Featured Storyteller

NEPAL: Fathers Should Teach Their Daughters to Be Heroes

Sambridhi
Posted July 12, 2017 from Nepal

Sambridhi advocates for raising girls the way she was raised—to be strong and independent.

“He was raising soldiers, not princesses.

My father once said, "Be the kind of girl who doesn't need anyone's shoulder to rely on." He always wanted my sister and me to seek a life beyond the ordinary. He would ask us to be daring and bold, to lead the herd and not follow. And I could not be more his daughter.

From an early age, my father would ask my sister and me to do things we thought we couldn't— from riding a bicycle for the first time to accepting a difficult job interview. He told us to not give up easily. We never did.

At times when most fathers would come to the rescue of their daughters, our father would let us get through a tough situation on our own. If we had to return late from an evening event, he would sometimes strand us there, asking us to figure things out. At the time, my sister and I would get furious with him. It wasn’t until later that we realized he was raising soldiers, not princesses.

I wonder, what does it mean to be a feminist father? Could my father be considered a feminist? It’s true that he is not the over-protective, stereotypical father. He doesn’t fit that image of a man ready to shoot anyone who hurts his daughter. He is a father who talks about love and relationships. He brings up his own past experiences to teach his daughters about life. Most importantly, he is a father who trusts his daughters. He knows we will get it right. He knows we don’t need an army to protect us; we can do it on our own.

My father is not a perfect feminist. He can get caught up in patriarchal values that mainly recognize women for their homemaking and domestic skills. He used to ask my sister and me to be more "feminine" and adhere to society’s idea of a "complete woman." It drove me mad. Why did he go along with the crowd instead of his own ideals? How could he teach us to rebel and then expect us to get society's approval? Sometimes, when he'd wish aloud he had had an elder son, it would hurt my ego. What could a son could do that I can’t do?

I don’t think a feminist father needs to speak about feminist issues, go to women’s marches, or even call himself a feminist. A feminist father is any father who tells his daughter from a very young age that she can do everything. A feminist father is someone who empowers his daughter at every step and teaches his daughter to speak up for herself. A feminist father loves his daughters and knows the importance of raising a daughter who takes no shit from people. A feminist father may not be there to rescue his daughter every time, but he has made sure his daughter knows how to be her own superhero. He does not put his sons ahead of his daughters. He simply believes in and practices equality.

Feminist fathers are super fathers—the greatest gift any daughter possibly could have in her life. Girls with feminist fathers dare to stick out of the crowd; they dare to dream; they dare to lead. These girls later become women who are confident, strong, and inspiring. I have seen enough examples in my own life to know that how a man treats his daughter during her childhood and youth impacts her whole life.

The world needs more feminist father icons. We need more fathers who don’t limit their daughters, who encourage their daughters to take risks and learn from their mistakes. Fathers around the world should remind their daughters that their gender shouldn’t hold them back. Fathers should teach their young daughters to dream to be different: not just princesses, but warriors, adventurers, travelers, intellectuals, and heroes. Daughters can be heroes who fight for what is right, heroes who save the world.

If you are a father of a daughter, tell her you believe in her and that she has super powers, that she can be anything. When you do, the world will see more magic. My own father can attest: If you treat your daughter like a hero, she will definitely make you proud.


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Comments 38

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DESTINE
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

COURAGE MA CHERE.te aide ma inspire beaucoup de chose,

Sambridhi
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

Je suis content que vous soyez inspiré. Merci pour la lecture. :)

christelle
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

Vraiment une grande courage a votre père parce que a cause de sa confiance et amour qui prouve de quoi vous étaient.

je peut dire a tout le père d'etre comme le votre

Sambridhi
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

Oui tres vrai. Nous avons besoin de plus de pères qui croient en leurs filles. Merci pour la lecture. :) <3

Olutosin
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

This is amazing.

Sambridhi
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

You're amazing! Thank you :)

Tendai2017
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

we need more imperfect feminist fathers, who will teach their daughters to be heroes. BRILLIANT

Sambridhi
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

Yes we do. Glad you liked it. :)

Louisashei
Jul 14, 2017
Jul 14, 2017

awesome.

Sambridhi
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Thank you! ❤

Jill Langhus
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Good job on achieving Featured Storyteller status:-)

Sambridhi
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Yes feels great. :D Thank you so much! <3

Jill Langhus
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Awesome:) You're welcome. You deserve it!

Sambridhi
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

You are the sweetest. Much love. :)

Jill Langhus
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Well, thank you ma'am:) Have a great day!

Sambridhi
Jul 15, 2017
Jul 15, 2017

Well its actually Saturday night here in Nepal. :D But you have a great day! :) 

sharmainesanilla
Jul 17, 2017
Jul 17, 2017

This was so uplifting, I'm amazed and so glad to know men like your father exist and you have shared your experiences so proudly. Women are heroes, warriors and anything they want to be!

Sambridhi
Jul 17, 2017
Jul 17, 2017

Yes, why should women be stereotyped after all? I think they can be anything they want to be. I feel blessed to be able to share my story. :) Thank you for reading and I am glad it could make you feel good. <3

Jessica Foumena
Jul 17, 2017
Jul 17, 2017

Thank you for sharing your story. May our male peers follow the examples of our fathers. We can't change the living conditions of girls and women without the support of the other half of humanity (men). 

Sambridhi
Jul 18, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

Dear Jessica,

I hope they do. And I absolutely love the way you have put the fact that real change occurs when men embrace it too. Lets hope someday it will happen. :)

Ngwa Damaris
Jul 18, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

Good story.Train a child in the right way and when that child grows, he/she will not depart from it.

Sambridhi
Jul 18, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

True indeed. :)

Thank you so much. <3

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

Yes my dear sister, 

We need more feminist fathers as many as we can get. It is fathers who can boost the self esteem of their daughters and show them with so much love so they don't have to look for love elsewhere.

Thank you for your lovely article. 

Stay blessed

Sambridhi
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

So true, I completely agree with you, only then we would have more confident and bold women in the world.

Thank you so much! Best wishes sister. <3 

Sinyuy Geraldine
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

Dear Sam, there's much to be done as far as giving female children equal opportunities as male children is concerned. It's a good thing you're doing and I say courage to you. Girls can do what boys can do.

Sambridhi
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

Dear Sinyuy,

The world isn't there yet, but hopefully we will get there someday. Every effort matters, lets do our best while we can, future will be better.

Love and wishes! <3

Sinyuy Geraldine
Jul 20, 2017
Jul 20, 2017

True my dear. As we put our efforts together in our little corners, someday, some new way of seeing women will sprout.

Sambridhi
Jul 21, 2017
Jul 21, 2017

Keep up the faith, we shall have that world someday! :) 

Evelyn Fonkem
Jul 21, 2017
Jul 21, 2017

Great story Sam

Evelyn Fonkem
Jul 21, 2017
Jul 21, 2017

Great story Sam

Sambridhi
Jul 22, 2017
Jul 22, 2017

Thank you Evelyn ☺

Mandira Raut
Jul 23, 2017
Jul 23, 2017

Hello Sambridhi,

nice reading your story and your headlined caught my eyes my father used to say me the same Be a heroes who can take care of yourself and today I am  trainer and self independent women is running my own company. keep up the good works dear.

Sambridhi
Jul 23, 2017
Jul 23, 2017

Hello Mandi ji, 

Thank you. I'm so glad you think that way, I think every woman should be proud of herself for being able to stand on her feet rather than feeling weak or vulnerable. All the best to you. I hope you find success in your endeavors in future. 

Spread your attitude. :)

Narcisse
Aug 11, 2017
Aug 11, 2017

Hello, I want to be your friend

Mba Madapeu
Sep 08, 2017
Sep 08, 2017

Exactly ...you have said it all...the world  needs  feminist  dad...that why the HeForShe  Campaign  came into light. ..courage  my  dear  sister  in  struggle. .

Wendy Stebbins
Mar 08, 2018
Mar 08, 2018

Yay, Sam! You are amazing.

Sambridhi
Mar 08, 2018
Mar 08, 2018

Thank you Wendy. So are you. :)

kitty
May 06, 2018
May 06, 2018

Thank you so much!!!