Farah's endearing and poignant letter to her daughters on Women's Day!
Filmmaker and noted choreographer Farah Khan has become a pioneer for women's empowerment through her work and dedication in the last two decades in Bollywood. More importantly for doing good and relevant work that has helped shape various perspectives of woman in our society.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, the filmmaker, choreographer, wife and mother to three children [daughters Diva, Anya, and son Czar], wrote an emotional and heartfelt letter to her daughters on what is it to be a woman in today’s world and the way she wants to raise them for the hardships they might face once they become adults.
Its was evident from the letter that she is absolutely stern on the way her daughters will face life and that she is readying them for the hardships that she has faced. As a mother, she is in a way teaching us that rather than combatting patriarchy, let's equip our daughters to face it with education and financial independence as their weapons rather than rallying (morchas) and uneffectvie means. Luckily, if they choose a path in Bollywood, they'll have it a bit easier because of their mother's name and fame, but its the lessons that she is teaching them along the way that will help them more as they grow.
Here's what she wrote:
My loves, Diva and Anya
I am hoping and praying that by the time you go out into the world to make your own lives, it will be a New, Modern World! A world that will not care about which nationality, which race and most importantly, which gender you belong to — it will only care about your merits, your hard work and your talent. A world, where women will be celebrated everyday, and not just on the 8th of March as a token!
ut until then, I can only lead by example (you are too young for sermons anyway). I hope you can realise that both your parents treat your brother and you equally — no special privileges are given to the ‘Son’! In fact, he sometimes gets the brunt of being the only boy (being sent to Ballet class with you — both wasn’t much fun for him).
And Anya, I know you keep an account of how many play dates and sleepovers he goes to and demand an equal number. A trait I pretend I find so annoying, but secretly, I am so proud that you are not afraid to demand your share. I wish I can assure you that every boy you meet will be as feminist as your brother and father, but that may not be the case. And I am hoping that you will well know that changing yourself to fit into the society’s idea of how a woman should be will never make any woman happy — least of all.
The two of you, who see gender equality on a daily basis in your home, I am hoping you will be true to yourself then, too. I also know that we are a household of true feminists — it’s never to be believed that it means ‘Hating men’ — never.
it’s truly believing in gender equality (that’s why Czar also ties you a Rakhi and you have to protect him too) and reversing roles to know whether what’s fair for the man is equally fair to the woman — something we conveniently forget when we do it vice-versa. I hope that just like your mother, you never play the ‘WOMAN CARD’ — it’s not a secret trump up your sleeve to be used when the game is not going your way.
And, at all times, I want you to be free, free to live the life you want, to wear what you feel, to fall in love with who you choose, to choose the career you want, not getting married till you are ready even if it’s at 40, like your mother, and to be fearless women because it’s not always going to be a man’s world, you know. Hell, if I had believed that, I would not be where I am today — writing this letter to my two best friends — my queens — yes, always queens and never princesses, because queens rule! And above all, we don’t need a WOMAN’S DAY to celebrate us. We will celebrate ourselves everyday!