I remember when I was in middle school, one of my neighbors came in to talk to my Girl Scout troop about the way that women were viewed in society. I kind of blew it off before, but now I am so glad that she did. I am so sick of going into stores and seeing clothes for little girls that do nothing but sexualize them. In the JCPenney catalog last week, I saw a shirt for a toddler that read, “Single and loving it!” WTF people. SHE’S TWO YEARS OLD.
After my last post on being raised the right way, and seeing how little girls are changing from how they were when I was a little girl, I have become more and more thoughtful on the subject. After a long conversation with my mom, I am starting to see how difficult it is to raise a normal daughter in today’s society. I was babysitting my two year old neighbor yesterday, and it was starting to boggle my mind on what a rough road she has ahead of her. Her parents are split up and she is primarily being raised by her single father. She picks up words from her crazy-ass mother and repeats them to him, and he must wonder how he’s going to raise her to be well rounded and not like her mother.
Lately, I’ve seen that women are being grouped into three different groups: you have the slutty, willing ones, the compassionate, empathetic, “knit you a tea cozy” ones, and then you have the strong, intimidating ones. There is no gray area. You’ve got to be one of those, never more than one. My partner and I recently had a patient who said when we walked into her house, “You sent two women? What are they going to do for me? I need strong men!” Well, lady, we sure helped you out easily enough. Shocked? Everyday I am surrounded by strong, compassionate women who put themselves out there every day to help people. Running daycares, teaching kids, running into burning buildings. I can list three of my top women whom I admire with those jobs.
Unfortunately, there are other women out there that qute frequently get classified in the “slutty and willing” category. People use the term “wife beater” to describe thin undershirts. But I wonder if any of them have actually known a wife beater? Or have been friends with a woman who was being abused. One of my good friends that I made here was one of those women. I had no idea at the time, but there were many days that she told me she was busy so that I wouldn’t come over and see the bruises on her. The idea that all of this was going on and nothing was being done disgusts me. She eventually left him after he got her thrown in jail again for hitting him back. The worst part of it all was that he was on the fire department with the Fireman and was minimally punished for everything he’d done.
I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns (for the second time) and in it, I found a quote, “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman.” And while that more true in the Middle East, it is becoming much more prominent in western culture too. Women are still being abused, still being victimized. Our rights are being taken away, one by one. First, Planned Parenthood. What’s next?
Women in the media are shown to be beautiful, stick thin, helpless, and popular. When was the last time you saw a princess save herself? Today’s little girls need to understand that normal women aren’t like that. We’re all different. I recently read an editorial about Pixar’s new movie, “Brave.” It stars a strong female heroine…and people are having huge problems with it. I’ve seen the trailer, and it looks AMAZING. I can’t wait to see it. However, one Youtube user made the comment, “I got uninterested as soon as the hood was pulled off.” What has happened to people in order to harden themselves against a strong woman?
Now I understand why I was raised the way I was. Why I’m not afraid to stand up for myself and why I’ll never take ANY flak from a man. Women are being repressed all over the world, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have the freedoms I do. My life is my life, and I am the one who decides what happens with it. So take your daughters, and give them a hug, and a baseball bat, or a hockey stick. Don’t let them get pushed around. Teach them to stand up for themselves. Ban Barbies. Ask them what they’re reading. Teach them to have great aspirations. Tell them that they’ll never get put in the corner. Tell them they’ll someday be president, or a teacher, or a CEO. Teach them the good things about life. And then stand back and watch them grow into amazing women. You’ll be surprised at what you have the power to do.