Our struggle for gender equality may affect our family life, but feminism in no way can degrade a mother’s role in her child’s life. However, cricketing legend Imran Khan seems to think otherwise. The Pakistani politician is receiving a lot of criticism for saying that the West’s feminist movement has degraded the role of a mother.
Khan’s statement highlights the patriarchal way of thinking commonplace in South Asian nations. There is no debating the fact that a mother influences her child's life in more ways than one can think of, their cultural education to behaviour is influenced by her. But does that mean that the society, culture, immediate family, etc can shirk off their responsibilities of parenting towards the children?
When will children become a familial and social responsibility in our sub-continent?
It is patriarchy which reduces a mother to being a homebound cow in the eyes of her children. A dependent woman who must feel guilty about spending even a penny on herself. According to our society, motherhood is about nothing but caring for one’s family and sacrificing one’s personal needs and desires for other’s.
Why must it be only a mother's duty to give love and cultural education?
Today, if as a society we want to raise a more balanced, competent and sustainable generation, then we must embrace feminism. It must break free from the shackles of patriarchy which feels threatened by our struggle for equality.
Children raised in feminist households understand gender equality. They understand that the duties of household just don't belong to the mother, they are to be shared equally. They understand that paychecks and opportunities should be available on the basis of talent and not gender. Such children grow up believing in sharing responsibilities in a household and not dumping it on another person by virtue of their gender. Which also translates that men feel less pressured for being the prime breadwinners, and women get a helping hand to take care of the house and kids.
Khan thinks that feminism has degraded the concept of motherhood, but in reality, it has upped the stakes for the society. However, judging by Khan’s statement, it seems like the endorsers of the patriarchal system are failing to keep up. But their ego is too big to admit their failure. Hence they resort to shaming women for demanding what is their right at the cost of neglecting children. Fortunately for us, Khan belongs to the outgoing school of thought, while feminism isn’t going anywhere.
Picture Credit : Pixabay.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.