Letter From A Feminist Mom To Her Daughter As She Steps Into The Future

There shall be no interference or dominance on our part. Both your Papa and myself have had stormy lives. We sincerely wish you to be...

Dear Daughter,

I thought of writing this to you while we are approaching a turning point in our lives.

You are 28 y/o, settled in your career as a physiotherapist, and are now planning to live away from us as an independent working woman.

I think this is a brilliant idea as it will eventually mould you into a self-reliant woman rather than a ‘princess’ mollycoddled by her doting papa. This I feel is the need of the hour since you are our only offspring. Once the two of us depart this world you will have to manage your life single-handedly.

At this juncture let me offer you some advice and suggestions (based on personal experiences) which may help you in your onward journey in life.

Friends and relatives are already bombarding you with the same old stereotyped query: when are you getting hitched? Don’t pay heed to their words. You are the one to make decisions regarding how to run your life.

Marriage is no longer the be-all and end-all of a woman’s life.

Since your childhood, you silently witnessed how your mom was mistreated and mentally persecuted by your Dad’s parents and sister because I refused to toe the line with them and subscribe to archaic beliefs and customs.

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Though your Dad is a devoted, faithful husband, several times, instigated by his family he inflicted physical violence and torture on me. For a woman what can be more shattering than being battered by her spouse?

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t married at all. Then I would not have had such harrowing experiences.

Therefore, my child, I have no objection in case you decide to give matrimony a miss. Let not domestic considerations, wifely duties and child-rearing cramp your zest for life. ‘Drink life to the dregs’ in poet Tennyson’s words.

Marriage appears no big deal, considering that divorce has become a household word in our society? Extra-marital affairs are on the rise. Instances of domestic violence – plus or minus dowry – are commonplace.

Wedlock appears to be losing its sheen and sanctity. My late parents often remarked that marriage is a gamble. With every passing day, I get more convinced that it is indeed.

Unable to find a suitable groom despite frenetic searches, I have seen dispirited spinsters turning spiritual or religious-minded – via self-proclaimed godmen/ gurus, satsangs(congregations) galore. Some prefer to dedicate their life and soul to their religion within the precincts of their homes.

I fail to see the connection between spinsterhood and spirituality.

Do prayers and ritual worship help to quench desires of the flesh, sexual passions, craving for physical love? Who knows?

You must not succumb to social pressures and adopt this mindset. All I want is to see you happy. Whatever it takes.

Living life on ones own is no bed of roses; at some point or the other loneliness or lack of companionship is bound to creep in. Does the concept of a live-in relationship appeal to you?

People commonly believe ‘live-in’ to be here today gone tomorrow. Not really. Long-term commitment can be fostered in a live-in arrangement if the partners want it that way.

Haven’t we come across such couples in our social circle?

Now, should you enter a live-in arrangement, rest assured I will stand by you like a boulder to shelter you against vitriolic comments and reactions of society.

I have always been a rebel. I am glad to realize how I have successfully kindled the fire of rebellion in your heart too. Now is the time to cock a snook at society and plan your future as you like it.

I will embrace it wholeheartedly if you identify with different sexuality if you come out as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Why shouldn’t I?

You’ve got just one life and the right to live it on your terms. Moreover, there is no dearth of talented, globally renowned figures in this category. From Socrates, Oscar Wilde, Martina Navratilova onward to Vikram Seth and John Lennon the list is endless…

For quite some time now we have been airing our respective views on the subject of platonic love. I gather that platonic love involves deep affection, utterly bereft of romantic/sexual inclinations. People of any gender can maintain a friendship without sexual tension or attraction.

When you love someone platonically, you might recognize some basic signs. You may discover similar interests, views, tables of values. You may even discuss your innate feelings towards and relationships with other individuals. Sincere friendship, solid support, encouragement, mutual understanding, enjoying each other’s company may be clubbed under platonic love.

Before putting down my pen, let me assure you once again, my child, that your future is in your own hands. I wish you to be an empowered woman who does not regret the decisions she takes and marches ahead undaunted by your surroundings, brimming with courage and confidence.

There shall be no interference or dominance on our part. Both your Papa and myself have had stormy lives. We sincerely wish you to be full of joie- de-vivre now and forever…

Image credit: a still from short film Dost- Safi Mother-Daughter, YouTube

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About the Author

RUCHIRA GHOSH

Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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