If you are a courageous & bold woman, who does not let society dictates who you should be or what you should do, then we know, you are not living an easy life.
We know, you might be caught between the dilemma of what others expect you to do and what you want to do, every day. Struggling between the pseudo-independence and the age-old ‘traditions’ or parampara, we salute your struggle to find your own identity.
But, unlike you, many of us are still struggling to find our voice! On Reddit, this very struggle has finally been put to words by a woman under the name sodesigirl.
And we feel it’s something every girl who’s ever struggled with her identity in the context of ‘Indian tradition’ should read.
Proclaiming herself as a traditional girl from a large conservative family, she writes about the expectations her family and society in general, have set up from her to be a ‘perfect daughter’.
“I’m from a large conservative Hindu family. I was raised to be the perfect submissive daughter and I grudgingly still am. I had to do “girl” things only.
Be more shy, be more religious, don’t be loud, don’t be a rebel, don’t go out in the sun or get dark, don’t go out at night, don’t wear that, don’t drink this, don’t question so much, don’t use your phone so much, and basically don’t do the things the boys in the family still get away with doing.”
Sharing about the restrictions that she and many of her friends face, she opened up:
“The restrictions are ridiculous but most of my friends face them too so it’s not just my backward family.I realized girls and boys are taught selected skills, and this whole thing falls under the pretense of “culture”.
You’re basically supposed to be a beauty queen with all the skills of a housewife and also get a Masters/Doctorate on the side.
Oh, after that degree, get married to the man your parents pick and forget about that so called career (unless your husband’s family approves).”
While opening up about how Indian women are raised with the distorted concepts of family honor and the societal threat, she shared how dating is seen as a sin:
“Don’t do anything that will make your father ashamed. He won’t survive such dishonour”
I’ve lost so many opportunities this way in the past few years. I’ve become the stuck up ice queen for most of these guys. I feel like an idiot, a spineless coward for not taking those chances.
I have zero relationship experience and I’m 26!
I blame my parents as much as I do myself and this stupid society we live in. I’ve reached that age where my family has started lined up guys for me to meet with. I know how this process goes, my sisters went through it too.
At the end of the day, even if they say they are progressive, they (at least from my experience) still want a pretty virgin bride.
I see slut shaming from women more than men these days too.
Further, she shares how she was raised to be under her husband’s shadow after having her entire childhood under the wings of her loving, yet restrictive parents:
“(To fellow women here, I’m sorry for generalizing like this but god, I’m sick of the 3rd wave feminist movement in India that doesn’t do much more than repeated ‘why should boys have all the fun’ bs.
Equality and independence is not only about having fun, it also come with all the ugly problems. Lot of the girls i know don’t even have fully developed personalities to start with. Everything revolves around parents, bf, hubby, social media, and anything with instant gratification.
They know nothing about real life issues because everyone’s trying to protect them.
Trust me, I was one of these girls, we exist by the millions).
I haven’t made any major decisions in my life 100% on my own. I haven’t taken any risks.
Some of you might say“move out, be financially independent and fuck em.”
I’m not even living with them right now and I make money, but I’m kind of emotionally stunted, not prepared. I just can’t bring myself to betray their twisted ideals about my responsibilities. I’m realizing that no matter what I do, no matter how much I try to explain my actions, they won’t be happy unless I do exactly as I’m told.
The root of this evil lies with the stereotype of the ‘traditional Indian woman’ that every girl must fit, that has been passed down from generation to generation. She finishes by saying:
My parents would never ever hurt me intentionally.
But they will emotionally manipulate me till I give in and the sad thing is that they won’t even know that they are doing it.
They think they are protecting me and guiding me. How silly is that?
And I know I’m not alone in this situation.
Now, some of us might find her post worthless as our life experience might be very different from hers.
We might have been raised by modern and forward-thinking parents or we might have broken those shackles that we were chained in.
In either case, we shouldn’t discredit or disregard her story or her laudable courage to open up!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of I for Her.