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Raising A Feminist?

Addie and her Grandmother

Growing up I was lucky enough to have strong female influences in my life. Although as a child I never really knew what exactly a feminist was. I just knew there were a butt load of strong women in my life, who had strived, and faught every step of the way for what they have, and have accomplished.

My mother had me in her mid 30′s, but I was the third child in the line.  Welcomed by a 17 year old brother, and a 15 year old sister. In fact, my brother was graduating high school when I was turning a year old. How is that for age gaps!

But if you do the math, you can see that my mother was a young teen when both my siblings were born. And by the time her 18th birthday rolled around she was a single mother providing for two children all on her own with little to no help or support. Growing up I knew my mother had my siblings young, but I didn’t know the details of all she went through, and how she provided for my siblings to give them everything she could in her position.

But what stood out the most was her success. When my mother met my father, she owned her own restaurant/bar, and did it all on her own. Of course Rome wasn’t built in a day, but she built it!

It wasn’t until high school when I really became familiar with the term feminist, and most of my teachers at the time equated it with the radical, bra burning, hairy, and completely undesirable women who lead some of the revolutions of our time. But completely skipped the women like Susan B. Anthony, and Anna Shaw.  The women who were some of the original mainstream feminists that won women the right to vote in America.  I mean to me, that is a big deal… bigger than losing a bra or wearing a pair of jeans like others.

I mean, I do love, and admire the women like Gloria Steinem, and Margaret Sanger. They also paved the way for the modern day activists to be able to voice out opinions freely, legally, and publicly.

But now that I have my own daughter, my whole line of thinking has gone bonkers. So many issues have become increasingly important to be simply by birthing a little girl. Yes, even though she is only two months old. Well, 8 days shy of two months.

I am distraught over the clothing I am seeing for young girls, with words on the ass of pants, or the glittery sexy training bras meant for young tween girls, because lets face it… puberty is starting earlier and earlier for girls these days!

Last week I saw one of my favorite companies offering custom stitching on the butt of their pants. A company that caters to newborn to toddler girls for the most part. I was shocked, and it really started to make me pay more attention to the apparel for our daughters. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

We have the shows our girls are watching like 16 and Pregnant, and Teen Mom that not only showcase dating violence, but rarely take the time to address the serious nature of the problem. Further demonstrating to our daughters how women feel trapped or they need to stay in an abusive or unhealthy relationship because they may have a child with someone.

How does all of this pertain to my daughter?

Do you think these stereotypes are going to change over the next decade?

I am petrified of the kind of role models my daughter will have to look up to.  I could honestly do without the Britney Spears and Rihanna’s and want to see more of the modern day feminists fighting for real issues like sexism, gender discrimination, and helping the next generation to have real options without gender discrimination.

Give me some more Hilary Clintons, and Sandra Day O’Connors.
Help our daughters to be the next generation of strong women, and a new wave of modern day feminists!

Teach our daughters that they should not be paid less than men from birth!
Teach our daughters that they should not deal with disrespect or put downs because they are female!
Teach our daughters that violence from a partner is never acceptable.

These are all lessons we need to start from birth, rather  then when it may be too late!

What kind of lessons are you preparing for your daughters?

 

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