“Aj bartan main dho deta hoon.” Can you imagine a desi guy saying this? Probably not, right? Kyun k yeh kaam toh bas aurat ka he hai. But hold up. I am a Pakistani woman who also happens to be a feminist mother, and yes, my husband works beside me in the kitchen and at home every single day.
We both work a full-time job, come back home and participate equally in the daily household chores.
And guess what, main yeh maanti hoon, all the credit goes to his parents. Shocker, right?
A society which cringes at the thought of a guy doing ghar ka kaam would label him a biwi ka ghulam who’s not man enough to sit back and order around while his wife goes crazy fulfilling his wishes. It’s not easy you know, believe it or not, but this type of soch is still not accepted by so many of us.
I am still constantly instructed by so many desi aunties to feed him with my own hands and take off his shoes when he comes back from work. Why? Simple beta, because you love him.
As if pyar bas jootay utarnay aur ganday bartan dhonay se hee hota hai. Bohat hogaya yaar. Therefore, being a Pakistani feminist, here’s what I will be teaching my children:
Being a man, you should also know “ghar daari”
Because years later, I don’t want some girl to think that my son’s another typical Pakistani guy who considers making a cup of chai a major offence.
A home is made by two people – a man and a woman. Why should a woman be the only one responsible for it? Because a man earns for the family? Nope. Not anymore. If a woman can do a job, earn, cook, clean and raise children all at the same time, so can a guy.
It’s okay agar larki ho, you should be open to supporting the family financially.
Where is it written that only a son is responsible for his parents? I guess the same place where they come up with stuff like “beti kay ghar ka paani bhi nahi peena chahye”.
A mother who gives birth to a son and a daughter the exact same way brings them up trying hard to give them the best of everything. Then why does a difference arise when it’s time for the children to do something good for her? Nothing.
I consider it my responsibility to do my part for my family, financially (even after marriage) and so will my daughter.
Yes. Today, tomorrow and forever. Because independence is in the little things. Teaching them to go to the counter by themselves, showing them how to manage a budget (even if its for a few candies), making them trust their instinct from an early age is what I want to do for them so that I can see how beautifully independent they grow up to become.
I simply would not want my daughter to have to give up that dupattay ki peeko, a meetup or an early class just because her father, bhai or mother is busy.
Do not objectify someone.
I’ll make sure my kid doesn’t drool over every pretty face. And yes it goes both ways. They need to understand that no that is not just a pretty lady and no that is not just a handsome guy. Bottom line, that’s a human being and every human should be treated the same way.
Be humble, be polite, be down to earth. And bonus point is, do not choose your life partner just because they look good or make good money. Choose someone for the kind of person they are because really, that is the only thing what gets you through life.
Honestly, screw “log kya kahienge.”
If my children grow up to be modest, polite and honest, simply living life the way they want to, then honestly they don’t have to worry about others. Because they’re simply doing nothing wrong, these ‘log’ are, by being judgmental. No one should have the power to make anyone feel bad for being real. So if there’s ever a rishtay wali aunty who’s rejecting my girl/boy just because they’re not the human form of perfection, they will surely know how to lay them off.
Value your family because they’ve always got your back.
It definitely does not mean that I expect them to stay glued to the whole khandaan forever or ALWAYS living under the same roof and hardly tolerating each other but pretending to love them. Because trust me, so many people are still living in joint family systems because they don’t have any other option.
Give them their space, let them breathe, but at the same time let them know that their loved ones will always be there for them. It means standing with them through thick and thin and never letting go of the respect you have for each other.
I won’t be shouting at or in my front of my children.
Children learn and pick up whatever goes around, them not even knowing whats right and wrong. It’s our job to teach them that. Teaching does not simply come with telling them, it comes with showing them what you’re doing as well. So parenting according to me comes with an oath to always try to behave well in front of the kids because that’s what they will learn.
I will teach them the importance of marriage.
Shadi is not BARBAADI but it also isn’t the whole purpose your life. It’s time we find a balance between the two. Children need to understand that Marriage is the most important part of their life but its still just a PART of life, not the whole point of human existence. So I’ll try to make sure for once that I play my part in bringing up a generation that knows how to be neutral. Its important to get married at the right age and right time but it should never be forced.
Here’s my take on being a modern world desi feminist mother. Our generation has more exposure, more technology, more education and more resources than our parents. Why not make use of all of that and make a few positive changes? Got anything to add? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via talentpakistan.com