Many women, countless women, women of all walks of life in Pakistan and actually in the world are coming out of their societal conditioning to conform to another conditioning that’s fast becoming a social trend.
Analyzing mistreatment to us by marginalized groups like our mothers through a single angle and completely ignoring the nuances of their motherhood and womanhood and thereby becoming misogynists ourselves through internalized misogyny which is probably the most outstanding Transgenerational trauma that Pakistani women live is basically what this blog post is about.
For those who read this blog know that I don’t make excuses for parents. I don’t put them on a pedestal just because they are parents. I don’t think they are above any transgression that kids can commit. They can be everything that we are and could be worse. But what they deserve from us is a better analysis of their parenting. Just how we evaluate other social issues, we have to evaluate good/bad parents from years past with the understanding that our parents operated according to their times.
Pointing out ways in which our parents could’ve done better is a way to become better parents ourselves. It’s not something we can employ to make better parents out of our parents. They’re done and blaming them and shaming them won’t really lead to productive outcomes.
Some parents deserve being told how they shortchanged their kids. They have had toxic contributions to their kids’ lives and should be told that in order to help them find the tools to evaluate and analyze their own selves so they can be a better part of our society. But not all parents who didn’t agree with us as we were growing older did a bad job. They merely parented the best way they thought.
So here’s a plea! Hindsight is perfect. If someone gave me a crystal ball when I was 12, I would’ve probably made all the right decisions. But I didn’t have it. Just as my parents didn’t have it. So I know that they made mistakes and I know that those mistakes are starker to a millennial who talks and shares ideas with millions others, who has had the luxury to separate religion from culture from self from society from personal beliefs, who has had a lot more exposure to various schools of thoughts and who has actively worked on being a slightly different version of who her parents were. I have actively tried to not be my mother, not because my mother isn’t a good person, but because I want to be an individual and I knew that I could easily be someone who would be seen as my mom’s yes man.
But I don’t judge her. I don’t judge her for anything. I don’t even judge her for not supporting me through some of life’s problems because she really thought it was my rite of passage to take misogyny and patriarchy before coming out the other end. See! She didn’t know any different.
And here’s the thing! I have to hold that space for my mom. I don’t want to point out faults in her with my narrow mindedness. I want to really understand the caveats of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. If I don’t do that and judge her harshly for any perceived mistake then I can’t be someone who empowers women. I become someone who has internalized misogyny and actually loads of it for women that came before me.