Why educate daughters if we want to later domesticate them?

Are our academic aspirations for daughters justified when in reality we want them to get domesticated after marriage?

Kavya Bhargava | Posted on 03 Jan 2017
Time to read: 2 min
The Hypocrisy of Daughter's Education | Bonobology

My mother is a gynaecologist and my father a BITS Pilani graduate who went on to do exceptionally well in his career. My sister and I were brought up to believe that one should always have one’s education and career to fall back on, whatever course life takes.

So, equipped with my degree in BA English Honours from a reputed college in Delhi University and an MBA as an add-on, I joined the workforce. I had stars in my eyes that I would carve a niche for myself at work and make my parents proud. But Cupid struck and at 24, I was married, with no clue where life was headed.

Thanks to my whirlwind romance, I had no clue what my husband’s expectations of me were as a wife, daughter-in-law and a future mother. Did he expect me to change my name after marriage? Would we settle in India or go abroad? What would happen to my career after our kids were born?

No prizes for guessing then that major discord was waiting to happen in our marriage. Trivial issues gradually started leading to irrefutable differences. And then my daughter was born. My parents were working in Dubai and my in-laws weren’t exactly enthusiastic about helping me bring my daughter up.

All that my upbringing taught me about education and a career were brushed aside and I quit my job. I assumed the role of a full-time homemaker. The entire family chorused and cheered my sacrifice at the altar of marital happiness, because it was considered noble that the woman of the house put aside her dreams for her child, house and husband.

The irony, however, is that I am being pushed by the same family into raising my now 8-year-old daughter to study hard so that she has a stable future to look forward to. It leaves me wondering if this hard work and education are worth it, if she has to eventually prioritise her in-laws, husband, family and child when she gets married.

If, in our society, no professionally successful woman is considered a success if her husband hasn’t given her a certificate of appreciation, if her house is not spick and span, if her kids are not top performers and if her in-laws are not happy with her, then wouldn’t it be better if I train my daughter in the art of housekeeping and let her enjoy her childhood, rather than have academic aspirations for her?

After having given up my true identity in my 11 years of marriage, I now wonder if I was right in wasting my time, energy and mind in pushing through my husband's professional career. I managed to get back to flexi-time work after my daughter turned 2, to revive my dreams. But it’s still a job where I have to juggle work, home and my daughter in equal measure. I was a school topper, extremely good in extracurricular activities and even if I had made half the effort in resurrecting myself and living my dreams unconditionally, I believe I would have outshone my husband.  

(As told to Kavya Bhargava)

Bhavita Patel: Its a well written article..ya it so happens that at a particular stage in life u feel sacrificing is rather better..really a brave decision

Indian Millennial: Educate her because every child 'should' be educated irrespective of the choices he/she's going to make after getting formally educated. The writer here comes across as bitter in her marriage and it's never a good idea to take a marital discord public. It makes things worse. It also reflects the couple in a negative light. Advisable to not do it. Maybe write about the phenomenon, the idea, so the truth gets out, but at least protect the feelings and be act responsibly of the writer's parents, family, daughter when she grows up n understands these things, and dare i say, the husband, and his parents. But I am getting the feeling 'part' of the point of this exercise was lashing out at them. Hurting them. it's just a sign of a marital discord, little else. You might have gotten the same feedback if you had published this anonymously. Just makes things worse. What a way to get recognition!

KavyaBhargava: @ Indian Millenial: First of all thank you for judging the article all wrong...here " Why educate daughters" doesn't literally mean that you should make all girl child sit ideal at home and teach them housekeeping skills...my point is why push them to be toppers when their career aspirations are to be sacrifised first at the altar of marriage...secondly putting your views out in public does not neccessarily mean that I have marital discord like brushing dust under the carpet doesn't necessarily mean that one has a cordial marriage...also as you said yourself please understand the phenomenon and the underlined themed...its been written in a story form to make it more personal...

Gs: //But Cupid struck and at 24, I was married, with no clue where life was headed.// What rubbish is that. On one hand you want to show your self as logical, practical and ambitious person and on other hand this irresponsible statement. Come on, this problem is hyped only. It has to be with understanding before marriage. I have seen a lot of women who quit jobs even when their husbands didn't want them to leave. Just make your daughter educated and intelligent also tell her to use that intelligence too at right time.

KavyaBhargava: Gs: Please have the guts to show your true identity yourself before making judgemental remarks about other...I am sure as per you one IQ, EQ, Life Experiences and other parameters and situations in life remain same when you are 24 or 36....


Default User  

Facebook Comments

Trending Stories

Disclaimer: The information, views, and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bonobology.

Copyright © 2017 - www.bonobology.com All Rights Reserved Sitemap