Being An Ideal Wife. Stereotypes Moms Teach Daughters

Indian moms reinforce gender roles as they teach gender stereotypes to their daughters which they learnt from their mothers.

Bhavya Saini
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The practice of patriarchy is not just propagated by the men of the society but also extends to the role of the women in normalising such practices as well. Indian moms have attempted to instil such patriarchal practices into the minds of their daughters since generations which further promotes the gender roles and stereotypes. Here are some common stereotypes moms teach daughters because they have learnt them from their mothers.

As parents, humans are expected to impart their beliefs and practices onto their children who further pass on these traits onto theirs. It can be referred as a process of maintaining certain traditions and practices in the society. Parents, being the biggest influence on younger minds, can inculcate these beliefs which very often include stereotypes.

The patriarchal norms and beliefs practiced over such prolonged time have created a gap between males and females by establishing gender roles. Indian moms, not knowing any better, have attempted to inculcate such practices within their daughters since they have been taught the same by their mothers.

Here are some stereotypes moms teach their daughters and reinforce gender roles:

  1. Pati Parmeshwar Hota Hai

Worshipping and considering husbands as the supreme is something our mothers are trying to make us understand since we were introduced to the institution of marriage. They want us to be resilient towards male dominance over females as the weaker sex.

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  1. Girls MUST know how to cook and do other household chores

The sole purpose of every Indian mom’s life is to make her daughter learn every recipe in the book as aadmi ke dil ka rasta uske pet se hota hai (the road to a man’s heart is through is stomach). I have grown up listening my mother tell me jokingly: Sasuraal wale kahenge kuch sikhaya nahi (the in-laws will complain she knows nothing) – when I refused to help her with household chores.

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  1. You should not talk/laugh in a loud voice

Apparently talking or laughing in a loud voice asserts that a woman does not belong to a respectable family or she lacks discipline and manners. The society’s obsession with judging a woman based on her habits is absurd and irrational, not to mention, sexist as well.

  1. Women must keep their head low


Why do we women need men to tell us what we can or cannot do? Why can’t we take our own independent decisions as individuals? What gives a man the right to tell me what’s right for me? Why can’t I stand up for my own needs and wishes? Please mom, you need to stop viewing women as submissive and accommodating to a man’s wishes.

  1. You won’t get a good man if you’re not fair/slim/coherent to society’s beauty standards

Why do I need a man who will not accept me for who I am? Why do I need to change myself for someone to love me? If he’s not ready to accept my true self, he’s probably not “good” for me in any way. The beauty standards set by the society diminish the true sense of beauty and adhering to them only makes one critical of their own self.

It’s high time we break these stereotypes and accept women standing up for themselves and being independent individual of the society. There’s absolutely nothing that a woman cannot do what a man can and women across the world have proved this time and again with their achievements in various fields as they made their names stand out in a male dominated world. We as women, must support and encourage other women for them to shine as well instead of pushing them down into patriarchal paradigms.

Views expressed by the author are their own. Picture is used for representational purposes.

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