“We don’t believe there is any difference between a girl or a boy. If she wants to work after marriage, she can.”, says my daughter’s mother-in-law. Realizing how my daughter was blessed to have supportive in-laws that I never had, I was extremely happy.
I am a single mother, who raised her daughter as an equal. The only thing I wanted for my daughter’s in-law was to treat her equally to that of their son, but unfortunately, I was so damn wrong!
Throughout my whole life, I fought for equality – as a woman, as a wife & as a daughter!
When I was insulted by my in-laws and my husband, I chose to stand for myself. While my parents kept telling me to stay quietly in an abusive marriage, I refused. I refused to live a life without dignity and respect. And, with two little kids, I stepped out in the world to create a better life for my kids and myself.
And, after 24 years, I am not only financially better off than my husband but also raised two responsible and loving kids. Though I may have managed to create a respectable life for myself, it is heart-breaking to believe that society hasn’t changed a bit. It still treats its women lesser than men!
Though I thought my fight for equality was over, I hardly knew I will see my daughter battling the same fight!
It was heartbreaking to see how my daughter’s in-laws who labeled themselves as progressive and modern, were as shallow as my in-laws 30 years ago.
Yes, her in-laws allowed her to work. But, they also treated her like an educated maid. Based on their convenience and mood, my daughter’s status would vary in their house.
When it came to a financial contribution to the household income, she was expected to do as much as that of her husband because men & women are equal. But, when it came to household chores, she was expected to do it alone because ‘yeh toh ladkiyon ka kaam hai’.
When it was about driving her for the hospital visits, she was expected to do it alone. Because she is strong and independent; but when it came to her foreign official trip, she can’t travel alone because she is a woman, who is weak and vulnerable.
It is heartbreaking how my daughter’s in-laws decide when my daughter is equal to their son and when she isn’t.
Based on their convenience, one day my daughter was equal to their son; but on the other day, when she wanted to help her family she was reminded that she was Paraya Dhan.
It broke my heart how the progressive in-laws believed that while my daughter was Paraya Dhan, their son was their Budape Ki Lathi! Where was their sense of equality now?
With time, I have realized how these in-laws, who call themselves progressive but carry regressive thinking, are the worst breed. They control, manipulate, and sabotage your daughter for their own greed and convenience. And, though they want you to believe that they would treat your daughter as that of their son, they hardly treat her like a human!
But, this isn’t the story of only my daughter. There are so many modern women, who were raised to be strong and independent women. And now they struggle with diplomatic hypocritical in-laws every day, who use the concept of equality as per their convenience.
To every modern daughter-in-law, I know your life isn’t easy at all. You are waging the same war on equality as what your mother or grandmother fought.
I just hope you won’t give up on this fight as your mom and grandmother didn’t. Take a stand against hypocritical in-laws and show them that you won’t accept a life without respect & dignity.