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This is an ode to the two feminist men in my life. One who shaped my thinking which probably led me to fall for the other one; my own father and my daughter’s.
Four decades ago, around the time I was born, people wishing for a son was the norm. But my father wanted daughters and his wish was granted. His reason was that girls are more peaceful and make better children. (It’s debatable if he still believes in that theory of his, after going through the trauma of my upbringing!)
Right from the time my conscious memory begins, there is not a single instance where he tried to stop us just because of our gender. So while growing up, for both my sister and me the concept of gender equality or inequality never existed. Our upbringing can be termed as gender neutral (if I may use the term). Of course our larger family and the rest of the world wasn’t so broad minded so it used to confuse us initially which led to anger, gave way to disgust and finally we settled at indifference.
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We’ve come a long way now, fighting our way through inequalities and biases and have known always that our father has our back. The profound impact of my father’s feminist ways is evident in the person I chose to marry.
I am married to a feminist stronger than I am. He believes and I quote him, “I always believed that both genders were equal until biology took over and I realised that the feminine gender is a little more than equal. I cannot switch biological roles with you but for the rest of the stuff we are in it together”.
From lullabies to diaper changes to weaning to cleaning up to night vigils during illness, he has kept his word. The chores were boring, even unpleasant at times but he has kept his word.
The far-reaching effects of this dynamic in our house can be seen in how our little daughter’s personality is shaping up. For her there’s no such thing as ‘Mumma’s job’ or Baba’s job’. And that is what she expects from everyone around her.
As I wish a Happy Father’s day to my father and my daughter’s father, I also hope that may the tribe of such feminist men grow and prosper.
Image via Pixabay
I am a doctor with an MD in Clinical Microbiology, working at KEM Hospital, Mumbai.
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