Should Mothers Share Stories Of Their Sacrifice With Daughters?

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A mother’s sacrifice has been glorified so much in our society that moms often share their journey with their daughters expecting them to do the same. There is no denying that our mothers’ generation has faced a lot of patriarchal restrictions. They belong to the era when women hardly spoke for their rights or presented their priorities.

But should mothers tell stories of their sacrifice to their daughters to indoctrinate them with ideas of sacrifice? Or should mothers raise their daughters as independent beings who prioritise themselves?

Why do mothers use their stories of sacrifice to restrict daughters?

It is common in Indian society for mothers to narrate the stories of their past lives to their daughters. We often learn many things from the treasure trove of experience and resistance. But it becomes problematic when the stories of patriarchal restrictions are used as touchstones for the next generations. My mother often tells about the restrictions she grew up in to make me feel privileged for the freedom that I have today. But is this right? Should I feel grateful to my parents for allowing me the freedom which women in the prior generation did not have? Should I be grateful for allowing me my basic rights?

While my mother allowed me the freedom to get educated and employed, many others do not do so. Such mothers use their stories of sacrifice to show how women should conduct themselves in patriarchal societies. They raise their daughters as sacrificial and subservient beings that conform to the expectations of a male-dominated society. They feel that making their daughters submissive is the best way to keep them safe and secure in the patriarchal society.

But dear mothers, can submissive daughters ever become strong women? Can daughters, who internalise sacrifice as a virtue, ever focus on their personal growth? Wouldn’t it be better if you raise daughters who are independent enough to demand their basic rights and never bend down in front of injustice?

Change the way mothers portray their past lives

There is a dire need to change the way mothers portray their past lives to their daughters. Mothers shouldn’t make the sacrifices and restrictions of their lives as touchstones for daughters. Just because mothers faced restrictions, it doesn’t mean daughters too should be burdened by them. Rather, mothers should use their lives as a lesson to improve the lives of their daughters. They should ensure a feminist upbringing to their daughters so that they don’t let anyone control their lives. Moreover, mothers should use their tales of sacrifice to raise better sons too. Their tales of sacrifice should be portrayed as an example of how a man should not be.

In conclusion, I would just like to say that mothers are the potential source of daughters’ feminism. Let us ensure that daughters learn about their rights and gender equality from their mothers. This will not only make daughters stronger but also improve the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship.

Views expressed are author’s own