A New Year Resolution To Raise Empowered Daughters Who Value Themselves

Many women in our society are conditioned to think of themselves as worthless, as valuable only if a man finds them so. This needs to change. 

Many women in our society are conditioned to think of themselves as worthless, as valuable only if a man finds them so. This needs to change. 

My friend’s ex-boyfriend has a violent and abusive nature.He used to speak to her in an abusive manner and even hit her sometimes. In our lives, we have all suffered, heard of or seen such incidents but the thing that has stayed in my mind is not that guy’s behaviour – rather, I remember his mother not thinking about herself.

I asked my friend why she continued to stay with such a beast. She told me that he also had a good side and his behaviour was not his fault. He had seen such behaviour all his life. His father used to beat his mother and she had adjusted to such behaviour. She used to tell him, “Your father goes out and works hard for us only, he has a lot of work pressure so that we live a leisurely life and that’s why he gets angry sometimes.” He grew up thinking that women should be treated like this, that they don’t have a separate existence and their only role is to do what men tell them to do; moreover, that if they can’t do what men need them to do, then they deserve to be beaten, to be punished, to be humiliated.

My friend thought that her love would change him but soon she realized that one cannot change an adult man. His behaviour became worse day by day until one good day she stepped out of the terrible relationship and stopped doing what her ex-boyfriend’s mother had been doing for so many years. She has started loving and respecting herself again. And now has found someone who truly loves and respects her.

Coming to the point that has stuck in my head i.e his mother’s acceptance of  her husband’s inhuman behaviour and worse, that she thinks she deserves it: We always talk about raising our sons to respect women. But how will a father teach his son to respect women when he himself beats the mother? How will a mother can teach her son to respect women when she thinks that it’s her husband’s right to disrespect her?  And even if she realises that it is wrong but doesn’t have the courage to fight against her husband and society’s stereotypes and stigmas, how will she manage to show him the right path?

So I think in 2019  we should take a new year resolution that before thinking about raising our sons to respect women we will think of raising our daughters to be  empowered enough so that every woman values herself, understands her rights and has the courage to fight for her rights and dignity. Remember, love is not abuse! (And Happy New Year, folks!)

Image via Pexels

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