I think the question of gender equality will go a long way. Maybe it will never see an end. As far as I know, it began a long time ago and I can say, it has no beginning either. It is a pessimistic view, but some issues, of course, go on forever. And sometime, you don’t even know if it is even improving. But in the case of gender equality, I think it has come a long way and women’s place in the world has improved a lot. However, there are certain issues that we cannot uproot, because they are part of you like an inborn nature.
I’m writing this article in continuation to ‘Open Heart Delivery’, an article about parents’ role in the children’s life as they grow up. Since the growing up stage of daughters and sons are different in some fundamental ways, I thought I should write about questions daughters have in their growing stage and how we must attend to them.
For example, a boy will never ask question like, ‘Why do we have less freedom than girls?’ – Whereas, our daughters do ask, “Why do they give more freedom to a boy than a girl?” It is this question in the paper that I was given at the school that struck me how different a boy and a girl are and how differently they are expected to behave by their parents as they grow up.
Following are also questions that we were made to think of, to better address the issues our daughters go through as they grow up:
· Why do they give things first to a boy and the used ones to a girl?
· I think my father doesn’t trust me because when I talk to my classmates (boys) I think he gets angry.
· Why don’t you agree with whatever I do?
· Why do our parents feel worried when their daughters go out with boys?
· Mom, why are you strict on me?
Not all of these questions may be relevant to all of us but we do need to know that despite the many education on gender equality, we still cringe at the thought of sending out our daughters at the wee hour of night like we do our sons. It is just not same. We cannot explain how. We must understand that, it just isn’t the same.
And if our daughters wonder why their parents worry about sending them out with boys, I think they are entitled to an answer. They must know that, boys and girls are biologically different. Which means, biologically, girls are designed in such a way that, they are at the receiving end of the fate’s cruel act. By this, I mean, if out of curiosity, a couple of teenager wants to try to have intercourse, more out of curiosity than need, and they do not know the meaning or the existence of contraceptive, girl would be the one who would have to see the tragic result it could lead them to. A boy can escape his innocent act and call it innocent, whereas, even a girl as young as 15 will have to bear the brunt of being innocent and carry on to become a responsible mother at a young age. Or worse, she might have to go through the trauma of not being able to tell her parents what went wrong. This is how sometimes, girls seek to end their lives.
I think if parents have the patience to listen to their daughters, explain to them how their body will go through changes as they attain puberty, how exploring curiosity could lead them to a mistake that will stop their ambition, I think, their daughters will understand.
And as parents, it is our responsibility to do so. A girl should never wonder why they cannot spend a night out with their boyfriends like it is the natural thing. Accidents happen. It is better to be safe than sorry. And in cases such as this, despite the many gender talks, women cannot say, we can make love to a man and run away free. Men never stand at a loss in this act. It is women who lose. That is one reason why a society like ours still cannot see men and women at par in this field. Men when sleeping with multiple partners is natural, whereas, if a woman is heard to be doing so, is a shame in the society. It will go a long way to burn this out. But I think it is only reasonable – because, it keeps women away from committing mistakes of haunting future.