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  • Senem Balaban

International Day of Girl Child

International Day of the Girl Child


Isn’t it tragicomic for a generation who treated their children like enemies, to celebrate a 'girl child day' now? Maybe we can find some comfort in the following idea though: This generation was hostile against not only their children, but against everybody around, even themselves. There were no unity in these houses. There were no unity in these apartment buildings. There were no unity in these neighbourhoods. On the other hand, there were no individuality either. All there was, was a self-seeking, controlling, hypocritical collaboration and transaction. This generation was in fear all the time and having children could not be enough to make them learn to be compassionate. Hopefully that learning will happen in the next generation. But still, I cannot help myself expressing what I think about all this. You, generation of fearful parents! See what you’ve done to your children:


You made them carry the burden of your own disappointments and fears; but weren’t able to tolerate slightest depressive emotional state of theirs, you never bothered to soothe them. They were never able to cry on your knees. There’s more. You got into a panic when your money was not enough or you were sick or your child got bad grades or God knows what. And you took this inability of yours around dealing with life’s little surprises, out of your children. Oh, you were so impatient! In this game called life where little bits of trouble always exist, you never had time for tenderness or understanding. “Shut up! I have a headache, can’t deal with you right now.”


I’m not done yet, no. Since you feared so much that your authority would weaken, you never showed them any sign of vulnerability. You could have explained them what was going on simply by trying to speak their language, but no, you avoided that. You avoided sharing. You didn’t want to be seen like a human. You preferred to be God. But that even, did not stop you from accusing your children of not being understanding. You produced such unnecessary pain pretending to be the -somehow desperate- God who ridiculously looks up to its own creation, but you could not take on the role of the God who salves its own creation.


You always bulldozed their needs for the sake of your comfort, you accused them of being selfish whenever they wanted the most little thing that might disturb you. And since you never hesitated using what you had done for them, against them (“After all that I’ve done for you!..”) and piling on the agony, at some point even the possibility of you doing something for them started to make them worried, let alone asking for anything from you. Now that’s the power of education and discipline! From then on, you could have a sigh of relief.


You reacted against their acts of rebellion and resentment way more strongly than they did, but you could easily pull a long face, stop talking to them or shout at them over the tiniest things in the world without hesitation. You had right for everything. The house was your house, the kid was your kid. “You can’t do ... in my house.”, “My kid cannot be ...” You were were scared to death for their potential to grow a strong ego that could be able to uncompromisingly object you.


You left them no choice but prove their love to you, but of course, the way you had decided: “If you love me you won’t do that.”, “If you care about me you’ll do this.” You held them responsible for your happiness, drove them into a tight corner, put them into a game which they never can win. You made their slightest mistakes look like horrible crimes. They were not able to move for the fear of making a mistake. Then you were mad at the fact that they were not moving. They were never good enough for you. They felt like a huge, terrible mistake. And you dealt them a death blow by comparing them to the least favorite person of the family or the neighbourhood. “Oh! The way this child does ... is so annoying. He’s just like his uncle!”


So yes, happy international day of the girl child! And happy international day of the boy child, too, whenever it is. Why not? Like people cheating on their spouses who then gets them presents just out of guilt, let’s show off all over social media instead of facing the reality. Hypocrisy is our thing after all. We rule the world of justifying oneself, appearing as good, not letting things out of the room and being the custos morum. Why should it be different now?


On the other hand, I don’t know, maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe everybody’s gotten tired of being so uptight all the time. A “why not” to this, too. In fact I think it’s quite probable. We should just be brave enough to admit things to ourselves first. Only this can start the change. And the rest will follow. We should just remember that we’re not alone. Every one of us is scared as hell. Every one of us wallow in guilt. A deep breath... Come on! It’s time to get rid of everything rancid, corrupt and out-of-date. We got this. We just have to be brave enough to admit to what really happened when we think (or talk) about what happened.

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