The venerable William Shakespeare coined the phrase “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. What would Mr. Shakespeare say about girls who are called UNWANTED by their biological families? Would he think they’d still consider themselves delightful, beautiful, resourceful, worthy of a family, exquisitely perfect, or any other accolade that’s appropriate for the GENDER that brings life into this world?
The gender that creates life.
How does it happen that an innocent baby can be called UNWANTED? It can happen when parts of a supposedly enlightened society puts the male babies above the female babies. The females that grow up to create life, that keeps society from dying!
In India, there are parts of society that have done just this! Males are more favored. There have even been fetus abortions if the sex of the unborn is determined to be female. That practice, it seems, has been savagely discouraged, even outlawed. But does it still happen? I am betting dollars to donuts it does!
There is some hope on the horizon. READ THIS. One of the local governments in Mahastra India has held a renaming ceremony for some 300 girls who were given the name Unwanted. It seems, the grandfathers named these beautiful innocents and doomed them to a life of ridicule and rejection. Imagine, growing up in a family where each and every day you are Explicitly told, by the mere mention of your name that NO ONE HERE wants you!
I have felt unwelcome in certain circles during the course of my life. Whether it be cliques, or being left out of a social event or even being ignored while in the room with others. I cannot imagine what it feels like to absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt know that I was Unwanted.
And what of the ignorant grandfathers who name these beautiful babies? Are the females in the families allowed to say “wait a minute you old has-been, how dare you disrespect my child?” What do the grandmothers do? Do they stand up to the husband? What do the fathers do? Does anyone even know that it’s the fathers FAULT that the child is female not male. Perhaps if his deposit had the appropriate chromosomes than he would not be in his dilemma? My thoughts turn for a moment to the mothers who bare these precious babies for 9 months and then are told to name then Unwanted! Are they allowed to reject? Are they similarly punished for their heinous crime?
I have for the most part put aside my ferocious and adversarial nature that I was quite famous for, but this just boils my blood! Wait Indrani, “judge not lest ye be judged” seems woefully inadequate.
If, I were to be brave enough and courageous enough to not judge these unenlightened elders what might I tell them?
I would say:
“All life is meaningful and must be prized. All genders have their own unique roles to play in the survival of humankind. All children need to be cherished and loved.”
Then I might add:
“Who will marry your son when the birth rate for girls is 925 to every 1000 males? And I am sure that you will not allow your son to marry someone called Unwanted. Who will you want for your son? One of the precious few that you have deemed worthy? Well grandpa, prepare your grandson to be extra special because the women will have the upper hand, and let’s see who is unwanted now!”
To all the women of the world who have ever felt unwanted, please take a long hard look in the mirror and see what I know to be true. You are: Blessed, Beautiful, Worthy of love every minute of every day,
Deserving of choosing a family who cherishes you, and make DAMN sure they treat you like the Princess you are!
Love and light from Indrani