Girls Are Not “Just Princesses!”

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 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.

Raising my Indian Daughter Differently

What Maayeka Really Means To An Indian Girl

Raising my Indian Daughter Differently

The Indian value system is quite complex. On the one hand they have great core values like parents always standing by their children in every life situation and promoting joint family living situation. On the other hand every Indian Daughter is subconsciously taught that our contribution to society is valuable only in the context of wife and mother.

Being from a moderate yet conservative family, My life was not an exception., My parents tried their best to raise me well by providing for my many needs. I was happy with the choices they made for me.

To their credit, they tried to keep themselves update with the ever changing society norms. I was blessed with a perfect family with full of love and joy but there was always a subtle criticism involved when it came to some of my behavior and attitudes.

Even the best parents will yell at their daughters if they are sleeping past 9 a.m, laughing out so loud or being to social  in the crowd because they think it is not appropriate.

” What will your future in-laws think of you and the way we have raised you “ was a frequent lament!

My Story

When the marriage topic was began for me at age 23, I felt I was in a different world altogether. I saw a completely different side to my mother. There are other families where getting married gets discussed when the daughter  turns 21. I guess it’s fine, at the least you were be free for 21 years, sort of.

Yes, my in-laws are so sweet and caring and I never felt feared being myself around them. Initially though I cared for them because “in laws are your own family now.  They come first and should get all the love and respect the second you become a wife. “ Thank god after some days I realized they really deserved it all for treating me like a daughter.

It’s like they were not only worried about society but also the future family I was going to get married. Our story is not unique though and unfortunately, many girls get influenced by this thinking. There are other families where getting married gets discussed when the daughter turns 21. I guess it’s fine, at the least you were be free for 21 years, sort of.

Raising My Indian Daughter Differently 

Girls are taught to take up as little room as possible in this world, not just physically, but also in the way they speak, laugh and assert themselves. When I had my daughter I decided to parent her differently.

    • If my daughter wants to play cricket in the street with boys, if she loves to climb trees or to laugh loudly or be boisterous, I will never stop her. I will trust my kid forever.
    • I will wish to stand by her side in all situations. I will not accuse her of bringing shame to my family whenever she does something unreasonable.
    • I will never ask her to put her passions and dreams on the back burner for getting married.
    • I will not ask her bear a  child within the so-called time limit of 28 years.
    • She will be valued for the same reasons as every son for their intelligence, strength, creativity and passion.
[bctt tweet=”Indian girls are taught to take up as little room as possible in this world, not just physically.” username=”contactrwc”]

If the parents like us don’t see our son and daughter as equal then how will the society see and treat our girls equal? Especially during the marriage phase, I don’t want to intimidate my daughter and make her feel that her husband’s family are so different and she have to convince them in each situation. I need to teach her what marriage is all about and how lovely it is to be getting married and taking care of the family. Naturally she going to be an endearing daughter in law.

I want her to know self-love is the best thing she can do to herself. It is the greatest love of all. To show respect to everyone and their feelings regardless of their age is a basic quality she should never give up.

With these values she will surely grow to be of strong character. What else do you think I can do differently to empower her? 

Raising My Indian Daughter Differently #indianparenting #india #indianvalues #parenting

Sindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.

Changing The Misnomer of Indian Feminism

Feminism in India

A few years ago I was returning home with a friend from a party at 9:30 pm. I was wearing a simple black dress which went till my knees, high heels and carrying a blingy purse. My friend was getting late so she dropped me at an intersection about a km away from my place.

The distance was not much really, but things had started closing down for the night. I must have reached a few meters ahead when 3 men on a bike started following me. I panicked and crossed the road thinking that they will continue on their way. But they turned around and came the other way.

I frantically called my fiancé to come and pick me up. He asked me to go inside a supermarket which was thankfully open. I thank my lucky stars everyday that nothing untoward happened to me. Needless to say, I got a huge dressing down from my fiancé for being so irresponsible! In retrospect, I was wearing something that was completely out of place in an area which was surrounded by slums, which is certainly not a good idea.

Conservative Thinking

In India, conservative thinkers have many “rules” which define the behavior of a  “good woman”. The most frustrating among them is blaming the girl for being eve teased or even raped because she’s wearing inappropriate clothes or standing the wrong way or luring men etc.

On top of this there are some fanatics who makes statements to the media like “It was bound to happen, women wear nudity fashion. They were wearing short dresses.” or “They tried to copy the Westerners, not only in their mindset but even in their dressing. So there was some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.” Like it’s no big deal but needless, it is our fault! What they do not understand is that eve teasing happens no matter what we wear, salwar suits, sarees or western clothes.

This has led to a huge hue and cry about women protesting that they have a right to wear what they want in public and should not be shamed because of it. Young girls, the “feminist advocates”, in turn at times protest this thinking by wearing clothes inappropriate for the time and place, just to prove a point.

A Real Look at the Misnomer of Feminism

While I am a feminist myself, there is a very fine line here which is often missed by many. Yes, one should have the right to dress the way they want. Wearing western clothes doesn’t mean that you are a woman with loose morals trying to get a man’s attention. You are certainly not giving anyone the green signal to your body.

But there is also something called as appropriate dressing which is defined by the environment you are going to be in.

When I was in the night club I would have been considered conservatively yet elegantly dressed but on the lonely streets at 9.30 pm in the night I probably looked like an escort to those men on the bike in that location. Maybe, if i was even wearing a sweater or shawl I might have been overlooked, but on that night I was probably sticking out like a red beacon.

When the time comes for me to educate my daughter about these situations I will tell her is that you are allowed to wear whatever you want. I don’t care about the “aunties” who sit and judge the length of your dress but to always always be aware of the surroundings you are going to be in before deciding on your outfit.

Feminism has become the most fashionable word in the country today. Every time any issue pops up, out comes the “F” word. I believe that women are grossly misusing this word to get things they at times don’t deserve or something that is impractical. This is because most of these women don’t really understand what it means or stands for. [bctt tweet=”“Misguided feminism” is the root cause of confusion within women on how to respond to issues.” username=”contactrwc”]

Further Misconstrued in the Household

Another misconstruction of feminist ideals made is when it comes to doing the household chores. Women, like men have demanding careers these days and hence expect that the men of the house also contribute in the daily tasks at home.

This is quite reasonable. But in most Indian households, the mothers-in-law will judge their daughters-in-law for making their “Shona Beta” (Darling Son) do housework. The  feeling is that their sons are being treated like a servant.

They do not understand that the poor girl deserves some time off too. This rigid thought process in turn causes the women to rebel.  They take it to the other extreme by demanding that it is the men who should do everything around the house. They lounge around thereby throwing the concept of “equality” down the drain.

I want to teach my baby that equality comes when both the man and the woman change their perspective. They need to understand and respect the fact that they are both equally busy in their respective jobs. With mutual understanding they can share the house work respectfully. There should be no rigidity that a particular task belongs to a single person only.

So, What is Feminism ?

Fighting for equality when it comes to respect, voicing your opinion, demanding equal pay, is what feminism is about.

  • It is about making your own choices.
  • It is  about understanding your inner strength.
  •  It is about grace.
  • It is about acceptance that women are as capable as men are with actions.
  • It is also understanding that men and women cannot be equals in many ways.

Men and women and each individual has their own purpose and strength. If that is how God wanted everyone to be equal, he/she would have created a world full of only men or only women or vice versa. This is the lesson would like to teach my daughter and every young woman out there.

Do not be afraid of the misogynists that surround you. They are but a handful. The world is changing, and our country is changing too. There are male members of the society who proudly call themselves feminists (your father included).

Be a feminist, do not settle for anything less than what you deserve. Do not abuse this privilege and everything that comes with it. Being a woman is not a curse as many believe it to be, it is a blessing. Be proud of who you are and believe that you can achieve whatever you want to.

Changing the misnomer of Indian Feminism #feminism #indian #india #values #families #tradition

Shuchita Kumar is a new mom. She is trying to learn the ropes of motherhood with the help of knowledge passed on by the elders combined with modern thinking. Currently, residing in Bangalore, India. She spent her early childhood years in the heart of India that is Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She then lived in Goa (heaven!) and Pune. A software engineer by profession, she loves dancing, bird watching and just spending time with her husband visiting various jungles. She also enjoys pampering her friends and families with delicious food and pastries
For Every Daughter Entering Adulthood

For Every Daughter Entering Adulthood

Every parent wishes their child to be a lot of things. But what happens to a parent’s emotions when their child becomes an adult?
Here is a beautiful poem written by a mother for her daughter as she hits that beautifully adventurous age 21.
Ok, Let’s have that adult-adult talk today.
Have a dream and follow it.
Have a purpose in life and fulfill it.
Have empathy and be empowered!
Do Everything with passion.
Do only what feels right in your heart
When you follow your dreams,
people may laugh at you
Just ignore them and keep going.
Then they start talking behind your back,
Show off and Vested Interest are the weapons they use,
Just overcome those and fly high!
Never talk behind anyone’s back,
Be truthful to all,
and be straight on their face.
Be open with your feelings to all,
Some may hate you for the time being, but that’s ok,
They may come back to you eventually.
Some may hate you forever, which is ok too,
Because they don’t deserve you anyway.
Never break anyone’s trust in you,
Always hear both sides of the story.
Value experiences more than money,
The money will come and go,
But the experience you made will stay with you forever!
Never trust anyone blindly.
Have friends who inspire you and lift you up!
Set standards, expectations and goals for yourself,
Once you realize who you are, reveal your true self to the world.
Then you look around and see that boy with admiration, respect and love in his eyes for you,
Hey, that is your partner girl! (BTW mom got lucky very early though)
Fly high like a kite and stay grounded at the same time.
Always remember,
Nothing is the end of the world,
You have always a place to fall back,
Your family is always here for you,
Enjoy life one day at a time.
  Mrs.Menon always exceeds the expectations of an average math teacher. After attaining an MA in Economics, a BS in Math, and a California Certified Teaching Credential, Mrs. Menon has worked various jobs in the educational field. Throughout her career, Raji has branched out from the ordinary roles of a teacher and dedicated her life to not only teach math but to reach out to youth and help each individual become a civilized member of the community. Mrs. Menon is the entrepreneur of her own business, Gurukulam , which derives from a thriving after-school enrichment center, where she teaches math both in-class and online, an active blog (, and a social organization which participates in numerous projects for the less fortunate.



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