Chaddi solidarity

Thought long and hard before writing this one and finally said, what the heck, let’s overshare as usual.
I noticed over the last few days that the ten year old daughter had begun to wear shorts under a short-ish dress. She’s outgrown it, but it’s a thin, cool, comfortable cotton slip – perfect for these awful summers.
I wondered if it was an attack of modesty and asked her about it. It seems her 12 year old brother had been teasing her about the dress flying up and her undies being on show. I let it pass without interfering in the sibling relationship, until I realised she was wearing it everyday, and that it could no longer be dismissed as a joke or a sibling thing.
My son is being raised by a mother who thinks hijabs and veils, and the policing of women’s bodies and chastity culture are the devil’s own idea (smash the patriarchy, yo!), so this is just unacceptable.
A casual chat with him and I realised he didn’t actually have a real issue, and wasn’t playing protective, patriarchal elder brother. He’s actually more of a feminist than his sister. He was simply playing annoying sibling. Very pleased to have found something to annoy his sister about.
It wasn’t his attitude I was worried about, it was hers. I didn’t want her to lose the safe space of home, covering up even when there was just family around. Choosing modesty over comfort.
So I did the only thing I could. I took off my jeans, and sat down by her side. Just. Chaddi solidarity, sistah. The son gaped. The daughter began to giggle.
I swim with them, so they’re used to seeing me in swimwear, which is much less clothing than the tee shirt and undies I was in. It wasn’t the sight of undies that was supposed to horrify him. It was the reminder that mama is also a girl, and she feels hot too, and has every right to be comfortable in her own home without anyone commenting on it, even as a joke.
The maid who realised what was happening, was in splits. The daughter smiled widely, and took off her shorts. And the son conceded that it was unfair to tease someone and make them self conscious, specially in a world where women are constantly being told to cover up to make others feel comfortable. That it might be a joke in this case, but in the real world, society and men, force women to cover up.
In case you feel strongly about how traumatised he might be, I’ll send you my bank account number. You can donate some money towards his therapy at a later stage.


18 thoughts on “Chaddi solidarity

  1. Yo cool momma! You truly practice what you preach. πŸ™‚

    Are you ready to be a teen-mom yet? 4 days left, right?

    PS: You and the Mad Family have been missed ❀ . Hope all is well in your world!

      • OOOOO yes! 2005-2017 would make hikm 12; Ugh, my math is so rusted !

        Here is wishing the BRAT a Very Happy B’day ! Wishing him another year of adventure, fun, love, Good Health and Happiness! God Bless πŸ™‚

  2. So good to see your post MM! As usual, I loved it!
    Chaddi teasing happens at my home also (between the siblings). I find it quite annoying.

    • I try not to get too politically correct. People tease about a sibling found in the garbage can/adopted. Chaddis on show. And so on. None of it is malicious, but if you see if begin to affect the other child, then you’re forced to step in. 😦

  3. This. I want to share this with everyone who advises girls to sit with their legs closed or goes ‘shame shame’ when my toddler runs around without undies.

  4. Wow! So its been 12 years since I’ve been following your posts. Out here in North America – come summer girls are in tank tops and the teeniest of shorts. Of course some desi moms are aghast especially the FOBs!

  5. wow MM! you practice what you preach sista!! wish I could be as strong as you. Im constantly reminding my teen to sit properly,and not display her undies but i guess i will be doing it with my son too ? where does politeness end and self expression begin??
    Im forever conflicted. where do you draw the line really? while on one hand i strongly feel my teen has the choice to express herself in terms of what she wants to wear, i absolutely hate the clothes that are available for young adult/ teens these days!!
    Arrgghh back to the drawing board now..

  6. I am so glad your blog is still around! I’ve wondered about you off and on the past couple of years. Many times, it’s been your older posts when your children were younger that have rung in my ears as I co-parent my 3- and almost 6- year old.
    I totally see why you would step in if one child’s innocent teasing would cause the other to feel shame. However, I have to mention that as a woman who chose to wear the hijab in her late twenties in the throes of graduate studies, I would hope that we can allow our children to find what manner of clothing or un-clothing feels best to them instead of communicating that one way of being is inferior to the other. My son sees me around the house wearing as little as I want, completely comfortable, and with family in various levels of clothing. He is aware of how I dress when I am out in public and understands that it is something I have chosen for myself. My daughter often streaks around the house and the only reason we are usually chasing her is because we are running late and she needs to get dressed, not because her body is shameful. Point being, I hope you can see that everyone who practices modesty in any way is not necessarily trapped by the patriarchy, and that true freedom to choose should include the freedom to wear whatever you want without fear of judgement.

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