It is no secret that most Indian women would love a son more than they would a daughter. Why are sons loved and treasured by their mothers?
The age-old and patriarchal mindsets of a number of Indian families are changing as the belief of having at least one son in the family is decreasing. Families are accepting children (both male and female) as the ‘gifts of God’ and aren’t as bothered with the need to have a male heir to carry the name forward.
While all of this is great and extremely progressive, there still are some women who long for a son. On being asked ‘why,’ here are some of the answers they give.
A number of women face pressure from both their in-laws and their own parents to have a son. All this simply because a son will immediately raise their societal standing the community. Also, the family name needs to be preserved for ever, lest there be an immense loss to the society/community.
That the child is pampered to no end as he grows up, making him an egoistic, self-centred person who does nothing for the society is a whole different issue!
Now this is a common dialogue I’ve heard several times. These women have had a lot of unpleasant experiences in their life that they don’t want their daughters to bear.
However, will the same women be as empathetic towards the struggles of their daughters-in-law if they have one? Or will they keep the dominance of the saas over their bahus tradition and give their DILs the same undesirable memories they had?
Several Indian families with daughters have a tradition of giving gifts to the grooms family, extended family and friends during the wedding and even after it. They also give these gifts during festivals or family functions or even during casual visits.
All of these are an added burden to the girls’ parents and foreseeing this, many women don’t want daughters. But these are the same women who go on to pester their DILs or any newly married girl in the family. Instead of bringing any change, they keep these traditions going.
The lurking fear of old age and abandonment has led to many women desperately wanting a male child. One who would go on to take care of his parents in their old age.
However, these are the same women who often forget to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of their own ageing in-laws or even parents. Later on, these women also ignore the needs of their own DILs to take care of her own parents.
So, ladies, can we stop following some traditions blindly and avoid continuing the cycle of torment for all women? We need to kindle the spirit of sisterhood and support all the women around us. Right from the women in our family and friends, our neighbours, colleagues or even strangers we meet.
Instead of being at loggerheads with each other or competing with each other. Let us all come together to fight patriarchy and strengthen our bond with one another.
PS: This is not intended to hurt anyone but to make us ponder over whether we, as women are only keeping the patriarchy in our society alive!
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Hum Saath Saath Hain
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