Doesn’t matter how progressive and well educated you are, when it comes to daughter’s marriage, you turn into those regressive souls who treat her like a burden that needs to be get ridden of. You may support her throughout her childhood, give her the best education, raise her to be strong and independent, but as soon as she turns into an adult, you yourself start treating her like a liability.
You raised her to be independent, but as soon she reaches a so-called marriageable age, you tell her to give up on her education, her job, her dreams.
Why because anything that comes in the way of her marriage, should be given up! Rather than fighting the patriarchal mindset that expects women to be treated as a burden on parents, you become one of their representatives. But, why? Maybe the answer to why lies in the fact that we still struggle to accept our daughters’ individual identity. Even in the 21st century, we feel our daughters would only be settled if they are married.
Even though we feel we are more progressive and educated than our ancestors, we still believe our daughters are ‘Paraya Dhan’ that needs to be handed over to the rightful owner.
Even though we raise our daughters to be strong and independent, we measure our success as parents by how well our daughters are settled in their marriage. And, hence, to be perceived as successful parents, we tend to teach our daughter to make her marriage work, even if that means she needs to suffer in silence. We teach her how to endlessly compromise, adapt, and adjust to make her marriage successful.
Because, once she decides to move out of her marriage for her dignity, our society will label us as failed parents.
Sadly we live in a society, where gender biases are deeply rooted.
It is heartbreaking how even in the 21st century, we literally have to run campaigns and advertisements to tell families the reasons that justify having a girl child. Bringing up a daughter in such a patriarchal society isn’t an easy task.
Unfortunately, the parents who even attempt to raise their daughters with all the freedom tend to face criticism. They are called out for giving too much independence to their daughters. And, when their daughters raise their voices against the patriarchal mindset and unfair treatment, these parents are blamed and labeled as bad parents. But, isn’t that the right way to raise daughters.
Why out of fear of society, we parents tend to force our daughters to compromise with their choices and conform to society’s expectations?
We can’t just blame society for failing our daughters. Because in the end, you and we make society. We can’t let society dictate how should we raise our daughters. Because, if we want to bring change – we need to be that agent of change. The day parents start emphasizing on their daughters’ education and happiness more than marriage, the change in society will happen on its own.
The day, parents will tell their daughters to come back home – because a divorced daughter is better than an abused daughter – there would be a sudden drop in abuse cases.
It is high time that we as parents, give up the regressive mindset that our daughters are a burden. As a parent, we shouldn’t measure our success as parents by how well our daughters are settled in their marriage; rather how well they could stand for their own rights. Married or not married, we should focus on raising empowered daughters who could stand for themselves and build their individual identity.
The day, we parents stop seeing our daughters as a burden, the society would change too!