I suppose I’m one of the lucky few who got a voucher for half-a-grand at Starbucks on the occasion of Women’s Day. Just because I was lucky to be born a girl; to be sitting at Starbucks when their staff was hovering around being generous, and lucky to be able to afford Starbucks in the first place. Well, to list the perks of being a girl, especially an Indian girl, one does need to look through a huge list of magical items including luck, geographical location and so on. I won’t go into the much debated (yet unfortunately oft- ignored) crises that girls can go through, but switch on the floodlights to show why we girls usually love life and achieve the stars, despite facing stereotypes and hurdles.
“Yeh ladies seat hai.”
This is the magic phrase, an incantation one should practice often, so as to exude the perfect amount of severity yet sensibility so that no one can refuse. While reminding yourself to give up your bounty for someone who needs it more than you do, you can plonk yourself on that comfortable seat in the bus, popping in earphones for smooth sailing to your destination. I never shy away from using this perk, why should any girl? Reserved seating, queues and other such benefits should never go without being used.
When you are out on a date, just allow him to pay because that’s part of the game of dating. Scoring free drinks is easier than you think. Just remember, picking the right guy is crucial. And you can always count on “bros” because their frat brothers will usually be there cheering them on to get “chicks”.
Although I’m not a personal proponent of this one, girls are privileged to write-off various oddities in behaviour and productivity to a phenomenon called “Mood Swings”. Most men seem to wonder about and marvel at this occurrence, but fail to realise that every human being is prone to them. But girls, with their complex, mysterious and often uncontrollable hormonal makes, are more susceptible to them. When these hormonal fluctuations bring with them the horrors of bad skin, cramps, pain and not to mention a million other frustrating issues, why not spread the burden to unsuspecting men? It’s alright to snap once in a while and go on sabbaticals to rejuvenate your body. It’s a girl thing, after all!
I experienced an extra dollop of love from the teachers at school, creditable to my (now unfortunate) studious face and my being a girl. Twelve years in uniform is not to be underestimated. “Girls are good and boys are naughty”. Well, thanks to that immensely wrong stereotype, I got my share of privileges at school. Bunking was forgiven, and so was a messy uniform. Punishments were debatable and getting the post of the monitor was a higher possibility. Although there were those cutesy-little boys who turned out to be the teacher’s favourites despite being naughty, (almost) everyone had a soft spot for the little girls, no?
And girls could also shamelessly enjoy “girl things” like shopping, dancing, sleepovers, make-up sessions, foodie outings..you name it. So what if I mention Aristotle’s Politics and the name of an obscure chick-lit in the same breath? We are capable of enjoying a wide range of interests and activities, slapping judgement in its condescending face. It’s fine to wear men’s clothes and like pink at the same time, it’s not a crime to love fashion and explore serious literature. We don’t need to subscribe to societal constructs and are powerful enough to create our own individualities. I think it’s a perk, to be able to revel in your own world and leave behind what others think of you.
Being honest with your emotions is considered girly. An advertisement which talks about it being alright for men to cry caught my attention the other day. It’s unfortunate that perceptions of masculinity bind men, but we’ve got the argument of patriarchy on our side! It’s (usually) alright for girls to laugh out loud and cry to their heart’s content or even (as it is in my case) keep a poker-straight face at all times. Women are accused of being “emotional” creatures as opposed to the apparently more pragmatic opposite sex. Let’s take this generalisation and use it for our benefit. We have, therefore, the lovely perk of being able to embrace our emotions honestly, every time.
There are numerous other perks, of course, including thinking of playing Quidditch without worrying about the potential pain or experimenting with ridiculous hairstyles, but let’s leave that to your imagination.
Photography By: Shreya Nagrecha