What To Expect When You’re Expecting!

One of the most exciting time in a woman’s life is when she is expecting her child. Our dramas are full of cliches. One such cliché is about expectant mothers. Isn’t it annoying when the most significant experience of a woman’s life gets ruined by unreasonable demands by her husband and/ or in-laws insisting on a son? Despite our progress over the years, it is such an unfortunate plight that even in today’s day and age, there are people who consider it shameful when they have a daughter!

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How many times have we witnessed this topic in our dramas? Men leaving their wives who couldn’t bear them a son! I mean, seriously! And these aren’t just the jahil types (Remember Rehaii?), these are also the educated ones who think on the same lines (Think Mera Naseeb). But probably what annoys me to the extreme is when the mother-in-law shuns her bahu who gave birth to a daughter! Give me a break! You’d think a woman would have far more empathy than that!

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Looking at it from a rational point of view, there is no doubt about the paramount stress that the birth of a daughter may cause to a poor household. One of the many vices in our society continues to be dowry- whether we like it or not, the fact remains that this is the greatest fear most parents have for their daughters- their incapacity to provide a stable future. Probably the most disturbing thought for any parent would be to have an unmarried, aging daughter. That gives rise to another issue- the prospect of getting them married off to much older men! (Consider Bunty, I Love You)

But what about those well-to-do families that place the same trauma on expectant mothers? Isn’t that just deplorable? And it doesn’t end there! Males are still given preference over females in many homes where there are both sons and daughters. (Talkhiyan was a classic example that depicted this bias). Most families continue to think higher education is exclusively a birth-right for their sons. It’s no wonder that girls grow up seeing their brothers treated far more differently than themselves and thus they develop issues with low self-esteem. This vicious circle is the root cause of so many multiple issues.

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Let’s hope we can get to the stage of realizing the value of children- irrespective of their gender and appreciate their presence in our lives! I would love to hear your thoughts on gender bias. If there are any more dramas you can recall, please let me know.

Yours in watching

Kanwal Murtaza