Woman: Part 1

Trip Start Oct 13, 2005
Trip End Jul 28, 2006

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Flag of Bangladesh  ,
Sunday, June 25, 2006

I have always enjoyed being a woman in the West. My parents were happy that I was born a girl. I went to school. I even went to university. I can go outside by myself. I can be outside after dark. I have friends both female and male. I can hang out with a man without suspicion and accusations. I can get a job. I can make money. I can spend my own money. I can wear clothes that show my curves. I am in control of my own life. I have confidence. I have skills. I have respect. I have love. I have equality. I am a human. I... am a woman!

Have I always enjoyed being a woman in Bangladesh? Certainly not! How many times did I wish I was a man? All my problems would go away if I was only a man. No more pain, suffering or abuse. So what happened to Carolyn in Bangladesh?

Reality hit me. A new world view hit me. A new culture hit me. And it left a mark.

In Bangladesh would my parents have been happy I was born a girl? No, I would have been a burden. Just stop and think about that for a second. Pretend that your parents see you as a burden? How does that make you feel? How would that make you feel after many years? Would that get under your skin? Would you still have the confidence you have now? Would you still want to be a woman?

In Bangladesh I am a woman and with that comes many limitations. I should not be out after dark. I should not have male friends. I need to wear a scarf over my breasts so that men can't see. I should be married and have children. I should not say my husbands name directly to him, because I am a servant to him. I should be submissive and serve. I should not have eye contact with a male. I should not question things. I should not be anything.

What is wrong with me? Stop being confident Carolyn. Stop talking to men. Stop looking up in public. Stop being in public. Stop thinking you are worth something. Stop having ideas of equality. Stop believing you are human. Stop. STOP! I have no respect. I have no skills. I am not in control of my own life. I am nobody. I am nothing. I am a thing. I am a woman.
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