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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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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...
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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