Our daughters — may the world allow them to be so much more than we have had to go against the grain to be. Being a woman, more so in certain parts of the globe — since early childhood, when we fell down and when we got hurt — we picked ourselves up. Perhaps nobody ran to our aid with the same horror and panic as they did for our male counterparts. Perhaps there was one chicken drumstick left, understandably for the brother. Or the last of the cool water on a scorching day out is knowingly not for us to sip. We are taught to sacrifice, serve, wait until the last bit — if any.
To be needless is an ideal we are reinforced. Maybe we watched as our high grades, performance, IQ tests, collection of awards were ignored, told to wear a prettier dress instead, heard that mother's skin was fairer than ours. Told to look out for a husband to pour our entire selves into, and then be told by his family we were never enough, while our husband, our world, averted eye contact and stared at his plate.
Brothers, male peers with no need for proof of track records, were invested in and allowed multiple and limitless credit limit for mistakes and errors. We sat and saw— understanding our place, a cheerleader on the side-line.
In the meantime, some of us women have learned to get through this by growing an entirely different, tougher hardwiring from our male contemporaries or siblings. Some of us women may look like flowers and cotton candy, but are spun out of iron and fire.
I very much hope that our daughters are strong. Strong, yes! But without having to be woven out of tough metallic fibres of this unwanted and unfair brand of survival — the resilience born from a universally imposed culture of self-sacrifice.
There is my wish for our future generation of women!
Photo courtesy: Mehreen Mansur