Bringing up daughters.
January 11, 2013
The following article has resonated with me deeply.
I connected with this piece as a mother, as a mother of daughters, as a teacher of young women and as a girl who grew up with the same social ideals – just not as intense as they are now.
As a mum, I’ve often felt this and written about it:
Most girls lack a grasp of basic feminism to help them understand that many of their experiences are the result of growing up in a profoundly unequal world, and therefore not their own fault. Parents can only do so much.
I’ve heard the cliché often – that if they’ve good morals at home, the kids will be right.
Well, that would mean that my girls will be great – but am I enough against the ever-infiltrating, predatory world around them?
As a teacher I have always said the following to my teen students:
And I see how so many young women still assume that their needs come behind those of the boys they form relationships with, absorbing the message that they are lucky to have been chosen at all, when they are the ones who should be doing the choosing.
Young women and teenage girls have lost that power – it’s been given away and only women can get it back – the right to choose. They seem quite chuffed with merely being chosen and then work really hard to maintain being the chosen one.
I know. I’ve been there many times before.
Read this article. See if there are any entrenched ideals that can be shifted within you.
Imagine the profound effect on the world, if we just let our daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, aunts and grandmothers be their true selves.
One that doesn’t just revolve around looks and sex – or more to the point nowadays:
Looking sexy (no age restrictions).
Question #133: What passions do the women/girls in your life have?
Ask them. Then encourage them.
PS The book Raising Girls by Steve Buddulph looks pretty awesome.
“Raising Girls is a beautiful new book written as a response to the crisis in the mental health of girls. Girls are under assault from an exploitive, harsh culture, and need our help to become stronger and freer. This book is a guidebook for your own daughter at every age, and a call to arms in the wider culture. ITS EASY TO READ, HAS MANY POWERFUL STORIES, AND COVERS BABYHOOD RIGHT THROUGH TO ADULTHOOD.”
I’m going to get one.