Saturday 27 May 2017

10 ways how Indian families fail their daughters

I am not even going to get into female feoticide, infanticide, honour killing or child marriage, because that may seem something that the 'others' do. To tell you the truth, I have first hand information of these too, from friends, colleagues, cousins and more.
But for now lets stick to the middle class and the rich families that do not indulge in any of these 'heinous crimes against women' that they wouldnt even think of. They also give their daughters nutritious food, an education, love, care and protection. So then how do Indian families fail their daughters? How do they slowly condition their daughters to dumb down, think less, speak less, have fewer ideas, ambitions, desires and the quest to live out their entire potential?
They do it everyday.

1. When they stop their daughters to go swimming because they would tan and then look 'ugly' or if they go swimming they would have to wear swimming costumes that reveal the shape of their body and they would rather not have people see the shape of their daughter's body than let her have the pleasure of a swim.

2. They do it when they encourage their daughters to aspire to be the next 'Aishwarya Rai' or 'Priyanka Chopra' or 'Miss Universe' instead of asking them to aspire to be the next Kalpana Chawla or the next Saina Nehwal.

3. They do it when they buy princess books and princess bags and princess tiffin boxes and princess dresses and take them to malls where there are 'princess makeovers' happening and allow their daughters to get that makeover done and then click photos and put them on facebook with tags that say 'my cutie princess'.

4. They do it when they bar their daughters from sports and extra curricular activities because some good-for-nothing neighbour wrote on their wall 'I love you 'daughter's name'. Or because some aunty ji came home and said that everyone is saying that their daughter is 'becoming really fast'.

5. They do it when they ask their daughter to keep fasts on Mondays to get a 'handsome husband' like Shiv ji (yes, my friends did that in school)

6. When they tell their daughters to hush-up about the uncle or neighbour or cousin who touched them inappropriately in a wedding function.

7. When they are so surprised that their daughter's boyfriend wants to marry her and doesnt have any demands! They think their daughter is so lucky that this person wants only her and not money or a car along.

8. When after marriage, the family serves the daughter's husband like he is God and ask her to 'let go' of her aspirations and dreams if it in any way hampers her 'successful married life'.

9. When they make sure to advice the girl time and again that she should hail her husband in high regard, never get angry with him, serve him food before daring to serve food for herself and always put his needs above hers, never get more successful than him and basically 'never hurt his ego because it may be fragile'.

10. When they start enquiring about when their married daughter is planning to have a baby, without bothering to ask her if she even wants one at all.

If you see an Indian woman living out her entire potential, most likely she is doing it inspite of her family, not because of it.

P.S. - the thoughts are purely personal and not based on any data or survey.