#Opinion

Beta Adjust Kar Lo: This Cannot Be Your Answer For Domestic Abuse Mom

mothers and daughters disagree
Mothers and daughters disagree but should moms normalise abuse of their own daughters by the son-in-law? Adjust karlo but kyun? Why do our mothers raise us to accept what they too went through?

Me: Ma, will you support me if my husband is abusive?
Ma: (thinks for a second, stares blankly) 1-2 thappad toh bardasht karna padta hai
Me: No! How can you think like that, Ma? What about my choice, self-respect and freedom? Why do we disagree with each other so much?!

I storm out with tears rolling down the cheeks leaving my mother behind bewildered and wondering where did she go wrong? This is just a snippet of everyday conversations between my mother and me that always leads to a never-ending argument where we both never agree with each other. And I am sure I am not alone in this. There are many other daughters in our society that do not agree with what their mothers teach or believe in. But what is the reason behind this? Why do mothers and daughters disagree with each other so much when all they want is each others’ happiness?

Ek Do Thappad Toh Relationships Mein Normal Hai. This Cannot Be Your Answer For Domestic Abuse Mom

Why do mothers and daughters disagree?

The basic reason for the disagreement between mothers and daughters is the generation gap. But the generation gap between women is entirely different from the generation gap between men. Our generation gap is evidence of how women have been deprived of their basic rights for a long time. Before our generation, it was unimaginable to be a woman who earns her living, voices out her opinions, raises voice against wrong and even leads the topmost companies and countries of the world. The idea of empowered women that we embody today was an illusion that can never be real.

It is also a record of the drastic change that women’s lives have incurred, from facing the lack of freedom to even speak yesterday to being the world leader today. Women of today are not ready to compromise in life just because we are women. We want to question the prevalence of gender inequality and women’s oppression when women are citizens with equal rights as men. We don’t want to sacrifice and control ourselves when patriarchal society is at fault. We don’t want to settle when we deserve more. We want to dream, defy and conquer.

Naturally, mothers have internalised the patriarchal conditioning that believes that a woman’s happiness resides in sacrifice and in catering to the demands of men. This is in stark contrast to what we as feminists believe. Daughters’ thoughts about women empowerment and independence seem threatening to mothers who would rather want their daughters to live a safe and easy life. They do realise the injustice that women in a patriarchal society have to face. But they fear the consequences that their daughters might have to face if they walk out alone in the unruly and biased world.

Who is to be blamed?

So there is a wide difference in how mothers and daughters perceive a woman’s life. But should mothers be blamed for being conservative? Should daughters hate their mothers for not being feminist enough? Or is the daughter at fault for being outspoken, ambitious and free? Should she reject feminism and give in to the patriarchal expectations of women?

Let us understand, that neither the mother nor the daughter should be blamed for their mindsets. They are just like other women struggling to have a safe and happy life in a patriarchal society that believes in curbing women’s freedom. Rather the fingers should be raised on the prevalence of patriarchy that has problematised the definition of happiness and safety of women. Why must a woman’s happiness depend solely on sacrifices and duties as a mother or wife?

Why can’t it depend on the freedom choose, to educate herself and to earn her living? And why should women feel unsafe if they dare to break the conventions and be independent?

Moreover, patriarchy deliberately sets up women against each other to strengthen its control over women’s lives and to disempower women who dare to challenge. It makes patriarchal conditioning of mothers so pervasive and larger-than-life that mothers fail to understand that daughters’ liberated thoughts could be a way to break the cages. It makes daughters’ feminism appear as a radical and irrational concept that only aims at breaking the harmony of the family and society.

So shouldn’t we rather tear out the layer of patriarchy that has overshadowed the otherwise strong and beautiful bond between mothers and daughters?

Here is a solution

And for that, daughters will have step into their mother’s shoes for a while, understand their mindset and how it is a result of cultural conditioning and not an individual opinion. They need to encourage their mothers to think big and beyond patriarchal conditioning. While mothers on the other hand need to make an equal effort to unlearn their patriarchal upbringing and trust their daughters and respect their choices and opinions.

It was this conflict between mothers and daughters across generation that the movie Tribhanga showcased. The solution was to understand each other and give space to talk, think and grow. Dear mothers and daughters, your bond is the best form of sisterhood and is more than enough to overcome every challenge that patriarchy plots against women. You don’t need to argue with each other about that.