To the Proud Parents of Boys- This Should Concern You

Pritha Sharadi(Translated by Sadia Rahman):

Illustration by Agnes Lee, for New York Times

My sister is an HSC candidate this year. Her seat was in Dhaka College.  One day I went to fetch her. The place was overcrowded and I was standing on the front row. Students were coming out of examination halls. Women have the power to sense slightest things around her, I also noticed but ignored. A tall boy was following me from distance . But when he was crossing me he whispered in my ears, “I like you, give me your mobile number.”

The situation was not comfortable and it already was hard to cope in there. When I heard that boy I couldn’t control myself. I grabbed his hand and pulled him in front of me and faced him, “Do you like me? It’s quite normal. There is nothing to be guilty about it. Do you want my phone number?” The boy got scared and said,” I am sorry sister, I made a mistake”. I controlled my temptation of  slapping him hard.

I was holding his wrist. Now I pinched his cheek and said, “you haven’t grown you beard yet, you are still in puberty, don’t use a razor yet. Do you know I am seven years older than you? Does fantasy surround you even in exam halls? Wait here when my sister comes out; we will go to have some food together. “He was so scared that it seemed like he will start crying. Again he was just a boy so I let him go. Maybe I was holding his cheeks harshly. I saw him running rubbing his cheek.  When I came back home and narrated the incident, everyone advised me not to do that again as everyone will follow me in the end. One of my friends said,” But it was just not right to create a scene in a public place!!”

I was really shocked and wondered what was about the boy teasing me!

Now let’s talk about the main issue here. Everyone more or less faces this situation. We ignore them considering them kids yet. But is it okay to think so? Don’t we think that these “kids” in near future will become eve-teasers? We have accepted that boys will do that; it is normal. But why would they do that? Are they some kind of monsters? Don’t they have families? Did they not learn whom to call mom and whom to call sister? Why aren’t they told that it is wrong to tease or pass comments to any girl outside their homes?

Often, the same family is seen to raise girls with manners and overlook perversion in boys. We all know that babies love to imitate. If a baby boy from his very childhood observes his mother being offended by his father what he is supposed to learn then? If he sees his mother being tortured physically what he is supposed to learn. He will learn to disrespect women from his very childhood unconsciously.  Are we not responsible to produce such a savage creature? Isn’t our society responsible for that?

We are teaching all sorts of manners to our girls from the beginning. We are teaching them how to act, how to dress, how to be submissive. But the truth is it won’t work if you keep cutting the roots and water a tree on your head. It never works. Now it’s time to work on your son’s mentality.

When you cannot lessen perversion trying from every aspect from a girl rather it increases then you should realize the problem is not in any girl’s mentality but in patriarchy and patriarchal society.

Dear decision-maker of a family(most often a man), it’s my request to you don’t act with your better half in any manner that affects your children negatively. If you torture your wife physically and mentally, then a wretched person like you will beget another wretched person like you.

Teach your son it is savagery to get excited in random places frequently just by seeing random girls. It’s not civilized behavior to snatch a girl’s scarf or use slang towards her. It’s not manly; it is cowardice.

We all get abused by middle-aged uncles or teenage boys more or less physically and verbally. We protest sometimes and sometimes we just ignore them. We think that it is the age to act like that. But it’s not true. It does not happen because of age but because of psychological perversion. Thus, perversion grows with age.

Dear Men, change your mentality. Why would you jump on anything you see in front of you? Do you think girls are foods? Why are you always so hungry? Why do you need physical pleasure so frequently?

Dear guardians draw a boundary around your boy’s mentality otherwise you’ll have to suffer in the future. You just cannot make vessels when the iron is cold and hard already. Can you? When you are the parents of a baby boy then make a human being out of him, not just a mere mimicry of what a man should be.

The original article was published on the Women chapter Bengali site on May 17, 2017.

Pritha Sharadi is an architect by profession. In her spare time, she likes to write about contemporary socio-political issues, especially issues concerning women. A proud feminist at heart, she is not afraid to speak against social evils.








Sadia Rahman is a final year student of English literature,Rajshahi University. Other than writing, her passions include writing, debating, and anchoring.







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