected to be of service men; those who have proclaimed themselves to be better.

My experience growing up in a patriarchal society taught me to have a thick skin and to be a rebel; a rebel after my own needs and wants, after my goals, after my dreams. I learnt that if I don’t fight for what I believe in, no one else will because the society itself was set up in a way that brings me down any time I tried to dream bigger than any other man. How dare you, this is not your place.

Truth is, a woman’s place is wherever she chooses it to be.

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