“Hi, It’s me! I am neither your son nor do I wish to be. I have my own identity. I am a daughter and am proud to be me!” – every daughter of India.
“Yeh hamari beti nahi, beta hai”, ever since I was a kid I never understood what this sentence meant. With the never ending debate of boys vs girls, the ambiguity of the statement never ceased to confuse me. So when I happened to come across a sentence yesterday that read “hoti hai kuch ladkiyan, jo ghar ka beta hoti hai”, the suppressed thoughts came up again and filled my mind with several unanswered questions. Therefore, I was compelled to sit down and reflect upon it.
In the olden days, girls used to get married and go away to their new homes while guys stayed back and took care of their families. It was a son’s primary role to take care of his parents. Males were the breadwinners of the family as they’d put it. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, if a girl had to do the same she was compared to being a son. And to praise her, people would say that she was just like their son. We are talking about, what, a 50 years ago? Give or take a few, right?
Now let’s come back to today. The primary roles are not the same. It’s not only a man’s responsibility to bring home the bread while the woman cooks and serves. Today, women are at par with men, if not ahead of them. Women have equal rights and opportunities but the comparison never stops. I honestly think we should stop comparing men and women once and for all and accept that we were created differently with different capabilities.
Let’s stop trying to degrade each other at every chance we get. I have two brothers. I won’t say am equal to them or better than them. I can be myself without trying to defeat them at anything. But since they’ve gone abroad for their studies and aren’t home right now, I do some tasks that they would have done if they were here. But, If my parents, in order to compliment me, ever say ‘you are just like a son to us’, I don’t think I’d appreciate that. In fact I’d probably be offended. I believe we should compliment people for what they do while acknowledging who they are. In order to compliment a woman, why does she have to be compared to a man in order to prove her worth? Why do we women always have to say that we can do a job better than men? Why can’t we simply that say we can do the job very well?
Being a girl will never be enough, will it? I mean I would rather read the above mentioned sentence as ‘hoti hai kuch ladkiyan jo apne ghar ki zimmedari uthati hai’ Why does a girl who has worked way too hard should be praised by telling her that she’s as good as a guy? Please! She achieved all that being a girl, applaud her for what she did, being who she is! When I hear people ‘praise’ their daughters by saying you are not a daughter but a son to us, I don’t understand what they mean by that. It’s like they want to say you have done what our son would do if he existed but since you did it you are that non-existent(in most cases) son! Ohh so it’s still about your son, isn’t it? So whatever a daughter does she wouldn’t be as good enough as your son! Why can’t you praise her for what she did while acknowledging who she is? Why can’t you say ‘I’ve been blessed by a wonderful daughter’, ‘you are a great child my dear daughter’, ‘I have the best daughter in the world’, ‘you are an amazing human being’, ‘you are a beautiful person’? But No, these don’t sound as good as ‘you are like a son to me’ do they?
I am not here to start any debates on men Vs Women. My only intention is to express my annoyance of this phrase that has been used for so long that we girls don’t understand the hidden meaning behind it anymore. Times have changed, so have our living situations and primary responsibilities. It’s not about being a man or a woman anymore. Even guys marry and go away to different cities or countries these days. Their priority lies with their career and their new families. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that. But it means neither man nor woman is restricted to play a specific role now. So it’s time to stop using this age old ‘tu beti nahi, beta hai mera’ coz I see it as demeaning girls and not complimenting them. If a woman does something great, just praise her for what she did. She doesn’t have to be compared to a man to prove her worth.
Dear women, this women’s day, remember not to let your worth be decided by how well you do your work compared to the men around you, but just let it be decided by how well YOU do YOUR work! Happy Women’s Day J
By Aliya Gowher
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