Updated: Jun 19
We inadvertently use words that we think are encouraging but in reality they are discouraging and humiliating. The misuse of words is common in society and remains so without being checked. This can sometimes encourage it and make it normalised.
A popular example with reference to Pakistani society is “ye meri beti nahi beta hai” which translates to “this is not my daughter, this is my son” and is used as a compliment on a daughter's success. However, many don’t notice how it is a negative comment and rather offensive.
Many of you might be wondering how this phrase is offensive, so I’ll give you an outlook.
Firstly, this phrase compares a daughter’s purpose to a son’s which disapproves of a person's individuality.
It further designates that only sons can be successful, because it considers the success of a daughter to her likeness to a son, therefore labelling daughters as unworthy of triumph and overall, ‘brainless'.
It also portrays females as futile and indicates that only males can support their parents.
It’s ironic because a daughter’s success is connected to what is expected out of sons. Therefore, their achievements aren’t given as much credit.
In reference to the Quran, it mentions, "To men is alloted what they earn and to women what they earn". (An-Nisa 4 :32)
This can suggest that each person should be credited for their own work.
Both genders should not be associated or limited to certain achievements, but instead should be treated equally. Men and women should not be compared as if they were objects. Females should not be degraded by comparing their achievements to what is expected from males.
Both genders should be appreciated for their individual achievements instead of using such a phrase to further the patriarchal nature of society. A female is not ‘more like a son’ simply because she is well accomplished and able to support her family. Such a comparison can diminish one’s self esteem and corrupt their individuality.
To quote a phrase from the popular movie ‘Little Women’, “Women, they have minds they have and souls as well as just hearts . And they have got ambition and they have got talent as well as beauty ....”
So, why can't we just applaud daughters for their toil instead of choosing this resentful round-about to appease the predominantly patriarchal society by ascribing the credit of a daughter to the proposition that she is more like a son, thus diminishing her status and self-esteem.
Ruhma is a college student with a unique perspective on life who considers writing a vent for her soul. She wants to use her pen for social welfare, call for justice, and eradication of rampant misogyny.