Daily Archives: June 24, 2008

Taking the Stitches Off

Cross posted on UV

The highest compliment in my grandmother’s book was “What a sweet girl! She keeps her mouth stitched up.” Of course, in Bengali, this has a nicer ring to it but it essentially means a girl who keeps quiet, who is silent in the face of adversity (and torture and ill-treatment), who endures. I grew up hearing this and, of course, consequently thought of myself as a very bad girl indeed. For as a child, I was what is commonly called ‘moophat’ in Hindi, loosely meaning brash and thoughtlessly expressive. Over the years, I mellowed (—or was made to?) and recently, I have sometimes found myself unable to speak even when it is urgently, desperately required. Continue reading


Filed under Gender