“Bhai Sahab, your daughter doesn’t do any work! She only goes to clinic, comes back, eats food and goes to sleep. She doesn’t do any household work! If she wants to live like this, tell her to live in a hostel or PG! Why to stay here?”
“Behenji, how could you say that? She works really hard at clinic. She is earning good. What’s wrong if she has hired cook and maid to reduce her stress. What more do you expect her to do?”
“If we wanted cook and maid to fulfil the responsibilities of daughter-in-law, then there was no need to get our son married to your daughter. Maid and cook are paid services, they won’t cook or do things for us as a daughter-in-law would do! She doesn’t take care of the house at all. Look at these fans, they are so dirty!”
“Sorry Behenji, but if you just wanted a daughter-in-law to cook and clean, then you should have told us earlier. My daughter didn’t study so hard to finally sacrifice her dreams to cook and clean for you!”
By now, my daughters’ in-laws were shocked and stunned as I refused to stay silent while they blame my daughter for not becoming educated maid or nanny after marriage. It is heartbreaking how even in 21st century, some people in our society still want to treat educated daughters-in-law as cook or maids.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have issues with household chores. But, I do have issues if you tend to glorify household chores in name of women’s duty or dharam! We never blame men for not working in kitchen after a long day at office; We don’t blame our sons for not helping us with household chores! Then why rules are so different for our daughters-in-law?
We applaud our sons for working hard in office, but curse our daughters-in-law for same! We pamper our sons when they return home after a hectic day of work, but force our daughters-in-law to cook for whole family! We celebrate our sons’ career achievements but hold our daughters-in-law guilty for not focusing on family! We call our career-oriented sons achievers, but our driven daughters-in-law selfish!
In 21st century, as parents of a daughter, we are leaving no stone unturned in raising strong and independent daughters. We make sure that they get every opportunity that our sons get! We raise them with the idea that they are no less than a man! They have equal right to be who they want to be; they have equal right to dream! But, all what we teach them, goes for a toss once they are married.
Because, doesn’t matter how much we raise them to be equal, our society’s patriarchal and regressive mindset catches up and makes every attempt to shatter them!
While the society might be trying hard to shatter my daughters’ confidence, it might be indulging in shaming my daughter for not delivering on unfair expectations, I won’t let my daughter break! I will stand by her as she shatters every stereotype like a hero!
And for the last time, dear society, our daughters did not marry your sons to be your maids! They are born to fly and we won’t let you cage them!
My daughter, I am so proud of you for standing for yourself and your dreams! Let society keep barking. You just keep roaring!