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Daughters’ Rights Are Natural Rights: A Father Speaks

A father writes that his daughters rights are natural rights, and so is every woman's. Let no one let you think otherwise.

A father writes that his daughters rights are natural rights, and so are every woman’s. Let no one let you think otherwise.

I have been reading a lot of blog posts and other material pertaining to our daughters, and women in general, about what should be – that our daughters should be independent, that weddings should be conducted in so and so manner, that daughters should be allowed to retain their maiden names after marriage, etc, etc, but then how many of us have actually belled the cat? Sadly, not many.

What has galled me even more is that none other than our Prime Minister commended an initiative called ‘Selfies with Daughters’ or some such thing. What level have we stooped to? Taking a selfie with one’s daughter is an act of bravery; or of greatness? Some TV channels have been showing an ad saying something to the effect that boys don’t make girls cry. As my younger daughter pointed out, even here it appears that the option of beating or not beating girls rests with the male.

I personally am sick and tired of platitudes, armchair discussions and charitable attitudes. For God’s sake, our daughters are human, just let them be.

I personally am sick and tired of platitudes, armchair discussions and charitable attitudes. For God’s sake, our daughters are human, just let them be. They are to decide their destinies, their careers, their lives. We are not the givers and they are not the receivers.

When Women’s Web was in its infancy, I had written about the circumstances in which I got married (She Must Be Black, No?) and about my relationship with my daughters (A Little Girl Who Grows Up To Be A Friend). A lot of readers had commended me as to what a great man/father I am- which I am not- I am as ordinary as the man next door, but yes, I have walked the talk, and I have refused to be part of anything that makes me believe that my daughters are inferior to anyone or anything.

Every discourse on women/daughters has one thing in common- that they are weak, that they have no mind of their own, that their destinies are not theirs to decide, that they are “paraya dhan” and so on, and that they need to be led, to be looked after, to be guided at every step. Their not getting married, having (or not having) live-in relationships, having (or not having) same-sex relationships- Oh My God- how can one even think of such things?

My daughters will do what they feel like, when they feel like, how they feel like.

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My daughters will do what they feel like, when they feel like, how they feel like. They have the right of choice, they have the right to freedom, and most of all they have the right to be treated as human beings. These rights are unalienable; they cannot be taken away by my whim or anybody else’s. Their rights are natural rights; they are not contingent upon beliefs, customs, laws, constitutions, documents or whims and fancies. They cannot be rescinded, curtailed or amended. These are their own inherent rights; they are not given by me or anyone else.

As I keep this in mind, so should others.

“No one can take away your Natural Rights, but they can do great damage making you think they can.”

Indian young girl image via Shutterstock

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About the Author

sunilias

I am a former bureaucrat, and have worked a lot on gender issues, disaster management and good governance. I am also the proud father of two lovely daughters. read more...

49 Posts | 209,075 Views

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