For Eldest Immigrant Daughters who Refuse to be Surrogate Fathers

The eldest daughter is forced into a surrogate father role which absolves men of their responsibilities. This sabotages her future, fuels codependency and catalyzes an economic setback. I can attest to this experience firsthand. Being the eldest immigrant daughter is purely exploitative. I am expected to sacrifice my dreams, deter my goals, and turn down opportunities so that I can fulfill a surrogate father role. This is a form of misogyny we rarely explore: the financial, socioeconomic and emotional costs of being forced to fulfill the responsibilities of fathers and husbands. As doting daughters, no one expects us to reject this burden.

Being a surrogate father meant that my life had to start at 28. Growing up, it was just expected that my personal and professional life would take a backseat until my childrearing responsibilities were complete. How much further would I be in life if I refused to agree to this scam? I would probably be pursuing an advanced degree without any guilt. I would have achieved financial milestones like being debt free. The eldest immigrant daughter is bullied into a role that is not only destructive but also enables men to continue neglecting their responsibilities. Free childcare, financial contributions, emotional support and sacrifices galore.

It’s time to break my silence and speak out against this injustice. Being a surrogate father has deterred me from pursuing the life I actually want. Male worship is a real thing. Am I expected to live a smaller life because men have the option of not doing their job? Because of misogyny, I do not have the luxury of “opting out” without experiencing guilt, shame, or emotional turmoil. The financial costs of being a surrogate father have been detrimental to my life. While men are embarking on multiple vacations per year, building dream homes abroad and dodging child support, I am burdened with financially supporting an entire household.

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I have divested from this role because there is no reward for martyring myself.  I do not believe I will be rewarded for depriving myself of the life I actually want. A carefree life without the burden of a role I am not legally, morally or financially obligated to uphold. Now, I am able to recognize how the surrogate father role has held me back financially and professionally. Being the eldest daughter is having to overcome the sabotage, guilt, and fear that oppresses and robs us of freedom. I look forward to achieving milestones, gaining financial freedom and solo travel that awaits. Everything I want out of my life is within reach.

I hope this inspires someone to break free from their chains. No one should be bullied into a life they don’t want. We are not here to close the gaps that men create. Read that again! Our lives do not have to be defined by how much we’re willing to sacrifice. Our dreams, goals, and happiness are to be respected and honored. TO FREEEEEEEDOM!!!!!!!!!!

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