DAUGHTERS

"Fathers, be good to your daughter Daughters will love you like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothe...

"Fathers, be good to your daughter
Daughters will love you like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughter too."

My writing today would be a little bit different from my usual writings. Listening to one of John Mayer's song "Daughter", I have the feeling to write about being a daughter, being a girl, being a woman. And I have been reading and experiencing some kind of issues for the past few months. Also, I post this to celebrate Indonesian Mother's Day on December 22nd, 2017. This is for all girls and women out there.
I have always been interested into the topic of women since a long time ago. Since a little girl, I believe in girl power and other kind of strong women concept. Fascinated by the concept of an independent, confident and encouraging all modern girls and women should have.

But what kind of disturbing me is the issue of gender inequality. Truth to be told, even in this millennium years, we are still facing this kind of issue. Well, perhaps people like me and most of my friends, who are raised in a family where they didn't have a significant separation between son's and daughter's privileges, I never experienced any kind of disparaty for myself. But sadly in most of our society, this disproportion between gender is still an issue that is need to be solved. And until today there is no one country that can guarantee all women can expect to receive these kind of rights. There are many campaigns raised upon this issue and we all want to end this inequity. We need everyone to understand this concept of gender equality and need everyone to be involved to solve the issue. Both women and also men.

Gender equality itself is more concerned within women. Where people are campaigning and battling for women's rights. Feminism actions, which by definition means "men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, political, economic and social equality of sexes". Yes, it is true that we should have these equal rights as the basic rights as a human being. But, the more people have spoken about women's rights and feminism, the more it has too often become synonymous with "man-hating". The more we talk about feminism, the more it is being identical with women being too aggressive, women being too strong, women being too competitive, women being too independent that leads to women who are "anti-men". This is pretty much not the real idea of gender equality. At least for my own understanding of the concept. I might not be an expert about this gender equality issue, but the one thing I am certain for sure is the greater idea behind it.

Like I said before, everyone should understand and be involved. That women's rights and gender equality is not just a girl/woman issue, but also an issue for men too. Let us see from a different perspective. I am wondering the whole time why I have seen a father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite our needing of their presence as a child as much as our mother. Also men facing disgrace if they show their emotions more, as if they have no right to suffer as women do. Let us take a look now at mental illness, which is also a raising issue now which both women also men can suffer from it. But, many men are unable to ask for help because it would make them look less "manly" or less "strong" and considered weak (or in Indonesian word it would be: "ah ngga laki banget lu," or "baper/cengeng banget sih lu"). Looking at the statistic we have nowdays, suicide is the biggest killer of men age 20-49 years old. Well, my idea here talking about equality is both men and women should feel free. Free as a whole being. Free to be sensitive. We are all human at all, we have heart and we have feelings. It is okay to feel not okay for both men and women. Also, both men and women should feel free to be strong too. To stand for what they believe, to decide in their own behalf. To be seen and respected equally. Let us see gender not as opposing sets of standards. Not to compete which is better, which is stronger. But see it as roles that support and cooperate together.

Where now people are so busy trying to prove that women can do what men can do. Women weren't created to do everything a man can do. Women are created to do everything a man can't do. And even after all the heavy responsibility I might face in the future for being a women in my kind of society here, I am still so blessed to be born as a daughter, as a girl, as a woman. And I want every girl to be blessed as much as I do. We do, as women, have these great role and burden, but one thing that I always keep in my mind is to do everything with a great heart. We must never lose the warmth of our heart as a woman. At last, that is what I want to be. Not being a woman that need a man, but to be the kind of woman that a man needs. A woman with a good heart. A woman that can be the best of herself. For herself, for her family, for her people, for her society, for her nation. This my spirit of being a woman.

Being a daughter, I am one of the lucky ones where my family didn't love me less because I was born a daughter. I was not limited to do anything because I was a girl. I was not assumed to go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. And because of these people around me, who see me as a complete human, not seeing me just as a 'girl', they made me who I am today and how I define the concept of being a girl, about feminism and also about the equality of genders. And now I would like to send this message too, that we all have to understand the ambition behind the word. Both women and men. To be sensitive and to be strong. So that the message could pass on, so every daughters, sisters, mothers, and women can be free from prejudice and also every sons, brothers, fathers and men have permission to be vulnerable and human too.
Selamat hari Ibu.
❤️
xx
Photos by: Arya Predana
Currently listening to: Daughter by John Mayer 
Inspired by: Emma Watson's speech for HeForShe 2014

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