The Daughter Paradox

The Daughter Paradox

So recently I have been hit with something that has made me disturbed and depressed too. I never expected to be prejudiced by my own family. I guess my sister might have felt that way numerous time too, considering I felt that way. Or even my mom. You might have observed that I am only talking about the women here. My mother was raised in a very controlled household. By the time my Mom was born her father was already a grandfather, and her Mom was well into her 40’s. All my mom’s oldest siblings received education and musical training, but the youngest (my mom and her 3rd brother) did not get any. They were extremely disappointed, both of them were not given a choice as to what they wanted to study either. Not their fault I guess, their brothers had their own families to look after and couldn’t afford what they wanted. They found whatever they could afford and made sure they had an education. Mom had a job before her marriage but had to quit because of her mom getting sick (which ammamma regretted right until her death bed). I don’t know if my mom was told to be independent, but I know they were taught the old rule, “women belong in the kitchen.” 

As I was talking to Archie today, she was telling me how it was expected of her to be this “domestic goddess” that she couldn’t be. I realized how most women are. Doesn’t matter which country they are born in. All women are expected to get married, cook and serve their husband, keep a spotless home and also work and provide towards the family. But it’s impossible to meet these standards. Over that you are FORCED to have children, raise them (by yourself) and educate them too. Universe forbid, your kid does something stupid – you are the bad mother, but we will talk on this later. The thing is, society has these utter ridiculous standards set for women of this world. 

But I wasn’t raised this way, at least not completely. I’ve seen some misogynistic shit in my family, but not from my parents. They have raised both my sister and me to be independent. They have raised us by telling us that they are educating us to make sure that we can be independent. This was such a wild idea in our family. My parents sent us to the best school in the entire state. The fees were exorbitant in those days, but we got by even when it was difficult. When I was failing classes, my parents reminded me that I was doing this for myself and not them. Every single step they kept encouraging me. They told me that they aren’t tying me down. I was like everyone else. I need to work hard, study, get a good grade and succeed in life. And all that came shattering a few years later. When I was told I couldn’t study what I wanted to because I was a “girl”. But I was told I could do whatever I wanted! Why wasn’t I given a choice? 

Parents teach their daughters to be independent till right before they are married. After that it’s all, ‘do what your husband says’, ‘do what your in-laws want’, ‘did you think about what your in-laws will say’ and one is my favorite, ‘you can’t do whatever you want’. If you do these or don’t do these you become a bad daughter in law or bad daughter. Why raise her to be independent when all she has to do is end up as someone else’s toy? Why raise her to be educated when you want her to be a domestic goddess? Why tell her a son or a daughter is same to you, but it’s not really the truth? Why tell your daughter she can do whatever she wants when in reality she can only do what she’s told? 

I have so many questions and no answers. I’m so conflicted. If I haven’t mentioned this before, I was educated in one of the top schools in our state the foundation of which led me to believe about equality. But there is no equality, is there? When you start to see the small things you realize how effed up the world is. You want your daughter-in-law to do everything at home, but when your daughter does the same at her in-laws, the in-laws are cruel? You want your son-in-law to help your daughter, but you don’t want your son helping out? You want your daughter to work, make 4 meals a day, keep a clean home, raise a kid in a nurtured environment, do the dishes, do the laundry and also have a social life. To be fair most of us do all this on a day to day basis. If one day or a few days your husband helps you with your child you are faced with – ‘you don’t love your kid enough’, ‘you are the worst mother ever’, ‘can’t even take care of your own kid’, ‘why did you give birth if you can’t take care of your own kid’, ‘you are not being a good wife’ and many many more making sure that they accuse you and tell you that you are the worst mother they’ve ever seen. 


Aren’t dads parents too? Aren’t dads 50% the parent? Why is dad helping raise THEIR kid an atrocity? Why dads helping out with little babies so obnoxious? The society is so screwed up on so many levels. I’m happy to have a husband who wants to bond with his son. I’m happy to see Arlo and VJ play with cars for an hour and VJ doesn’t even get bored. Usually during these times I’m not playing with them because I’m either cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or doing dishes. Sometimes it could be multiple things while I’m on call with work. VJ is an excellent father and an amazing husband, but I’ve never seen him come to my rescue when everyone keeps calling me ‘the worst mom’. I wish he said STOP that’s my wife, my partner, my better half and the mother of my child. And then I realize no one has ever done this for their wives, at least not anyone I know of. Why are women taught one thing and then expected to behave the other thing which never existed? 

Am I the only one who feels this way? Can anyone tell me I’m not alone? And that I’m not paranoid about this.


6 Replies to “The Daughter Paradox”

  1. I totally agree with you… Its the same story everywhere, though my hubby gives a hand but i still do get this feeling sometimes

  2. I love this so much! I feel like when a woman speaks up for herself people think that she’s trying to create drama and doesn’t know how to adjust; when in fact “adjusting” is a way of life for many women.

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