An Empowered Woman Can Be A Defiant Daughter

As the world slowly advances to give women the rights they deserve and accepts their potential in breaking the cultural taboos and working at par with men, more and more women are stepping out and making their voices heard. In Pakistan, previously, due to cultural restrictions, a woman was not considered respectful if she was found displaying herself on electronic or social media and working independently with men. But, with the passage of time, during the entire rigorous struggle they did for achieving equal rights, women began to acknowledge that it is the patriarchal environment, social biasedness, and gender discrimination that are serving as great barriers for them to take complete possession of their rights. Hence, for them to emancipate from the patriarchal constraints, they first need to reverse these factors by breaking the silence attached with making them acceptable.
Traditionally, a woman was not even allowed to express her emotions on things that were significantly harmful for her and was forced to remain silent for the sake of proving herself as an “obedient daughter.” Be it in the case of choosing a career or a spouse, her opinions for her parents and family did not matter whatsoever. The only gesture that could save her from the admonitions of her elders was to accept their demands happily without moaning against them. In a male dominant society, one major household custom still being prevalent is that a father normally asks the mother to teach her daughter how to make compromises and be silent in case of any inconvenience. Since childhood, a girl is being taught not to interfere in family matters and restrain herself only to the boundary of the kitchen because as per the societal norms, this is the only place where she is born to live. All the time she has to bear the harangues of her mother that if she will not make herself learn all the household errands, she will suffer in the future and her husband and in-laws would abuse her parents for her upbringing. Therefore, to avoid ruthless treatment and preserve the family’s image, she ought to sacrifice herself and leave everything that could potentially distract her from becoming a good housewife.
In the modern era, this whole scenario completely shifts against the expectations and traditional mindset of parents about the training of their daughters. Now, given the increased awareness of women about gender biases and the resultant discriminatory attitude given to them in every sphere of life, they are continuously struggling against the uneven distribution of opportunities and inappropriately defined gender roles. Having convinced with the fact that gender roles are a product of the socially constructed rules and they can be altered with changing mindsets, women have refused to inherit the silence of their mothers and decided to break the glass ceilings that have been hindering their growth for decades.
A “modern empowered woman” has liberated herself from all the undue restrictions that her parents would place on her following the culturally-driven mindsets. She has made herself rise above all kinds of fear that were once dictating her to sit down and be silent. Owing to the recent advancement in the contribution of women on social media platforms and the way they are fighting off the traditional barriers, parents have seen a drastic shift in the behaviors of their daughters. Most of the mothers, recently, have found complaining that girls have forgotten their basic roles for which they were inherently designed (as per the traditional South-Asian culture) and are more interested in doing things that do not suit their gender. As this notion has been reinforced in the personalities of parents that gender roles are specifically designed and transferred and must remain uninterrupted, they do not readily endorse the participation of their daughters in male-dominated fields such as riding a bicycle/car, running a shop, creating digital content on social media, playing tennis etcetera. Therefore, when she seeks to go against traditionally defined gender roles and struggles to make her name in fields that do not suit her gender, appears as a “defiant daughter” and ceases to behave like an “obedient child” to her parents.
Naturally, there can be two ways. Either to accept the parents’ demands and act like a conventional woman who readily accepts everything without any kind of protest, or else refuse to surrender to the seemingly unfair decades-old traditions and struggles to change them. The bottom line is adopting a balanced approach. Try not to remain silent when someone asks your opinions about a certain event in your life. Contribute to maintaining a strong stance as much as possible. Speak out in a responsible and respectful manner about your life choices but never give in until you win. It is obvious that when you go against the strongly embedded cultural patterns and restrain yourself from adopting them, you will sound stubborn and defiant, but that should not stop you from chasing what is right. Eventually, you will see that as you become stronger and independent, the light of your success will illuminate the darkness of the minds, and your defiance will no longer be remembered, and you will be lying in the thoughts where only the “strength of womanhood” reigns.