Most of us have seen that advertisement for a fairness cream (this is the point where I want to start raging about products like those, but I don’t want to digress) where a girl wants to become an air-hostess to become the ‘son’ her family never had. She slaps some lotion on, changes her skin colour and lands a job as an air hostess without doing anything but smile while getting interviewed. ((Side Note: What is this magical airline that hires people without asking them a single thing? Could this be the reason why there is an increase in the number of accidents in the aviation industry? But I digress again.)) After the daughter lands a job, she takes her parents to eat at an expensive restaurant where the ‘once down in the dump parents’ are now beaming with pride. Their daughter is now a son or at least, as good as a son. For what are daughters good for other than mooching off their parents – because you need to bring them up, educate them and then marry them off, so that they can have children, right? How can a daughter ever be as good as a son?
In case you missed the sarcasm, what I am trying to say is that my daughter is not ‘as good as a son’ and I do not want her to be. The very term ‘as good as’ implies that one is lesser than the other but you will make do. In this case, it implies that gender determines whether your child is as good as another. This is discrimination at its benign best. You think someone is paying you a compliment when someone says ‘Oh, your daughter is as good as a son.’ But in reality it is nothing more than a backhanded insult and in some cases, even a veiled critique of her abilities.