Why can’t we appreciate girls for their achievement without comparing them to men? How do our words effect them in different ways. Let’s find out!
She had cold feet. It was her result day, everyone in the family was waiting anxiously to hear about the results. Finally the moment arrived, she checked her phone for updates and soon after, jumped with joy and bliss. She had successfully secured first place! Appreciation was showered on her by everyone as her mother exclaimed:
‘ye meri beti nahi beta hai’.
There was something pinching about the phrase that caused that girl’s half-moon smile to flatten slightly …
How our words have the opposite effect
Often, we inadvertently use words that we think are encouraging but in reality, they might be hugely demotivating. The instances of outrage caused by this potentially wrong usage of words are plethoric yet the trend remains unrestrained (which at times makes its usage intentional)?
A very popular one of such paradoxical phrases rife in Pakistan is
‘ye meri beti nahi beta hai’
[translation (she is not my daughter, she is my son)]
Which is used as a compliment on a daughter’s success (mostly in an educational or professional field) and is generally intended to be a positive connotation. But is it really positive?
Are you thinking…
Many of you will be wondering ‘how is this phrase offensive’ so here is a set of reasons :
- This phrase implies that daughters are worthless unless they are like sons, which is wrong because every person has their own individuality
- It further designates that ‘only’ sons can be successful, because it attributes the success of a daughter to her likeness to a son, therefore labelling daughters as unworthy of triumph on their own, unless, their achievement are compared to what a son is capable of achieving.
- It also portrays the entire female gender as inadequate & indicates that sons can serve and benefit parents better.
(The irony of all of this is: if a daughter serves her parents this is because she is not a daughter she is a son).
Men vs Women
Both men and women are equal, however they are not identical and thus have been granted different roles with varying weightiness. This doesn’t render the creation of any gender purposeless, both of them deserve the reward they strive for.
Men and women cannot be compared because comparison is only possible in like objects, however men and women are two wholly DIFFERENT genders.
Undermining an entire gender by stealing their originality from them and comparing them to another gender is a downright insult !
Something to ponder on
So, why can’t we just applaud daughters for their toil instead of choosing this resentful round-about way to appease the predominantly patriarchal society by ascribing the credit of a daughter’s achievements to the proposition that ‘she is more like a son‘, thus diminishing her status and self-esteem?
Why do we need to be insensitive to a daughter’s feelings and categorize her as ‘inferior’ and ‘incapable’ by comparing her to our sons?
Why do we consider it our obligation to praise a daughter for ‘being like a son’?
Are we unaware of the fact that daughters are the Mercy of God in themselves, and not to be compared to another gender?
The thing is, women are also humans with feelings with an innate value. By comparing them to another gender, you are pitting them against each other, and undervaluing the merit of both. Women must not be treated with callous disregard, as if they’re only meant for one purpose. Louisa May Alcott wrote in Little Women, and her words ring true today in our society as well:
Please embrace everybody for who they are. And let’s start with acknowledging: ‘ye meri kaamiyab beti hai’
[translation : (she is my successful daughter)].
Change the trend All of us need to change to bring about a change!
Ruhma is currently enrolled in college after completing her O’ levels. She considers writing as a vent for the soul and in amplifying marginalized voices to level up the social disproportion, thus inducing a meaningful discussion. You can engage with her on her instagram page: dreamyanddefiant