Tag Archives: Gender Roles

An “FYI” to My Daughters

4 Sep

This is written as a response to the horrendously hypocritical and disgustingly sexist article(s) titled “FYI” and “FYI #2 (the one where everyone’s covered up)”.  I urge you to read in chronological order to get the incredible double standard in one, big, hefty dose of sexism and self-righteousness.  If you’ll take a moment to notice that as she is judging girls by their Facebook posts and the clothes they wear, and how they are not allowed the honor of spending time with her sons, she includes a few pictures of her sons, shirt-less, all wet from the ocean and flexed muscles-a-bulging…I cannot.  I just cannot even.

I am not going to pick apart the article.  I am not.

I am, however, going to speak up for my daughters…who will be judged, ridiculed, and told that they are less than their male counterparts.

I am going to take a stand for my girls who will be told they are nothing more than how they dress…that they are only viewed as a piece of ass, and it is THEIR responsibility to keep the male population’s thoughts “clean and pure.”

***

To my Incredible Daughters,

Did you know that you are allowed to dress how you like, what expresses who you are in that moment, what makes you feel good about yourself, what is comfortable to you?  Did you know that you can do all of this, and how everyone reacts, judges, thinks, whatever…that is all, ALL…fully and completely on them?

Did you know, that if you wear a cute mini skirt to a party because you are loving the way it makes your legs look…did you know that you are NOT “asking for it” if your date forces himself on you?

Girls, did you know that if you decide to drink too much one night…

or if you stay out too late

or you get a speeding ticket

or if you fail your math test

or you decide to have sex with someone

or you decide to burn your bras

or your best friend ditches you for someone else…

did you know that you are still lovely?  Did you know that you are still wonderful?  Did you know that you are filled with amazing qualities, amazing capabilities, amazing talents?  Did you know that life is full of choices, lessons, love, heartbreak, and adventures…and that all of those are yours to experience?

Did you know that men are, in fact, capable of thinking of more than sex?  Did you know they are capable of controlling their actions?  Did you know there are men out there who look past bad decisions, and look deeper into who you are as a person?  There are men out there who truly want to know who you are, what you love, what you dream of…regardless of how your dress or how you wear your makeup.

Did you know that women actually like sex?  Did you know that women are “visual” creatures, too?  Did you know that that is okay, and normal, and natural?

Don’t get caught up in it all, my darlings.  Don’t wear that mini skirt because you want the attention of that guy.  If that guy is worth your time, he will like you regardless of what you wear.  Sex obviously sells, which is a sad thing.  You see it everywhere, I know you do.  Remember that you are MORE than just sex to the world.  You deserve to be treated that way, and the way you dress doesn’t make you any less deserving of that.  However, if you love how confident you feel in that mini skirt, or that bathing suit is *just* your style…by all means…rock it, sister.  Wear the clothes you love for you.  But be sure to take the time to get to know you.  Take the time to learn to love you.

I promise I will take the time to get to know you.  I will guide you and advise you along the way to the best of my ability.  When we protect you, know that it will be for your safety, and not some facade that really just makes us feel more comfortable with the inevitability that you are are indeed growing up.  I will give my opinion when asked (and maybe sometimes when I’m not), but ultimately, this is your life.  Your dad and I will do our very best to fill you with confidence, compassion, tolerance, and love.  Remember that.  We will love you with every fiber of who we are, and you don’t have to do anything to earn that.  And nothing you do will ever take that away.

There is a double standard in this society that women don’t deserve to be “treated like a lady” if they don’t “act like a lady.”  However, men can apparently dress, act, say whatever they like with no negative repercussions.  I am not even sure what the phrase, “treated like a lady” means, but I think it means treated with respect…which should be granted to people of BOTH sexes…because we are humans.  We are all part of this human race together.  We all deserve love and respect. 

Parents need stop with the gender stereotyping.  They are doing much, much more harm than good.  They teach their boys that girls who dress a way they don’t find appropriate aren’t worth the time and acceptance of their son.  They teach them that girls are just temptresses out to muddy the thoughts of their precious little boy.  They teach their children that it is OK to sit down as a family and scroll through their social media and shame anyone who doesn’t fit in the tiny little box they keep them in.  They teach them that girls who act or dress or believe differently than them have no character.  No self respect.  No right to be respected by others.  They are doing nothing but perpetuating this horrible cycle.  And trust me, no matter how much you try to be *perfect* for their son, this type of person will always find something “wrong” with you.  No girl will ever be deserving of their perfect little son.  Ever.

Know that as a way to protect you while you are young, there will be stipulations on using social media.  Profiles will be made private, no contact information will be posted, I will ask who certain people are on your friend’s lists…I will not, however, judge who you can and can’t be friends with based on the way someone looks, or the pictures that they post.  Because someone posts something that I think to be a mistake or inappropriate, does not mean I will ask you to cut them out of your lives.  Do I give an eye roll when I scroll through countless pouty- lipped selfies on Instagram?  Yes.  I eye roll in the same sense my parents eye rolled when we wore our overalls with just one strap fastened, or we lathered copious amounts of glitter on our faces because we thought it looked pretty.  I’m getting old and I just don’t *get* some things.  Maybe I am just bored of it.  Regardless of my eye rolling, I NEVER think, “Oh wow.  That girl posing with all that cleavage must be a real slut.”  A pose, an outfit, a selfie…doesn’t make anyone, anyone, a “slut.”

In our house, we are tolerant and accepting.  In our house, we love fully.

we love big

we love wholly

we love freely

we love unconditionally.

In our house we give second chances.  We give third, fourth, and fiftieth chances.  And thank goodness we do.  I know I am going to need all of the chances I can get.  Do not be afraid to be yourself, to explore this world, to love unencumbered.

Remember, there is always more than what meets the eye.  Look deeper, my loves.