Challenge to Indian Parents: Do we dare take this vow, or a vow that contains similar tenets? If not, please let us accept that we are misogynists and wish proudly to remain so.
1. I will raise my sons to be feminists, to respect women as equal human beings in every way, shape and form. I will raise my daughters to believe that they are precious, cherished blessings, and I am as lucky to have them as I would be to have a son. I will reinforce equality in thought, word and deed.
2. I will treat my son and my daughter equally in every way, and I will recognize as social the limitations placed upon women, and not directly or indirectly tell my daughter that they are her fault because she is female.
3. I will refuse to pay or receive dowry.
4. I will provide my daughter EXACTLY the same educational opportunities as I do my son. I will ensure that my daughter becomes financially independent, a woman able to take care of herself.
5. I will spend not one penny more on my daughter’s marriage than on my son’s.
6. I vow not to continue breeding till I have a son, but to be satisfied with one or at the most two children of whatever sex.
7. I will not expect that after marriage my daughter will leave my home to stay at her in-laws or that my son’s wife will come to stay with me as a matter of course.
8. I will make no distinction between my son and my daughter when it comes to the inheritance of my property.
9. I will treat my son’s children and my daughter’s children with equal respect and affection.
10. At my funeral, my daughter and my son will have exactly the same responsibility for my obsequies.
Well? Do we dare?
Pubali Ray Chaudhuri is an Associate Editor of Intrepid Report. She lives and writes in the California Bay Area.