Gender Bias, What's That? An Open Letter to My Father - Manali Desai
In a world which has become obsessed with ‘Feminism’, I never knew what it meant till I ventured out into the world on my own.
Because, you never let things like ‘gender bias’ or ‘because you’re a girl’, come between the love you had for me and my elder brother. What was his was mine, the freedom given to him, was the same that I got.
On those rare occasions when I was told not to do something, it was more to protect me rather than because I was a girl. Back then it seemed unfair but now that I’ve matured (hopefully) I realize how right you were. Back then it hurt, now I just want to say, “Dad, you were right; about everything.”
I never knew why a woman, a mother, or a girl, is the one who needs to take care of homely things; things like keeping the house clean, or cooking and taking care of the kids, because in my growing up years, I saw you do those things, sometimes more than mom.
So now when men are becoming “more involved” and “helpful”, it baffles me because in our home, no work was labelled as ‘for men’ or ‘for women’
In my school and college days, people wondered and asked how I was able to share most of my experiences with you and have such an easy camaraderie with you, almost like the one someone shares with a friend. Even today, they wonder! And I in turn wondered why it shouldn’t be so, because for me it was always that way. Because for me, all Fathers were defined by what you had done over the years and continue to do now.
It was when I met other fathers that I realized how lucky I was. Not all are able to talk that way with their fathers. And even fewer are able to share what they are going through.
It was when they stayed mute or were never able to speak their minds in front of their fathers that I knew not every girl is given the freedom that I had enjoyed growing up.
I disagree with you on many things, and we argue about most of these too, but this is also because you nurtured me to identify the right from the wrong, and let me have a mind of my own. This too, not every girl or even woman is privileged to have.
You fulfil each role with perfection, be it that of a son, a brother, a friend, an uncle, a husband or even a businessman. Hardly ever have I seen you no to someone who comes to you seeking for help, guidance, support, or advice. You are the ‘go-to’ person for most people who know you.
It was and is, through your actions that I observed and learned most things. It’s through your support and guidance that I am where I am today. And, most importantly, it’s because of the trust you put in me that I’ve been able to make unconventional choices.
So, today, I just want to tell you, Papa, that you’re appreciated, respected, and loved.
Thanks for everything.
Love, A loved, protected and well-raised daughter (now a wife and a daughter-in-law too)
Manali has been a two times bestselling author on Amazon via her books The Untold Stories and the recently released The Art of Being Grateful & Other Stories. Even her short story ‘The Walls Have Ears’ got her the Best Short Story Award. These little achievements alongside the reviews and feedback she receives on her writing, help her stay motivated to continue her writing journey. If not writing, you can find Manali either reading, travelling, listening to music, catching up on her movie watchlist or binge watching a series she might be currently hooked to, or more than one of these at the same time, in no particular order. You can know more about her or follow her works through her social media handles, all under her pen name A Rustic Mind. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arusticmind/ Instagram: https://instagram.com/a_rustic_mind