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Open Letter To A Son Worshipping Society: Sincerely, Parents Of An Only Daughter

Posted: November 4, 2020

Why are parents of daughters always told they must “go for it again for at least a son”? No, thank you! Here’s an open letter calling it out.

This is a blunt reply from all the parents of single girl child who are asked: why not a son? Who are shamed by a patriarchal society because they only have a daughter; but who feel content and complete with their only daughter, against the thought processes of a society that continuously tries hard to make them feel that they are making a big mistake by not desperately trying for a son.

What I have to say may offend a few people in society, but it is time the issue is addressed.

Dear devotees of the ‘couple should have at least one male child’ concept, I know that you have may have many rock solid age-old beliefs about this, but I would like to enlighten you about a few interesting facts you might not know.

It’s tradition?!

Practices/ customs/ rituals which have been followed from the age of our forefathers do not necessarily have to be continued if found to be inappropriate/ illogical in present times.

This is the moral duty of every generation to not carry forward wrong practices to the next generation. We have many examples of such wrong customs like child marriage, sati pratha etc., which were abolished when we found them to be wrong. It is time now that we should raise a voice against pressurising parents to have at least one male child.

The consequences of this belief can get really nasty in some cases, and the mothers end up having multiple abortions/ social embarrassment/ feeling of worthlessness. If you find it difficult to correct everyone else, at least maintain your sanity and simply say no if you don’t believe in having ‘at least one male child’. Every bit of speaking up counts to us becoming an open minded, gender neutral society one day, and is worth taking the pains for positive change.

An heir for our ‘wealth’

Accumulating piles of fortune and to get an inheritor for it, is not the sole purpose of you coming to this world.

To earn a respectful life is something everyone should always aim for. But just accumulation of wealth for next generation and next to next and so on, is a wasteful exercise and root cause of many other social problems.

In my opinion, earn enough to live a lifestyle you aim for, and save for your own future plans and contingencies. Along with earnings, you should have a plan how to spend it in your lifetime, to attain the desired happiness or the purpose of life. Unnecessary accumulation should be avoided.

Some people are desperate to do anything to get a male successor for the wealth created by them. They don’t see their daughters worthy enough to handle such matters after them. Please look around and see millions of examples where girls are setting new heights in every field and proving their worth. From Indira Gandhi to Indra Nooyi, it has been proven worldwide that daughters are equally competent if not more.

Preserving the ‘bloodline’

No, we are not among the soon-to-be-extinct breed of humans, and would not be lost if there is no male child produced (the ‘vanshbel’ logic)

Everyone in this world is known for his/her own deeds and not the deeds of his son, so forget that you or your vansh (dynasty) will be known or kept alive after you, only because of your son and his son and so on so forth. If you did well during your lifetime, you will be known for sure, irrespective of whether you had a son or a daughter; it is as simple as that.

I hope you have heard the name of A P J Abdul Kalam. He was not married, and did not had any son. but because of his splendid achievements and contributions to the mankind, his name is immortal despite the fact that he had nobody to carry on the lineage.

Focus on spending your lifetime correctly, rather than focusing what is going to happen after you are gone from this world.

The thought of last rites

No, a son is not required to give ‘mukhagni’ or to make your soul rest in peace.

We have been hearing this from ages that only a son performs the last rites of parents. Though the pundits will give out thousand other reasons for a girl to not perform the last rites of her parents, if we analyse them closely, none of them really has a scientific connect and are imaginary.

That’s another reason why women today feel it right to question and crush these stereotypical beliefs. We’re educated and have the power to reason after all.

Today we have thousands of examples of women who went right ahead and lit the funeral pyre like Namita Kaul (Foster daughter of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee), Mallika Sarabhai (Daughter of Padma Shree awardee Mrinalini Sarabhai, Pankaja Munde (Daughter of Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Gopinath Munde), Bansuri (Daughter of veteran politician Sushma Swaraj) and many more.

‘At least one son’? – uh, no thank you!

Don’t force a couple to have ‘at least one male child’; don’t feed this brutal industry of guaranteed-son-generation.

All know the kind of cruel practices that are prevalent in our society just to have a son. From abortions to medical treatment to pooja path, to female infanticide. A few people are ready to do anything to fulfil these goals.

To cater these needs there is even a big industry out there, which can go to any extent of inhumanity. Although the govt is trying hard to prevent these practices, the fact is, these ‘shops’ are running right under our nose. I can only hope you have heard of karma; people involved in these heinous crimes will have to pay for their sins one day.

It’s my choice how I ‘complete’ my family

If you feel complete after having a single girl child you are absolutely right, the same way someone can feel complete after having single male child or two children of same gender or opposite gender.

How many children one should have is totally dependent upon the factors that the parents consider necessary. It can be anything from their willingness to their financial background, their medical condition to their support system. They should not bear the burden of what society expects them to have.

A couple should definitely try for a son or a daughter if they wish to do so, but not because their society wants them to have one. Its 2020, please let the couple decide what they want for their life. If they are big enough to get married, they are also competent enough to decide how many kids they can have. Leave the poor couple to live their life their own way; this so-called ‘society’ that force them to have a male child will not be there to share in their responsibilities!

Parent well and be happy

The aim is to raise the child/ children right so that they will contribute to society positively.

Parenthood comes with responsibilities, so do your duty right as a parent obsessing over the gender of the child.

A badly raised kid would do more harm than good, so focus on good upbringing. Welcome the child, be a boy or girl wholeheartedly, and raise them with your best effort. This is the only way to make this world a better place.

An answer to why I am speaking up here

Your mindset of ‘needing’ a male child is dangerous for my daughter in the future.

Last but not the least, dear devotee of the ‘a couple should have at least one male child’ concept, your male-child-inclined-thinking is making my daughter’s life difficult so I chose to speak up.

You’d better stop talking about your incorrect concepts and your fad for a son in public. I don’t want my daughter to feel that she is not as loved as a boy, just because you believe in all this nonsense and see talking about it. She is very precious to me, and her thinking process is something I care for. So if you can’t help your obsession for a son (for someone else!) despite the facts I have stated above, at least keep your mouth shut in front of a single daughter and her parents. God is watching you.
Sincerely,
Happy parents of a single daughter

First published here.

Image source: shutterstock

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A finance professional and blogger. Traveller by heart who loves to pen down thoughts.

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