I wish, I were a boy

I have grown up in Lucknow, which is the capital of the most populated state of India - Uttar Pradesh. I have always had a lot of guy friends. We would play all day long, the only difference was that I was called home as soon as it would get dark. Now when I am on the verge of completing 17 years in this world,I still have guy best friends, except they can stay together at each other’s homes, roam the city and have coffee normally with friends, I who can't even go for a walk with my girl best friend on the road just outside my apartment.

My childhood is replete with instances of casual sexism through which my life was molded according to the standards of our society. I was asked to grow my hair longer because that’s appropriate for women. Comfy, baggy T-shirts were an absolute no, because only dresses were considered suitable. I loved playing football, but I was banned from playing this game in an open space for the fear of receiving judgements from other people. Today I can comfortably drive a scooter, but it will be a huge mark on the so called “izzat” (respect) of my family, if I seat a guy on the back seat.

Sitting with my guy classmates in school is not allowed, nor was it when I was 14 because that isn’t “right”. Teachers would call me out for that and once one of the teachers went ahead and called up my mother. All this time from my childhood till today, everytime I am stopped from doing something as little as wearing clothes of my choice, I wish that I were a guy because they are considered cool and friendly for being able to hang out with girls, but I am accused to depreciating my family’s “izzat” for doing the same.

Recently I wasn't allowed to go to my best friend's birthday party because he was a guy and was celebrating his birthday in a cafe and girls of respectable households don't visit cafes with friends. So yes, accounts like these make me want to be a guy.

There have been several times, when I have tried reasoning with them for different things, but everytime I do that I am shouted at because it's apparently "disrespectful" to argue and reason with elders.

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