Feminism runs in my family, in parts.
I come from a family of outspoken (sometimes bordering on the line of offensive) women, about whom the men in the house would jokingly warn new entrants to be wary of.
We inherit a chunk of values subconsciously from the ones around us. The early lessons often imparted by family. The few beads of feminism that I took away from mine:
Importance of education and hatred for dowry – I learned from my grandfather, who would tell his daughters “I am ready to sell everything to get you girls a good education” and who would ask prospects to kindly leave if they ever asked for dowry.
Importance of courage, debating, learning, re-learning, and speaking out – I learned from my mother. She has been at the receiving end of many jibes that came her way for raising her daughters to be the feminists that we are. Instead of feeling the burden of everyone’s favorite dialogue “It’s the mother’s fault,” she rose to the challenge and took it as a compliment.
Importance of financial independence – I learned from my aunts, who owing to personal incidents had to depend on themselves to keep their family afloat.
Importance of gender equality – I learned from my dad, who was absolutely fine with doing household chores, cooking, and cleaning. P.S: He used to make the best mutton curry.
Importance of freedom – I learned from my sister, who values her independence more than anything else in this world. Nothing can stop her from pursuing her dreams in life.
We always learn little lessons from everyone around us, without even knowing. When I look back, to think where I got my current ideologies from, these are the people who pop up in my mind. I learned a little bit from each and together they have defined my set of values.
An individual can be unique not just in physical appearance or fingerprints, but even by their “personality print” which is the sum total of all their experiences in life. Next time you feel you are not special, think about it this way. There is literally no one like you – with the same set of values, journey, experiences, understanding. Just like fingerprints, no two personality prints are alike. You are uniquely you. Is there any better reason to celebrate?