Sheekha Singh

Writer, Technologist & Podcast Host

Haaww, Bad Indian Girl

Growing up as a girl in the ever developing Indian nation is a tough job. Standards have been set, the society has imposed and given the verdict on how you’d turn out based on your clothes. Your choices, now have consequences and not just you, but your entire family is held responsible. Have you ever wondered what would you do if  there was no one to judge you and no one to tag you as a good or bad girl? 

Picture this..It is the early 2000s, you were growing up in a decent household, as a teenager you had  no restrictions on what you could wear, what you ate, who you went around with and you had to make your own choices. Imagine when you turned 21, your dad, your brother and your mom would celebrate with you and say, here have your first drink with us. Imagine what would you do if your mom told you to take chances and asked you to NOT get married until you truly love a person and that person loves you equally irrespective of caste, creed, religion AND gender? Imagine, you teaching your younger brother how to smoke his first cigarette and finally picture yourself listed as one of the most successful women in the country.

I know what is going on in each of your brains as you read this. You all are like, holy cow, that is impossible. That would never happen in my family for the next 100 years. But, have you given it a thought that you could change this tradition and be that one different person in your family?

The Indian society is deemed in a way that tags girls who follow unconventional methods as BAD. Why? 

Here is a list of reasons why an Indian girl is bad:

If a girl drinks – She is bad

If she smokes – she is bad

If she has had 10 boyfriends in the past – she is bad

If she has more than 5 tattoos- she is bad 

If she is seen in public with many guys, she is not only bad but also besharam.

If she talks back to voice out opinion – She is bad 

If she refuses to believe in God – Omg Anarth! Paapi , & of course bad.

If she wears clothes she likes – she is bad. 

If she doesn’t want kids – she is bad. 

If she gets a divorce because of an abusive husband- she is bad, it is her fault. Her upbringing was not right. She has forgotten that PATI IS PARMESHWAR and that it is OK for him to abuse the woman who feeds him and washes his pants. 

If she goes against her parents’ will and gets married to the person she loves – SHE IS SUPER BAD. 

Babes, I’m sorry to say, but if you have done or attempted any one of the above mentioned feats, then unfortunately you have not made the cut to get into the list of GOOD INDIAN GIRLS.

You know what… F**K that cut. 
Why can’t you just let everyone be? 

I used to be the same way when I was naive and every time I heard about a girl who has either had many boyfriends or slept with different people, I’d say “Haawwww”..but after I met my then boyfriend, now husband, my perspective changed. Every time I would tell him about someone, his constant answer would be “So?”, and that changed me completely. I thought to myself, imagine how amazing it would be if everyone started to think this way..especially we women. 

Let me give you a few examples and I want you guys to try it out too irl and see the difference it makes in your friendships and relationships. 

Scenario 1: 
Me: Hey Simon, you know what I heard about that girl ‘Y’ today? 
Simon: What? (insert straight face emoji here) 
Me: She is now going around with a Bengali and this is her 8th boy-friend in 2 years. 
Simon: (again with a straight face) So? 
Me: ok….. ….. (Walks away) 

Scenario 2: 
Me: (Picks up my phone and texts him) Hey  know what, my friend from university “T” pinged me today and told me that she is now dating her male African American friend from work.
Simon: So? 

Scenario 3
Me: Guess what .. I saw my cousin at the bus stop today and she was with 5 other guys of her age. 
Simon: So? 

Scenario 4:
Me: I’ve heard rumors that the girl in that apartment is not going to marry the guy she was dating or staying with for the past 3 years..
Simon: So????

So, I hope you’ve got an idea of what I’m trying to say.  It is really not our business to judge a person based on outer appearances and the situations. You could be 100 % wrong about any girl. You could be friends with her for 20 years and yet be the last one to know what she’s gone through. So, spare your girl friends with the Good Indian Naari ka gyan and go support them with their choices and decisions. (right ones of course) I see that many times,  we women talk shit about other girls and other women. It is not the world who thinks we are bad, it is ‘US’. We shy away from stuff that we are uncomfortable with.

I always had these questions and wanted to ask the so called “society”;
Why is a guy a stud if he has dated many girls in his life, but why is a girl a slut if she has dated multiple guys?
Why is it that it is OK for Indian men to NOT know how to cook and feed themselves??
Why is it that Indian guys can go around the city until midnight, come back home and no questions are asked, but if a girl does the exact same thing, why is she grounded? (please don’t say, because she can get raped. Indian parents weren’t very liberal prior to the unfortunate rape incidents anyways) 

And my favourite of all..

Why ????

Uncles and aunties don’t want to talk about sex education or dating with their children, but they are the first ones to ask others, “When are you having kids?” 
Isn’t that a sugar coated way of saying “Hey, when are you guys planning to have unprotected sex?”
Please don’t be those uncles and aunties. Don’t grow up to be those same elders that you hated once as kids and teenagers.

Change your mindset. As Indian women, you now have the choice to decide if you want to be the person who says “So, what?  Let her live the way she wants to, it is her life.” Or, the one who says, “Haaww, she is a bad Indian girl”.We women need to support other women no matter what it takes. Every person on this planet needs encouragement and support but women especially, need support of their own friends and family more than anyone else. Celebrate their success, respect their opinions, respect their choices and above all stand up for other women.

If being a good girl, means to go by the books and the Indian standards, judge other girls and disregard their choices, their free will and opinions, then I’m happy to be tagged as a bad Indian girl. 

So, who are you going to be?

-Sheekha Singh
InExAcT as always

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