I remember the exact day we were on holiday somewhere near Cape Town, and had planned for a luxurious day on the beach. It was so hot and we had asked our dad to bring the little tent we had to shade us from the sun. Ice cream was a staple commodity on holidays and this day was no different, it was dripping through my fingers and I didn’t mind at all because I had no furniture or carpets to taint with its creamy goodness just the sand between my toes. My father was having trouble setting the tent up and was asking me to help. I said I would help as soon as I was done with the ice cream but I was not sure how helpful I would be, not really good with assembling things…And then it was out as resilient as the sun was shining on my back. “I wish you were a boy, you would have been more useful” I stood there rooted to the spot. It was as if everything all of sudden meant nothing, you know in movies when the person with blood gushing out of their newly established orifice has a narrative where they say all the things that made them happy or sad in life and what not. Well that’s what happened I remember feeling inadequate in every facet of my life, in that split second I lost control of who I was...
I suppose I should have started by saying who I am, well here it is my name is Kameshini Pillay I am an Indian born and raised in the lovely South Africa. I would say that I come from a middle class family for obvious reasons I will not be giving out their names. I have a younger sister and we both went to good fairly good schools and are now getting a valued tertiary education. We lived in a beautiful double story house for most of our teenage years and had two parents that tried their best to give us everything that they did not have financially. Wondering why I am stating these points? Well this is because gender inequality knows no bounds, it is malicious in its path and will find a way into every part of humanity. It doesn’t care about race, nationality, age or money.
I would say I have moved on from the day my biological father made such a statement, psychologists would probably say different sprouting swirls of doubt in my mind by the mere fact that I can remember it in such detail. There is another reason that I remember it though, I remember the cruelty that is shoved at me on most occasions so that I better myself as an individual. So that one day if I am blessed with children I do not demean who they are in any way. My father has battled many addictions in his time and probably has no recollection of the day but I speak of it to you now for one reason. So that whether you are mother or a father you realise how important your role is to your child in defining how they see themselves as a women or a man one day. The way that you allow your spouse to treat you or the way you treat your spouse is a huge factor in defining the way they will treat their relationships. I hope that you will paint them with little complements irrespective of if they are a boy or a girl and believe me they will shine with its worth. Girls are especially tender even now in a world that has equality for all, I see young girls everywhere questioning their worth in a society that claims to have accepted them. I am left with a prayer lingering on my lips that all girls around the world do not hear the same words that I was left with. That they grow up confident and strive to be leaders in a world that favours their male counter parts on occasion. Good luck to every woman out there
Don’t just look at things, look like you are looking for the first time…only then clarity will ensue.