This blog represents the official view of the voices in my head.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I want my daughter to be tough

Few days back i came across a very sensible and a very relevent article.....sharing with you all. Its modified version of original.

'I want my daughter to be tough' -Zelda Pande

I bet you know all the nursery ditties:
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything that is nice
What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails
Or you heard your father or grandmother say in a very sage and old-fashioned manner: Boys must grow up to be strong!
I'd like to make a statement that flies in the face of that convention: Girls need to be brought up stronger still.
I am bringing up two daughters and, being a woman myself, I think it is even more important to have your daughters grow up independent, fearless and tough.
I do know very definitely what I don't want my girls to be:
~ They cannot be wilting violets with no gumption and short on energy to tackle the important matters in life.
~ They cannot be insecure and unsure of what they can do with their life merely because they were born female.
~ They cannot be ninnies who listen faithfully to their husbands and have no opinions of their own.

let's move back to the central theme of this piece: Why do we need to bring up our girls sturdy?
Well, because, tomorrow, they may want to have a career , earning their own income. They will need to go out there and be able to face working in tough environments, commuting long hours to work, often in offices that are predominantly male-dominated. I have not faced it, but your daughter may face a situation where a male colleague, equally qualified, gets better assignments. That just possibly may not happen if she is indispensable and tough at what she does.
No longer in an office, in Mumbai at least, can you say I can't do the night shift. You have to be able to do it and learn how to navigate your city safely and wisely after dark. No longer do women not face job transfers; they need to learn to start all over again in another city or country.
Our daughters may make bad marriages or start bad relationships and have to be tough enough to stand their ground for what they believe in under such circumstances. They will need to know how to be able to plot a course to their life while in a bad marriage and come out on top in a society that, in many instances, can be extra conservative. Or else have the courage to break it up. All extremely, extraordinarily tough situations that we may have been fortunate never to have faced.
They may lose their spouses. They will need to know how to steer their families into the future without the male member, who may have added his salary to the family income apart from balancing the family's financial books, sorting legal matters and repairing the car.
It is never easy being a woman in a world where, sometimes, strangely, one wrong decision can cloud your future -- like getting accidentally pregnant or having a relationship with the wrong man. That does not take into account the things that can happen to you that are not in your control -- harassment, molestation and worse.
Equally important is the fact that, tomorrow, she herself will be a mom and needs to know how to bring her kids up.
Don't you want your daughter tough and clear headed enough to be able to face all these variables that could change the equation of her life? Don't you think she needs to be stronger, or as strong as a man, to be equipped to face these situations.
Tips, small and big, that I think that could help make them tough...
~ Never think that any task is something only boys, and not girls too, need to learn. Teach your daughters to cook, sew, kick a ball, drive, learn karate, hammer a nail, change a bulb, write a legal affidavit, travel alone, study abroad. Your boys have to learn all these things too.
~ Spend time talking to them and telling them what is right and what is wrong. Expose them to issues of life even from a young age. Let them express their views fearlessly and teach them to speak their mind. Bring them up to be clear-headed, not confused.
~ Don't have different standards for what your daughter can do and what your son is allowed to do.
~ Don't overprotect them. Again, it is difficult to find a middle road between sensible protection in a lawless world and over-coddling. But eventually your teenage, nearly-grown up daughter should be able to get around without drivers, cars, male chaperones.
~ Let them be well-read, empowered by knowledge and aware of the affairs of the world. They should be able to discuss issues of business, maybe cricket, politics as well as their parents.
It is also interesting how we now expect our girls to be stronger and tougher, while our boys are taught to express their feelings. It will be sad if our girls lose their ability to be empathetic and balance must be maintained...equip them and set them free so they can Be what they want to be.

1 comment:

Sweta said...

I just loved this!!! Thanks for sharing.. :)