As a child, I never understood the idea of a parent living vicariously through their kids. I had seen so many sitcom episodes about little Billy being forced to play baseball just because his dad never made it to the Little League finals, or similar stories of parents learning to let go of their expectations for their children, but I was never able to fully process the parents’ emotions. How could your child’s achievements possibly make up for your own regrets and shortcomings?
I wonder how my father would react if I informed him that he is an inspiring feminist. I wonder if he would buy that. I write this column both to let him and the world know how he has enabled me to challenge gender norms. I am an international student from India. At times, in my government classes at Cornell, professors show statistics about how my country is not necessarily the sanctum of gender equality. There are grim statistics about gender violence and recalcitrant gender discrimination norms which are very prevalent today.