An Indian Civilizational Perspective

What Is Your Definition Of A Good Girl?

noonekilledjessica1.jpgI am somewhat irked… somewhat curious… somewhat baffled when I ask this question from you, dear reader. Especially if you are a man, then you are my target today! I want to ask the men readers and co-bloggers around that what is their definition of a “good girl”? And you know what I mean when I say this!

This term suddenly was hurled upon me, as a question, by a friend of mine while we were watching the move “No one Killed Jessica”. First about the lady (I prefer, girl!), she is my age and a mother and belongs to a small town of Northern India, but settled in Delhi for quite a few years now. No, the aim of telling you about her background is not that I want to typecast people from different cities with different labels, but this was important for me to tell, so that you understand why she asked, what she asked me during the course of the movie.

If you have seen the movie, you know the character of Rani Mukherjee, who plays a fiery journalist – practical, career oriented but has a heart to help out the Sabrina Lal (played by Vidya Balan). She plays the “now” girl – lives a fast paced life with no time for a boy friend or love, so to specific. She uses cuss words at the drop of a hat, or even without it… she makes you sit up and think… and soon you feel.. yes… girls are becoming like this now.

Now, during the movie, there is a scene where she is close and intimate with a guy, of course she is not in a relationship, it seems to be a casual fling. And during the act, she gets a call from her office and, yes the girl knows her priorities, and she drops the guy like hot potato (well literally!) and zips out of the room. The poor guy asks “so what am I supposed to do?” and pat comes the reply “fly solo”!!!! The cinema hall echoed with a laughter listening to this! Not that everyone understood it so quickly, but the context was clear.

Now, at this point, this friend of mine asks me “what is ‘fly solo’?” (!!!) and I was like…..!!!! well leave that!!

As the movie progressed, my friend asks me one question – “Oh, ok, that means Rani in this movie is not a good girl?” (What would you have said, dear reader?!) Well, I said, “well, yes, she is not a good girl traditionally speaking, but she is ( I wanted to say today’s girl, but I said)… not a.. well good girl”. (I knew I was not wanting to say what she is not prepared to hear, and I am in no mood to explain or argue anything with her at that time, so I just shut up).

The movie ended, but her question kept ringing a bell in my head… was she really not a good girl? How was she a bad girl – yes, she smokes, she must a social drinker, has casual sex and has no qualms about it, but works hard for her career, as a journalist, up to the level of being a social icon, reporting from Kargil (OK that was her profession) but then taking up a case for a bigger good of the society, ie Jessica Lal murder case. I could really not say she was bad.

I am actually very very intrigued thinking about what makes a girl good in our Indian society? I was a bit irritated earlier, but now as I’m thinking about it, I’m intrigued.

I remember my mother used to say good girls don’t reply back, they are sobre and simple, they make oily plaits (!) with no trace of make up at all, before marriage that is, no kajal, don’t even think of a lipstick., forget about any kind of western wear when you go to college. Girls don’t laugh out loud, they keep their volume low while talking, they know how to cook and stitch (phew!!!) and above all they know how to talk respectfully with elders. Was I good as per her criteria, I tried hard but I think I didn’t fit her bill !

I also remember, how guys used to say those days, you can have a girl friend who wears short clothes and is fun loving and sexy and hot, but when it comes to marriage, choose a girl, or else let your parents choose a girl who is simple(read wear suits) and homely (read cooks and stitches etc) and is not really career oriented. So the rules of a desirable girl were different for a girl friend and a wife.

It was all so clear cut that time, well defined. But today, I see things changing, even the definition of a good girl changing… don’t you think so?

I want to shut up now! I want to hear from you dear reader, what is your definition of a good girl? What qualities you would like to see in a girl whom you think would be desirable for you? How do you see abusive language used by women today ( I’m talking about words like f**k etc which I guess is quite ingrained in this generation’s lingo). How do you see your woman if she chooses to drink liquor along with you, just for example? How do you see things in these changed perspectives of society?

Do let me know what is your definition of a “Good Girl”??

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