Dear Son, I will not put you on a high pedestal just because you are a boy

Published: May 19, 2015

A Pakistani woman carries her son as she walk on a street in Islamabad on May 13, 2012, on Mother's Day. PHOTO: AFP

Dear Son,

You are at a very tender age where everything seems new and exciting, but you will grow up in a very confusing and chaotic world. This letter aims to steer you through the tough times which will leave you perplexed and make you appreciate the times that will take your breath away.

Firstly, I refuse to mollycoddle you and put you up on a high pedestal just because you are a boy. Our culture dictates that I should let you run riot and behave incomprehensibly just because,

“You are a boy and that’s what boys do.”

Well, not in my house.

You will not be raised to think you are a prince and will live your life in utter arrogant disdain for women who you will see as beneath you or less worthy. You are to clean your room, do the dishes and learn how to cook food and will continue to do so because I don’t want you to place a heavy expectation on your wife to clean up after you.

Secondly, I don’t want you to go through life pretending you have to be macho or act hard. It’s okay to cry at times and talk about your problems, instead of bottling them up. You will not be considered less of a man in my eyes regardless of what the world thinks. There is no shame in crying.

Thirdly, treat women well. Never ever refer to them in derogatory terms or use explicit language towards them no matter how she may be dressed. A woman is not a sexual object. She is not a hoe. She is not a b***h. She is not a gold digger. She is not a means to self-gratification. She is a beautiful enigma who deserves your love and attention. Marry not for looks or education but for how she respects you as a person. There are many educated fools amongst us and it is important to find a person whose education matches her good grace.

Fourthly, work hard and learn to stand on your own two feet. This world is extremely competitive and getting top grades is not enough. Do something beyond just learning from books, such as playing an instrument or learning a new language; something which will help you stand out from amongst the ordinary bookworms.

Lastly, be kind to everyone. No matter whom it is. Be kind to the unkind, the poor, the rich, the ill, the healthy and the ones who hurt you the most. Kindness will never be wasted and will come back to help you in a multitude of ways. Have faith in your Creator to see the wisdom of this.

I hope these words will help you in alleviating the confusion that is creating chaos in our constantly modern and evolving society. Have patience, believe in your Creator and always be humble.

Lots of love,

Your Mother

Faiza Iqbal

Faiza Iqbal

A law graduate from King's College, London Nottingham Law School. Having worked at Mandviwalla & Zafar as an Associate, she now writes freelance articles and is trying to qualify as a barrister in Canada.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    Oh well. Another boy destined to be brought up under a mothers feminist agenda. While you’re refusing to put him on a pedestal you’re teaching him put women on a pedestal. Women are a beautiful enigma who deserve his love and attention? Really? All women?

    And are you seriously referring to a rape case in your message to your young son? Why? Are all men rapists? Maybe you should have pointed to a case of a suicide bomber just to make sure he doesn’t turn into a terrorist. Or show him some documentaries on Hitler or Mussolini to make sure he doesn’t turn into a fascist dictator.

    Here’s a thought. How about teaching him to respect all individuals regardless of their sex, colour religion or nationality? How about forming an opinion on someone based on how they treat others? How about teaching through example the wisdom of differentiating between right and wrong?

    How about treating your son with the same love and respect as you would do with a daughter instead of presuming that he could potentially be another sexist, wife beating rapist and dumping the chips you have on your shoulder on him?Recommend

  • Hassan Ammar

    Good Luck Faiza for your barrister seat. Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    Oh well. Another boy destined to be brought up under a mothers
    feminist agenda. While you’re refusing to put him on a pedestal you’re
    teaching him to put women on a pedestal. Women are a beautiful enigma
    who deserve his love and attention? Really? All women?

    And are you seriously referring to a rape case in your message to your young
    son? Why? Are all men rapists? Maybe you should have pointed to a
    case of a suicide bomber just to make sure he doesn’t turn into a
    terrorist. Or show him some documentaries on Hitler or Mussolini to
    make sure he doesn’t turn into a fascist dictator.

    Here’s a thought. How about teaching him to respect all individuals regardless
    of their sex, colour religion or nationality? How about forming an
    opinion on someone based on how they treat others? How about teaching
    through example the wisdom of differentiating between right and wrong?

    How about treating your son with the same love and respect as you would do
    with a daughter instead of presuming that he could potentially be
    another sexist, wife beating rapist and dumping the chips you have on
    your shoulder on him?Recommend

  • Professor

    Too much feminism priming in this article (maybe, will get you points for that barrister seat). How about respect everyone, avoid stereotyping, look inwards for own deficiencies and overlook other people’s shortcomings?Recommend