Times have changed. And so have the ways we raise our daughters.
But what is heartbreaking is the fact that though many parents are raising their daughters to be independent, these daughters struggle because of our patriarchal society’s regressive thought-process.
One such father opened up how he & his wife raised a strong daughter. But her husband’s regressive parenting failed her.
Like many progressive parents, we never believed that girls were any less than the boys. We raised our daughter to be educated, confident, kind, loving, and caring. We raised her to stand for herself and fight for her dreams. We raised her to believe in the importance of love and respect in any relationship. And we made her strong enough to live life on her own terms.
But hardly we knew that though we fulfilled our parenting responsibilities to raise a daughter, who is strong, independent, and educated; our daughter would still struggle to be happy.
It is heartbreaking how the independent daughters are failed by their educated in-laws and husbands. Though these people project themselves to be modern and progressive, it is a matter of shame how their thoughts are still deeply rooted in regressive thought-process.
My daughter married a man, who studied from one of the best MBA institutes in the world. Her well-educated in-laws running their own family business. But how they treated our daughter, would make you ask them to throw their degrees in the garbage bin. Because if you don’t know how to treat women with respect and dignity, then your education is of no use.
But this isn’t just the story of my daughter alone. It happens to many daughters who have been raised to be strong and independent.
While we had taught our daughters to be independent, our society forgot to teach our sons how to live with an independent wife. This society also doesn’t know how to live with a daughter-in-law, who is equal to their son.
When these daughters speak up their mind, we perceive it as an insult to us. We want to raise strong daughters but we want meek daughters-in-law who silently suffer our ill-treatment.
When these independent women try hard to focus and build their careers, they are called out for not taking care of the family. While we call our ambitious sons as driven, it is heartbreaking we call our ambitious daughters-in-law as selfish and self-centered.
These daughters who have been raised as equal to their brothers refused to get a similar treatment after marriage. Their husbands and in-laws, leave no stone unturned in letting them know that men are superior to women. How men need to focus on their career and women on family, kitchen, and kids.
These daughters are being taunted and insulted when they speak up against the regressive thought-process.
It is heartbreaking how parents, who raise their daughters to be strong and independent find themselves helpless when they see their daughters struggling alone in the marriage.
As a parent, I have seen my daughter struggle too. While I raised my daughter to be independent and to be supportive of her spouse, it is sad how her in-laws forgot to raise a man to support his wife. They forgot to teach him how to treat a woman at par with him. They forgot to teach him how a marriage needs respect and love for each other.
I saw my daughter suffering until she decided not to suffer anymore. She stood for herself and made sure that she doesn’t let people treat her like a doormat in name of relationships. My daughter realized that she can’t let others’ ego ruin her peace and self-respect. She decided that she can’t be manipulated anymore in name of so-called marriage. She made it clear to her spouse, that if she can’t be treated as an equal, she can’t take this partnership further.
I am extremely happy how my daughter took her life in her own hands and decided not to compromise. And with time, I saw how her husband and in-laws understood that they need to change and treat her as equal.
But, how she was treated initially, made me realize that our society needs to change.
- We may raise our daughters to be career-oriented, but we forget to raise our sons to learn how to cook!
- Our daughters may know how to file taxes but our sons may not have any idea about doing laundry!
- We may raise our daughters to drive but forget to teach our sons how to sweep the floors!
- Our daughters may know how to invest in share markets but our sons don’t have any idea how to make food!
As a society, we can’t just tell parents of daughters to raise empowered women. But, we also need to teach ourselves and our sons how to accept them and live with them.
So, a humble request to all those parents who are raising sons:
While we are raising our daughters to be strong and independent, you need to teach your sons how to treat them as equals. Because it is useless to raise independent women if we are still raising entitled men, who think they are better than women.