By S. Vaishnavi
"I don't want to have a daughter.
I don't want another individual to go through everything I did. I don't want someone to be doubting, double-checking everything she does because she is supposed to be the 'good girl'. The well mannered, all-adjusting, non-opinionated tool. I don't want my daughter to be 'that girl' who wears 'unacceptable' clothing, talks 'unacceptable' language, behaves 'unacceptably' with boys, enjoys surplus 'unacceptable' freedom, cries too 'unacceptably' much, laughs too 'unacceptably' loud, eats too 'unacceptably' often, lives too 'unacceptably' fulfilling a life.
I don't want another human to go through the torture my family made me go through. I don't want another person in the world to hate their own blood. I don't want another face looking at herself in the mirror, claiming she is uglier than the rest and she hates herself when in fact external beauty is arbitrary, internal beauty is underrated, and mixing up the two is common. I don't want to see someone who dons makeup because she thinks she is ugly, eats celery because she thinks she's fat, is always apologetic because she thinks she's perpetually wrong. I don't want another part of me to suffer embarrassment that she never deserved, just because she was born with female parts.
I want a daughter.
I want a daughter so I can raise her among people who support her, feed her empowering thoughts, free her from the backlash of being female, tell her she is equal to every man. I want a daughter so that I can tell her that being 'manly' is not better than being 'feminine', that she can fly, she can soar, as long as she is willing to spread her wings, no one can stop her. I want a daughter so there can be another human in the world proving that we women are not meek, we women are not tools, we women are not dressed up dolls with no opinions. I want a daughter so that I can teach her how to do things that are otherwise 'unbecoming'. I want a daughter so we can laugh loudly, run around gracelessly, eat voraciously, love wholeheartedly. I want a daughter so I can tell her that her body is completely up to her, that no one other than she has the right to decide what it wants to go through.
I want a daughter so that she can grow up learning that a 'prince charming' is not always the end goal of life, like the disney movies show it to be. I want a daughter who offers to split the cheque, who is not afraid to ask a man out, who does not subscribe to today's notions of what is 'manly'. I want a daughter who will appreciate people for who they are rather than for how much of their gender roles they fit into.
I want a daughter because I know what insecurities she might face, and I will at every step of the way erase those for her. "