Anupama writes a letter to her 18-year old daughter. Read what she has to say.
Parents, you’d better get with the times and stop telling some absolutely 18th century things to your daughter – times have changed, and these are ridiculous!
Sometimes, parents tell us things for our benefit because they feel the need to protect us. This is right and extremely necessary but maybe, a little introspection on whether some of these things should be said is necessary.
Here is a list of things you shouldn’t tell your daughter in this day and age!
Telling your daughter that she must learn to cook and drawing a connection between that and her marriage is a pretty stupid thing to do. You’re telling her that hey, if you don’t know how to cook, your husband’s going to be upset. And if he’s upset, you’ve failed at your life’s sole purpose as a woman.
Everyone should know how to cook. It’s for BASIC survival and if you don’t, the 21st century now has apps that will get food to your doorstep.
Yes, this does come from a parent’s concern for their daughter because the world is an evil place. But if you have a son and you don’t say it to him, you’re just telling your daughter that because she’s a woman, she shouldn’t enjoy the same freedom as the son. Along with this, you are also telling her that she should live in constant fear of the dark and expect something to go wrong, almost always.
And just as a reminder, people get hurt in broad daylight too. It isn’t your daughter or the timing of the day that’s at fault, but the people committing the crime.
We’re always taught that our elders are right or that we shouldn’t question them ever. But here’s the thing, times are changing and elders aren’t always up-to-date with how the world works. Telling your daughter that she should just blindly accept whatever you tell her is problematic because:
a. You’re telling her that whatever happens, if the situation includes an elder, she’s wrong.
b. You stop her from voicing her opinions which will become a huge hurdle for her in her future endeavours, whether it be relationships or her professional life.
You should encourage her to question authority when necessary.
Why? Why should she cover up? It’s her HOME. She sleeps there, eats there, breathes there and it’s HER space. Telling her to cover up in her own home, you’re robbing her of the comfort and safe space.
If anything, maybe stop calling over the kind of people that might question your daughter’s modesty? Family over all else, right?
Again, like cooking, it’s always a good idea for people to know basic skills. Your daughter SHOULD learn how to drive/ride. Telling her that she doesn’t need to learn just goes to show how you are limiting her freedom. Having a vehicle at your disposal can do wonders – you can go buy groceries, you don’t have to be dropped everywhere you go and it can be a true blessing during emergencies.
And please, for the sake of her sanity, don’t tell her that she shouldn’t drive/ride because “all women are bad drivers.”
Right, because why would you possibly want her to become rich on her own merit? Let’s just get all the daughters married to the next billionaire of this country.
Here’s why this is messed up:
a. You’re telling her she’s incapable of getting rich on her own,
b. You’re setting her up for disappointment because surprise, the country is not overflowing with a bunch of rich, eligible bachelors and
c. You’re telling her that money will matter much more than a stable/healthy relationship with another being.
I’ve heard this very often. And it’s usually said when the daughter presents a reasonable and extremely valid point, in a slightly raised voice – not screaming – against her elders. The fact that she’s raising her voice is indication enough for her frustration and instead of hearing her out, you immediately make her feel invalid by saying this. You’re not listening to her and you’re not acknowledging her emotions.
It’s so important that as parents you let her know that whatever she says deserves to be heard. And if she can’t even express herself in front of you, she’ll just learn to supress any emotions of anger she feels in the future.
So, when parents refer to the ‘girls on TV/the internet’, they usually mean those that according to them are disrespective, dress provocatively and just possess any quality that the society does not approve of. When really, a lot of those girls are outspoken, confident and vociferous. You’re also telling your daughter that she should fit whatever box society wants her to fit in and you’re basically telling her she doesn’t have a choice to choose her own path in this world.
A girl child hears this sentence and learns to think of it as the gospel truth. She, therefore, grows up with the feeling that her parents’ home and the security it provides is only till she goes to her “rightful” home that is her husband’s home. So, once the girl is married, she takes it for granted that she is no longer entitled to any kind of support from her parents, be it emotional, monetary or moral.
More often than not, when someone refers to a woman’s gift, it’s about her virginity.
First off, can we please stop giving so much importance to a woman’s virginity? It’s not a gift to anyone, not even to herself. And she has the right to decide what she wants to do with it, when and with whom. A woman feels immensely pressurized because of this. You’re basically telling her that because she’s a woman, her finally giving away of her body is a reward for someone else.
Also, a woman’s virginity is not a community’s pride either. We need to stop being so involved with the signifiers of a woman’s body and just accept everything about is as a natural and biological thing.
So parents, will you please wake up and stop saying all these useless and redundant things to your daughters?
Image source: pexels
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