This women’s day I declare, “My daughter is not a princess!”
When I say this I mean it. “A warrior queen (maybe) but not a princess.”
She is a normal child who is treated fairly, as any child should be.
In a world that is working diligently towards gender equality most parents proudly declare they are bringing up their daughters as “princesses”. I hugely respect this sentiment and the change in collective psych of society. But first a question I request an honest answer to.
When your princess grows up and makes her own decisions about the things that really matter, would you let her? They may be decisions that you might not agree with. Will you give her the right to her own life? Would you not second guess her?
You see “Princesses” just don’t get a cushioned upbringing they are also supposed to own their lives. Sometimes, I feel there is a serious overlap in parenting with the idea of gender equality. Many a times the pendulum seems to have swung to the other extreme, when the idea is balance. As parents it is our duty to rectify the mistakes of the past and empower our girls but for that they need not be treated as royalty.
What should stand true is the fact “Boys rights are no less than girls but they are NOT MORE too.”
Equal rights are simply “EQUAL”.
What I think really works is being truthful about how things stand when it comes to gender equality. Giving our girls a tailor made existence is not really preparing them for the world that awaits. My daughter is pulled up for her mistakes, now that she is old enough to see right from wrong. She gets scolded and is taught to behave.
We try to incorporate in her upbringing her responsibilities with a very clear understanding of her rights. The rights she can and should exercise. One thing I want her to be very clear on is the fact that she can be as “difficult” a woman as she sees fit. She needs to have a voice and a shrill and loud one when needed, even at the risk of being termed as “difficult” by social standards.
Being self dependent plays a major role in bringing up a woman ready to face the world. A “princess” who can always stand for her self respect. I can’t even begin to tell you how many parents take pride in the fact their “princesses” are not required to do any work at home. It leaves me speechless! Since when has fending for oneself become a thing to be looked down upon? Nor should it be gender specific.
Teach your kids to work, they will thank you for it one day. There is a world out there that can be very unforgiving. Being just princesses helps no one!
Many situations in life have us women reeling with the unfairness meted out. How do you choose what to do or how to act when faced with an unjust situation? The answer is never loose your integrity. To pacify societal norms do not stand with any form of injustice.
I teach my daughter to defend herself I also try to instill in her the importance of standing up for other women. It is weak women who pull each other down. Compromising on ones values can never guarantee any long term happiness.
Also, girls need to learn to differentiate between any form of abuse and real affection. Many a times people disguise abuse, major or minor, as love. They need to recognize what is not accepted behaviour and put their foot down. Be true to yourself. Say NO if you want, stand your ground.
Women are expected to make relationships work when it is actually a two way street. People instill such a fear in girls of being single. I would never want my daughter to keep investing in an unhappy relationship.mSingle or hitched, integrity first. Make decisions that you can live with.
FREEDOM ABOVE ALL:
Freedom above all because “Real empowerment is the ability to choose.”
I would not give up my freedom for any form of privileges.
Your girls wants to lead their lives as princesses or as normal working women, giver them the right to choose. Be her guiding light not the chains that hold her back in the name of love or parenting.
No one can want her happiness more than a parent still let her fall. Give your princess the resilience to get up, dust herself and continue but do not be the hand that steadies her every time she stumbles. Do not doubt her strength and decisions.
Any kind of love without freedom is a hollow attempt at narrowing the gender gap.
Discuss your girl’s choices with her but do not undermine her choices because of her gender.
I would leave you with my thoughts on this topic with a confession.
Yes, my daughter rules our hearts. She sometimes even lords over us. She has the temper of a tempest, for someone so small. Still I stand by my claim she is not a princess, just a little girl who is loved very much.
Do share your views on how to bring up our girls stronger.