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     Volume 4 Issue 16 | October 8 , 2004 |

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The Culprit

Eating the Forbidden Apple

Elita Karim

Reflecting on my growing-up years, I remember the strong urge I had to be like a boy. I would sulk at the yards and yards of navy blue hair-ribbons with which my mother would tie my heaps and heaps of curly and messy hair with every morning before school and would always be the last one to get excited about a Barbie. At the age of 16, somehow, I felt a sense of comfort and security in having my hair cut short and wearing old faded jeans, even to formal family dinners. My stubborn approach towards a possibility of being accepted and treated by society as a strong and intelligent male had rewarded me with the accolade "Tomboy". I assumed that I would be left out of one of those traditional and cultural orientations that a young girl is made to go through and live a simpler life like the other young boys around.

Eventually, nature took its course and somehow made me appreciate the finer things in life, including being a woman. I realised that for a man and a woman to be absolutely equal in every aspect of life is virtually impossible, since their differences would always come in the way. However, I, like many other young women, somehow captured the essence of being a woman. It feels great to grow up amidst the many grandmotherly myths about girl children being married off at the age of 10 and to actually break out of the century old traditions. It's a wonder how, even after getting an education, our mothers were made to think that their sole purpose in life was to raise a family and follow in their husband's footsteps.

We, in turn, have been exposed to much more, owing to the growing awareness of the pride created within, and also the whole romantic notion of being the culprit behind the eating of the forbidden apple! I sometimes thank my stars for being a part of this generation, where more women in our country have begun to think for themselves. Compared to the past, there are women today who actually prefer a successful career and a self-satisfied life, rather than a family filled with grocery shopping and cooking dinner for the hubby's boss in hopes of a promotion.

Women have surely come a long way, breaking the many barriers of customs and traditions, and yet are just a little slow. Even today, several women do not get to compete fairly against men, in terms of education, sports, social developments, the arts and also employment. Even now, women are thought of as merely a supplementary help in the household, with regards to earning the bread. Even though women today have taken up "wearing the trousers in the house", she still has to question herself over her intentions and sometimes even fulfilling her dreams of becoming someone.

Even today, a woman thinks it right to forgo her family title and adopt a new surname after marriage. It's really a shame to see educated women going along with the choices probably made for them even before they were born, women are caught in the vicious circle designed by man. And the saga continues fed by a rellay of the images seen century after century, passed down from one woman to the next.


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