Date: 2018-03-08 10:16:20
I don't need to see you to address you as beautiful because that one fact is already established. Let's all not get into the discussion on internal vs. physical beauty, it doesn't matter to me how you look and honestly, it shouldn't matter to anybody else, not even you. Whereas how you are on the inside, is because of what you choose to be, which is neither my concern nor my thing to comment upon. So let's not get into the business of giving tags, the society has enough for each one of us, right?
STOP! Did you notice what I just did? I blamed the 'society' and leave apart objecting, at least most of you nodded in agreement. My dear ladies, what is a society if not us all together? You'll say 'men', 'conservatives', etc. without realizing that we are equal culprits of any kind of societal norm, belief or thought that we blame today.
When you unknowingly sit your daughters to watch Disney Princesses, living in their own fantasy worlds, you are unknowingly participating in passing on this mentality to them. When on screen they see, how the wicked stepmother of Snow white envies her for her beauty, you allow them to think of beauty as a competition. Then how conveniently she brings the dwarfs to like her by doing all their household chores. No, I'm not saying it's bad, but instead of impressing them by her intelligence or personality, she first made them sympathize with her and then pleased them by cooking delicious food and making their beds, which they were initially deprived of (men, after all, isn't it?) why should men always have the luxury of not having to learn all this? You too learned it, right? So when you expect your daughter to learn to make 'Halwa' before she gets married, make sure you teach your son the same and don't expect your daughter-in-law to be the perfect chef.
Oh! And how can we forget Cinderella, the beauty? Turned into a pretty little woman by the spell of a magic wand. Do you think your daughters deserve to compete with anybody to marry the man of their choice? Allow them not to fit into any glass shoe, teach them to break any glass that demands them to fit into any confinement. They are living in the 21st century where women compete with men to accept positions of control with EQUAL power and authority, instead of wooing them away with their physical appearance. Tell them every day that they are capable enough to break free from all the shackles that restrict their freedom and stops them from seeing the world for what it actually is. They are not Alice living in their wonderland, with all the luxuries of life. Here, we have to demand everything we deserve and at times also fight for it. If at all, show them how to fight!
As parents, you may want to keep us away from the harsh world, protecting and sheltering us from everything that may pop our fantasy bubble (where the only thing negative is a villain, whom our prince charming will courageously fight so we can live happily ever after). But mothers, your daughters will someday face the world and it will be so harsh that they will struggle to keep up. Happily ever after is a myth. There will be times when she won't even realize how bad is a 'bad touch' unless she actually catches the disease. You may have been brought up at a time when boys and girls were not allowed to even play with each other but times have drastically changed, and in your attempt to keep up with the pace, you yourself forgot to change. Back then you had different ways of dealing with these problems but it is high time we mend those ways and adopt what the time demands. We can't always submit to the norms, sometimes we need to break them so that new ones can be created.
So, next time when you tell your daughter to come home early or dress appropriately (god knows who decides what appropriate is), just sit back and contemplate that you are repeating the same mistake all over again. You are normalizing restrictions for her, just for the sake of safety. The villains of the real world will celebrate another victory for each daughter who is scared to step out late, the lesser they are in number, the more vulnerable they become to fall prey.
Mothers who have daughters, let this be your starting point to empower your daughters by giving them the freedom you didn't have. Next time you tell her to behave like a girl or lose weight for her own good, just remember that YOU are her door to the 'society' she will blame.
Mothers who have sons, never treat them any differently than you would treat your daughters. Apply the same restrictions and allow them equal freedom. sensitized them to internalize the fact that he should respect every girl/women as much as he respects you. Tell him, the classmate he teases in a friendly manner is as much of a harassment as a stranger doing that on the street. Don't let her be comfortable just because she knows the perpetrator, don't let her accept it as her fate for being born as a girl. For someday, he too will turn into a father and might have to raise a daughter.
A girl who grew up playing with barbies and watching the same Disney movies,
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