What’s wrong in being called a daughter?

I’m one. And I take pride in being one. Just as much as being a mother, a woman, a wife, a person, a daughter-in-law, a sister.

***Rant alert***

There’s a lot of dissenting vibes that I am getting ever since the talk of Leslee Udwin’s documentary India’s Daughters started gaining ground. Now whether this film deserves the condemning it has garnered so far is a different matter. I don’t want to comment on something that I haven’t had a chance to watch. And going by the decision to ban it, I may never get a chance, which is something that I find utterly unacceptable.

Why the need to ban? Isn’t it curtailing one’s freedom? Are the deciding bodies exercising a democratic method of governance by putting such bans in force?

As someone who is perfectly capable of deciding what she wants to see and how she wants to perceive what she sees, the least I demand is the freedom to make that choice to watch what I want to and then decide whether I should dismiss the content or feel affected by it. Let me be the judge.

I know for sure that no rapist is ever going to evoke even a fleeting sense of understanding or rationale no matter how much he tries to justify his abhorrent mindset. All such monsters can evoke in me is searing anger and more anger and more. Their actions and their remorseless faces further reiterate how messed up they are in their thinking. How much of a menace they are to our society. So unmasking them and their views through a film can only go on to identify the disturbing mindsets and act as a mirror to other misogynists who hold similar demeaning views on women, so they can be tackled better, right? How is a ban going to help? Will it stop those criminals from harbouring such heinous thoughts in any way?

Anyway the post is not about the ban or the need to ban the ban!

It is about trying to understand another kind of objection taking rounds on the usage of the term ‘daughter’ while referring to the film’s title or the campaign . I frankly think it’s least of the issue to be concerned about. Yes I agree, a woman’s identity is beyond the roles she plays. What I don’t understand is the assumption that the term daughter or beti is being used in the film or the campaign to convey that a woman needs to be saved.  Each of the role a woman plays is integral to the life she leads and she needs to be respected for the role she plays. It doesn’t mean that she is asking to be saved or protected. I’m a daughter. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a woman. But I can take care of myself. I dont need to be saved or protected. But I demand that I am acknowledged for my presence and not dismissed as non existent in the society!

The fact is that there is a mindset which considers it completely acceptable to suppress a woman, snub her, irrespective of her being a daughter, a mother, a wife or a sister. Unless that reprehensible mindset is tackled appropriately and unless women are treated with more respect, how they are addressed is secondary.

Refer to me as a daughter, a mom, a woman or a person. Anything. I take pride in playing each and every role. But I command some respect for whatever role I have chosen and despite whatever.  Like any woman. I may go out wearing a saree or jeans or sleeveless shirt at stark midnight even. Do I stop being a daughter or a mom?

What about the mindset which throws the diktat at me and my sisterhood that we can’t live the life we do or roles we play on our own terms? If we do then we pay the price for it! Hah! Now THAT is the mindset that has to stop breeding!

Is banning a film or changing the way women are referred to, going to change the mindset that perceives them in a disrespectful manner? I doubt.

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15 thoughts on “What’s wrong in being called a daughter?

  1. Don’t tell me, there is an outrage about the term daughter too? It is ridiculous. I seriously feel that social media exists to outrage meaninglessly. I have seen the documentary. There is nothing outrageous about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seriously I don’t understand the need to get outraged at such a thing as a terminology when there’s a much larger issue to be understood from a film!

      Like

  2. You know what and all we’ve been taking offense to today on that documentary –
    1. How can it be called ‘India’s daughter’?
    2. It shows that India is a poor country and only poor people commit the crime.
    3. There is so much drama in the documentary.
    4. How can BBC (that too, a white woman!) do a documentary on India without addressing the rapes in their country (particularly, the Rotterham child molestation case!)
    5. There was even one conversation on my TL going on about how rapes only happen in the north of India.

    So yeah.. We talk about everything except what we need to. I’ve given up, Deeps! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Di, I’m tired of reading and listening to views and opinions on this documentary that showed nothing that we aren’t aware of. Logged of FB as it was getting to me. I guess the following speaks for almost all of us.

    “I’m a daughter. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a woman. But I can take care of myself. I dont need to be saved or protected. But I demand that I am acknowledged for my presence and not dismissed as non existent in the society!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was immensely moved by the film, whatever bits I saw of it. It’s a shame that I couldn’t watch it fully as it had been taken off by the time I was ready to watch the portions I missed. It may have showed what we are all aware of, Rekha, but it also showed how much the views held by the rapist and those two lawyers are similar to those of our very own leaders and politicians whom we vote for and bring to power. This film could have been a mirror to them and probably these regressive mindsets could have been addressed more vociferously than ever. But alas, being shown the mirror was something that they couldn’t afford taking chance with. I’m appalled by the adverse reactions this documentary has managed to garner.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Woman can choose to be friend, wife, mother and many other roles but if she is born, she is someone’s daughter, so a woman is a daughter if the role is taken up or not and that does not mean she needs protection!
    I have watched the documentary yesterday. I got up early on Friday before my son wakes up just to watch this before it is removed from youtube. I am ashamed of India’s reaction to the documentary !
    I suggest you to watch it before it is removed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did watch it, Seena. Just the first half but. I had to pause in between as my daughter had entered the room. But as I got back to the comp to watch the rest, the film had been taken off! But whatever portion I watched, I was immensely moved by it.
      It’s ridiculously immature of the government to have banned the documentary!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Exactly what I felt, Deeps, exactly my feelings!

    You know on top of that I feel we are raising our daughters in THIS society! I feel ashamed of myself and sad for my daughter to put her life at stake!

    Haha, just see the irony, such people have wrong mindsets and it is me who is feeling guilty of raising a daughter!!! Ain’t that utterly funny?

    You know I remember talking to one of my friends when I was due with Chirpy. We stumbled upon the topic of gender etc. I said I so want to have a girl child to which she immediately said “are you crazy, why do you want a daughter for? To being her to this unsafe world? Don’t be selfish”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can so understand the dejection, Nu. Hugs! We are completely messed up as a society. Its not just our daughters who are unsafe from the repressive mindsets, but our sons too, who are at risk, just as much, of getting influenced by those mindsets.

      Having said that, I hope we do succeed in instilling the right kind of values and teachings in our children so they make a better world for themselves 🙂

      Like

  6. It is such a Shame Deeps.. I dont know what to say and you know me I am seldom in a situation where I dont have words ..

    In my mind and heart I have so much to say BUT I just dont have the words to express .. None of the words that come will do justice..

    Sometimes I feel that it is such a shame to be born as a MALE.. trying to understand the mentality of MALENESS.. I dont know..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe the term was used because during the protests Jyoti Singh was referred to as India’s daughter! I remember that was how the protestors felt and it’s really surprising that even that is being called into question now!!

    Liked by 1 person

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