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My Feminist, ‘Equal Partner’ Husband Is Also My Daughter’s Daddy Cool!

He shows his affection openly; a casual bear hug is not often seen between fathers and older daughters in India as they're conditioned to keep a distance.

He shows his affection openly; a casual bear hug is not often seen between fathers and older daughters in India as they’re conditioned to keep a distance.

In a patriarchal society like ours when we see feminist and progressive fathers, there’s a hope that things will change for better for the girls.

One such feminist father is my daughter Ishani’s father; yes my husband.

An equal partner and awesome Dad

My husband is a man of few words, but his actions speak louder. He has always been a feminist, an equal partner, an equal parent, and so being a feminist father came naturally to him. Yes, like most fathers he treats our daughter more delicately, but at the same time he is the father who pushes her to develop life skills, think about her future.

He is the father with whom my daughter can discuss her period discomfort freely. This year we had gone for a vacation in Dubai and on my husband’s birthday we decided to go for a little sightseeing. On that day, my daughter had her first day of very uncomfortable period with heavy bleeding. Initially, she hesitated to share it with my husband thinking that it will ruin his birthday plans. My husband very calmly and lovingly said, “Dear girl!  You need to be selfish at times. Prioritize yourself. Those who love you will definitely understand your problem.” He cut short the day’s sightseeing and we returned to the hotel and once she was better we went out.

He is the one who discusses history, language, books, sports with her. He never discusses marriage as her future plan. He encourages her interest in Arts by having long discussions about her topic of interest. Just like her brother, he encourages her to develop life skills.

Setting a good example by action

My husband has always treated me with respect and love and has a set a good example in front of our daughter as to how girls/women should be treated. He once very clearly said, “Any boy/man who shows slightest of disrespect to Ishani will be chucked out. No one can treat my daughter badly.”

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Ishani is a teenager and at her age is curious, inquisitive, has opinions, has questions, and she is as comfortable discussing them with her father as she is with me. She can discuss topics like homosexuality, domestic violence, gender inequality, etc. with her dad without any iota of hesitation. Both I and my husband have always aimed at keeping the communication channel open with our children.

Openly affectionate with his daughter

One more thing that my husband never fails to do is show his affection to her by giving a bear hug, a small peck, keeping his hands on her shoulder when walking together. Touch is also an important aspect of showing love and in our country mostly fathers are hesitant to do that with their daughters thanks to the conditioning.

As Ishani herself says, “I am extremely fortunate to have Baba as my father.  If in the future I ever get married, I would definitely want a husband like Baba.” For any man, this can be one of the biggest validation of being a nice feminist man.

May more daughters have fathers like Ishani’s father. May Ishani and her Baba’s bond continue to flourish always…

A feminist father is a huge factor in a woman’s empowerment. It may be because daughters usually look up to their fathers, or in the Indian context because a father’s willingness to support and encourage a daughter to be an independent person makes a lot of difference in practical terms. For #FathersDay we bring to you a few such stories of #FeministFathers who stand by their daughters.

Image source: the author

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About the Author

Ritwika Roy Mutsuddi

I am a travel expert by profession and an avid blogger by passion. Parenting and women's issues are something that are close to my heart and I blog a lot about them. read more...

40 Posts | 167,430 Views

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