As a “girly professional” mom, I watch my oldest daughter struggle between being the girly girl she has always been and deciding when to be a tomboy, when to like sports , etc. All I say to her is “you can be both” followed with the mom mantra “you can be anything you want to be”. As bothersome as it is, females DO have to work harder than males, even in young ages. Some might call me a feminist, I take it as a compliment.
I want to clarify, my belief in being a feminist is solely focused on supporting equality for both men and women. Of course there are things men can do that women cannot and vice versa, but in the grand scheme of life, equality should be a norm…not a fight.
1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.
synonyms: the women’s movement, the feminist movement
noun: feminist; plural noun: feminists
1. a person who supports feminism.
relating to or supporting feminism.
It is 2019 and my beliefs are strong that a woman can do anything she puts her heart, soul and mind to and I believe fiercely in equality. I am trying so hard to make sure my girls see the importance in equality in every area. It doesn’t matter what they wear, how they look, or who their friends are. If they have zero morals and don’t stand up for what is right, they are missing out on an opportunity to make a difference. As I watch my oldest daughter try to figure out who she is, the struggle between being a delicate flower and an empowered woman is totally there. She reads all the Who Was books about the past “rebel women”. She actually has a book called “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls”. (Which are awesome and I highly recommend!!) I can tell she just is striving so hard to be someone that makes a difference in this world.
She WANTS to be an empowered woman.
Throughout my childhood and into my very young twenties, I thought I needed a boyfriend or a man beside me to make things happen. Society says men are the breadwinners, so I wanted a breadwinner. I was doing and thinking what I thought I needed to do in order to be successful.
Of course, the older I got, the more I realized the power was always within me and I was stifling it by focusing on letting a man take the lead. Before anyone gasps at this, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with a man being a leader at all!
Personally, that arrangement was not benefiting my life. Encouragement and allowing me to grow were missing from the equation, I was being held back. My thoughts were not centered correctly and the balance was off, therefore, I didn’t have an identity outside of a boyfriend in my younger days.
Girls shouldn’t have this realization late in life. Knowing their worth and power should start from day one so time isn’t wasted looking for their identity in someone else.
Young girls, and even grown women, need to hear more affirmations like:
- “YOU are brave.”
- “YOU are strong.”
- “YOU are independently capable of conquering difficult things.”
All the while still hearing she is intelligent, beautiful inside and out, and kind hearted, etc. She can BE crushing the stigma that surrounds “girly” at the same time. Excuse me, but you can run the world in heels!
The goal for me is to raise these wilding girls of mine to have fire in their spirits and an overwhelming abundance of kindness in their hearts. Enough of a balance where she knows right from wrong and has the power to stand up for herself, her beliefs and those who can’t speak for themselves. Raising a feminist daughter doesn’t mean she will necessarily be marching in parades, causing riots, and crushing other people’s souls to make a point. No matter who or what she represents, firmness with truth and kindness should always lead the way. Not so easy, but worth the work.
What is funny is even before I started teaching this, my oldest girl was doing it herself. She has a heart of gold and goals that tell me she will do something big during her life. My heart tells me she is going to change the world.
I hope all daughters , nieces, sisters, mothers, besties, etc. can see that raising your daughter to believe in something so simple as equality is NOT a bad thing. It is ok to be a woman and advocate for your rights. It is ok to be a little girl and believe that women can do anything. It is ok the be a feminist and raise a feminist.
I think we need to teach our daughters to not only crush glass ceilings, but crush the “radical” stigma surrounding something that everyone should believe in anyway. Equality.