The problem of “trying to protect your little girl”.

Children, to most of us, are a blessing. From the moment they’re born until they lose their first tooth, until their first day in high school and until they gave you grandchildren, you watch them grow and become attached to them.

Unfortunately, some parents take this concept a bit too far, the concept of I love you too much, that is.

I guess this can be applied to many, many situations, but is a real problem for girls (or any closeted afab people) even in rich countries, in the twenty-first century. I’m taking this from a Desi-Muslim perspective, but if you have a similar experience, feel free to discuss below.

So, let’s start.

To my dear sisters and brethren, do any of these following quotes seem familiar to you?

You can’t go there, there’s too many men (or women).

Girls aren’t supposed to go alone.

Girls shouldn’t go late at night.

You’re my only son.

You need a wahi, girls can’t go alone. It’s unsafe.

You can’t sleep over with your cousins – you don’t need to.

Any female should live with their parents until they get married, that’s when they are in the supervision of their husband.

You need your father or husband’s permission to do (…..).

Let me tell you this right now, this is very problematic. It helps the problem, not break it.

An assaulter would prefer to assault a group of very vulnerable people, then assault a person who looks like a threat/dangerous/strong/independent. It also implies the fault relies within those who are assaulted, than the assaulter.

This kind of possessive and overprotective behaviour is still going on, and it does not do a single thing to help. It makes the child more vulnerable, weaker and easier to assault.Would you care for a demonstration with an analogy?

A virus has broken out. Instead of getting an immunisation which requires exposure to the virus, you keep your child away from those who have the virus. Your child isn’t getting stronger – and you know exactly how diseases work. Once you have caught a virus, your memory B and T cells memorise the antibodies it needs to produce to destroy the pathogen quicker the second time the situation rises. Whether or not you are aware, you suddenly die, leaving your child alone in this virus-ridden suburb. Your child never received help, nor witnessed anything that might help them out in their situation (ie vaccination), so in the end they have become a victim anyway and was always a target, and in the end, getting the worst end of the stick.

It may look ridiculous on how the situation could happen, but it did in the past all the way back in England where scientists were often ridiculed for finding cures other than ‘through God’, and was very toxic indeed. Diseases were RAMPANT and I mean RAMPANT for a century or so, however refusal to accept the situation of the Englishmen and royals led to their dark ages.

Analogies aren’t perfect, but the fact you only make your child MORE vulnerable by shutting them away from society is something many still refuse today.

Refusing to socialise your children or letting them go by themselves make them more vulnerable, confused and unfamiliar once they are by themselves. I’m not saying to let your 6 year old have a career, but I mean an adequate exposure to you know, prepare them for the real world once they take care of themselves. Go on how much you will get your daughter a ‘a nice husband’ to take care of her, but when the husband ends up abusive, or the husband dies, or the husband disappears, or the husband doesn’t like her any more, the husband barely comes home and other situations that arise, your daughter will have NO IDEA, NO STRATEGY and NO HOPE with her situation. Tell me, how the hell is your daughter protected now? You made her life even more lethal and depressing!

Refusing your child to talk to the opposite sex or not letting your daughter go out without you hanging on her arse every second and altogether the development of their individuality is toxic, doesn’t help and in the end makes them a better target.

Life is always about risk, our dear prophets have straightened our faith by taking risks, discoveries have been made due to risk, and risks have lessened their threat and eventually no threat. There is a reason why animals keep their young until they reach an age and depending on the animal, the parent may either stick around sometimes (eventually less when the young gets older) or fully alone.

There’s a difference between protection and possessiveness.

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