As a woman, we face sexism everywhere we go, but what possibly has the most long-lasting effect is prejudice faced at home. From an early age, daughters are treated in a very specific way that limits their potential in the name of "protection" and gives them a wrong idea of what it means to be a "good woman". A good woman is a good human, period. But well, in most cases, women learn that pretty late.
Here are 14 things parents can stop telling their daughters to make sure that does not happen.
1. Women have to compromise a bit in the family.
Incorrect. There is no rule which makes this a compulsion.
2. Learn how to cook, otherwise your mother-in-law will say your mother didn't teach you anything.
It's usually mothers who say this, without realising that they being offensive not just towards the daughter but also towards themselves.
3. We are not asking you to not do a job, but shaadi toh karni hi hai.
This is not a real thing. You don't HAVE TO get married.
4. Our reputation is in your hands.
No, your reputation isn't in your daughter's hands, it is solely in your own hands. And while we are on the topic, let's redefine the conventional definition of "reputation" in this context.
5. Don't answer back to elders.
PLEASE answer back to elders if they are wrong. There's nothing wrong with politely refusing to believe in what they believe or calling them out.
6. Career isn't everything.
It is, actually, for a lot of women. And for those it is not, that's fair too, but that's not something that should come from parents.
7. Don't talk to men.
And do what exactly? Just stand there silently? Parents will limit their daughter's freedom, but interestingly enough, and generally speaking, not even consider the possibility that their son could be a dangerous man to women.
8. It's your duty to serve dinner, snacks to guests.
Pretty sure every healthy member of the family can do that.
9. We can't take money from you, it is like a sin.
What a way to treat your offspring who is only trying to look out for you.
10. Don't be too demanding, it doesn't look nice.
Who cares about it "looking nice"? In fact, a rational person would advise exactly the opposite: ask for what you deserve.
11. Marriages are built on sacrifices.
They usually mean, "women's sacrifices", which is regressive idea men have bought into because it's convenient. And as we know, when things get convenient for men, they are almost never questioned. Question them.
12. By the time your mother was your age, she had 2 kids.
Brilliant. It was a choice she made, but while I love her, I do not have to be her exact copy, do I?
13. Your brother will protect you.
No thanks. I am capable of doing that myself.
14. It's your duty to keep your husband happy.
It is so not. It should be my "desire" to keep my husband happy, and the desire won't come if he is not nice to me. That's just how it works.
It's about time we start treating daughters as the individuals they are.