1. “Divorce is a tag women carry forever. Try to make it work for the kids”
Before I get onto how toxic this is, you already know you don’t need to make it “work”. It’s high time we normalise getting out of toxic marriages where you feel drained out rather than constantly making it work at the cost of your mental well-being. I have seen so many people in my circle struggling to make it “work” because a bunch of people think so or society dictates so and let me tell you, it does more harm than good. Kids growing up in a toxic family environment can go through major childhood trauma affecting their relationships later in life. Some may even grow up to think that this is how it’s supposed to be. Tolerating bad will only manifest the bad, and that is why breaking this chain is important.
2. “A baby COMPLETES your family”
Hear me out before you snap at me. Yes, having a baby is nothing wrong but also hear this out, choosing not to have one is COMPLETELY fine. Many times I’ve seen women talking about how your womanhood gets a new meaning when you go through the entire period of pregnancy and childbirth. While there is no denying that childbirth is a surreal experience, it may not be for everyone. For all those throwing hate at people choosing the other way round, stop as there no such bar on womanhood and its experiences.
3. “You wear a Hijab? It’s 2021, you can revolt”
This is for all my hijabi friends out there – I hear you, I feel you, I see you. I know a lot of hijabis are asked this or suggested to do the latter. Even though I’m not a hijabi, nor do I wish to be one, but what I understand is, it’s a matter of CHOICE. Hijab in no way means oppression. Comfort and free will should be a guiding force for your food, clothing and career choices. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This toxic mentality of covering your head means putting a filter on the real you because someone wants it and this needs to break. We as individuals should be able to accept others the way they are, head covered or not, why do you care?
4. “Before you adopt, consider having your own”
Whenever the word adoption pops up in a conversation, I see people raising eyebrows and passing petty comments as if it is their right to do so. Adoption in some cases is a last resort, but wherever it is a first choice, tons of people who you owe nothing jump in to offer you advice that you don’t need. Don’t let these people tell you otherwise. If you want to experience motherhood, it can be in any way you think is right for you. If you ask me? Adoption is beautiful. Giving someone a life they deserve, filling it with warmth and love makes you an amazing human being!
5. “Yeah well, you can’t be more successful than your significant other. It won’t work that way”
There is no such rule to make it work with your man, especially not this one. I have seen people suggesting that success is often seen as a threat in relationships where we are used to seeing the man successful and the woman, well not so much. We as women need to shut these torchbearers of toxicity and show them that men are more than this narrative. The right ones support, love, and do everything in their power to make the women in their life as comfortable as possible to follow their dreams. I also understand that not all of us may have someone who takes it as it is, they may try to change you, break you, but you need to stand tall. Did you pull all those all-nighters for someone to give you the “permission” on how successful you should be? I guess not.
6. “Your behaviour dictates the reputation of the family”
Isn’t this line such a cliche? This line is being used for centuries to curb women of their freedom, to stop them from doing things their way, to put them in a difficult position when they decide something good on their part, this specific line is more toxic than we realise. When we use such lines out of intent to emotionally blackmail women into making choices that don’t fit their life, we in a way show them that their opinion does not matter. We women are not examples to cite when family’s reputation is concerned because we are not objects that need to be perfect in every way possible to fit the definition of a “good woman” set by society.