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"You do not have to aspire to become the perfect woman that society expects you to be," says a mom to her young daughter on #InternationalGirlChildDay.
“You do not have to aspire to become the perfect woman that society expects you to be,” says a mom to her young daughter on #InternationalGirlChildDay.
Yesterday was International Girl Child Day and this day always evokes myriad of emotions within me. As you grow, you will comprehend the significance of this day in the world that we dwell in but this letter is not just about this one day. This note is, in fact, going to be an aide memoire for me and if I ever try to enforce my beliefs and opinions on you, this will hopefully serve as a reminder for me to back off and let you be.
I endeavour everyday to raise you as a sensitive and strong girl, but achieving this in a patriarchal society is no child’s play. While on one side I will always strive to encourage you to be yourself and stand up for your values, there will be a counterbalancing effect from a section of the society which will threaten to bog you down and crush your fiery spirit. At times, you might struggle to decide what you want to do; you might find it overbearing to fight loved ones and in a bid to want to fit in and be accepted, you may end up losing a bit of yourself.
During such times, trust me to bare your soul to me. I promise to never judge you for the way you feel or think. Believe me when I tell you that no one else would understand your mental tussle more than me. I have spent a good few years of my life pretending to be someone I am not as I thought a woman is supposed to be the epitome of sacrifice. And come to think of it, I was never even fed these thoughts by my parents. This is what social conditioning can do to us.
In the coming years, you will meet all kinds of people. Some will become friends and some will become lessons. But, don’t allow anyone to make you a target of their insolence irrespective of the value they hold in your life. Don’t ever let anyone else sit in the driver’s seat and tell you what you should do or not do, what you should be or not be. This is your journey and yours alone. Take charge and embrace yourself. Love your strengths and your imperfections. The notion of “a perfect woman” is as real as your favourite cartoon character. It is just someone’s figment of imagination!
While there will be some folks who will put you on a pedestal, there will also be those who will try to fetter you in the cuffs of stereotypes. Don’t get influenced by either and look within always. Your essence is your force and it is what defines YOU. You don’t need to change that to please anyone, not even me.
Live, laugh, love, learn! Own your decisions and take responsibility. You will falter, you will rise and you will evolve. Be mindful of others and respect differences. And always remember that you are only answerable to your conscience.
Image source: pixabay
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Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: