This week I came across an article entitled "Seven Ways You're Hurting Your Daughter's Future." As the mother of two teenage daughters (and no sons), I immediately clicked on this article to see what my husband and I have been doing wrong for the last 18 years. I had a feeling it would be full of the same ol' tiresome feminist claptrap, and I wasn't disappointed.
"Someday," opined the author, "you want your daughter, niece, goddaughter and best friend's little girl to grow up and have the option of being a firewoman, a writer, an Olympic gold medalist in boxing, a sergeant, a celebrity chef, the president … or whatever else her little heart desires. And you want her to get paid the exact same amount for the same work that her male colleagues do."
But a little girl's heart's desire had better not include being a homemaker. That would be bad.
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The seven ways to ruin a girl are as follows:
You teach her to be polite and quiet.To feminists, raising girls to be "polite and quiet" is interpreted as "submissive and a doormat." Nothing could be further from the truth.In our current mannerless society, politeness is such a novelty that it immediately sets people (of both genders) above the crowd. Raise a child without manners, and you raise a brat.
But what about teaching girls to be "quiet"? Since when is that a detriment? Some of the strongest and most indomitable women I know are quiet, strong and confident. Quietness can also denote a calm, peaceful disposition. Believe me, quiet women are not necessarily weak. They just know when to guard their tongue.
You buy her gender-specific toys.Yeah, I'm one of those people who gets sugar-nauseous at all the pink sparkles when I turn down the "girl" aisle at a toy store. But that doesn't mean the toys are necessarily bad for girls.I have no issue with gender-neutral toys. Our girls played with toy trains, blocks, Legos, Lincoln logs and other creative items. But they also played with dolls.
Let's face it, gender-specific toys are gender-specific for a reason. Girls have a hard-wired and innate nurturing instinct, which is cultivated by playing with dolls. Dolls have been around for millennia, preparing girls to someday nurture their own children. Girls need practice when it comes to nurturing. They do this by playing with dolls and watching their mother nurture other siblings. Having children is a necessity of every species. Sorry. That's biology.
- You tell her she's pretty … to the exclusion of everything else. Only an idiot would do this "to the exclusion of everything else." Frankly, while I know countless parents who compliment their daughters on their appearance, I know no one who does so "to the exclusion of everything else." False argument.
You indoctrinate her into the princess cult. Indoctrinate? What, you forceyour daughters to watch Disney? C'mon.Feminists fear the thought of men ever coming to their rescue, hence the horror of the "princess cult." Feminists loath the protective instinct men have toward women. They sneer at it, mock it and dismiss it. They raise their daughters to hate it and raise their sons to squelch it. But men are hard-wired to protect and, yes, even rescue women. Sorry, another biological fact.
Besides, what is so contemptuously dismissed as the "princess cult" can be viewed as valuable fodder for a little girl's imagination. "Princess" stories are based on classic fairy tales. When I was a child, fairy tales fed my imagination and ultimately shaped me into a writer. My 15-year-old daughter is on the verge of being published because her imagination was similarly cultivated. Is this a bad thing?
- You give Dad all the physical tasks around the house.Um, I hate to bring up that silly biology again, but there are certain things men do better because a) they have more interest or experience, or b) they have bigger muscles. If the dad of the house is fine taking out the garbage, tuning the car and mowing the lawn, then let him. If the mom of the house is fine doing laundry, washing dishes and cooking dinner, I have no objection.The truth of the matter is that most households aren't steeped in an über-feminist mentality. Most families don't shun "gender-specific tasks." They divvy household chores according to interest, ability and time. It's just not a big deal. I don't think I am ruining my daughters' futures by admiring my husband's muscles when he splits firewood, or thank him when he mows the lawn. Nor are my daughters' futures being ruined when I tell them it's their turn to cook dinner, wash dishes, or hang laundry. Yes, I think girls should know how to change a tire and boys should know how to cook a meal. But don't get carried away.
You only let her spend time with other girls. Only let?What kind of autocratic parents "only let" their children be friends with the same gender? Again, this is an unrealistic point.Kids become friends with other kids who have similar interests and personality traits, among other factors. Additionally, friendships come and go. My girls have had friends of both genders. In all cases, those friendships were formed by the aforementioned similarity of interests and personalities.
Discouraging all-girl friendships is silly. My dearest friendships (outside of my husband, of course) are with women. Women have the ability to form strong, unique bonds of love and closeness that often baffle men. It's a precious and beautiful thing and shouldn't be discouraged.
You criticize your own body, and/or other women's bodies.Here's a question: Do you ever criticize or find fault with your husband? It seems that the men in our lives are far more likely to be at the receiving end of a sharp tongue. Yet few feminists find fault with this tendency of women.Criticizing other women (or anyone) is just witchy and should be discouraged. Remember the old adage? "If you can't find anything nice to say …" Well, it still applies – or should.
We all have flaws. Those flaws could be physical, mental, emotional, or whatever. But who do we admire the most? It's not the most physically flawless person. It's the person who is the most kind, helpful and cheerful.
Arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world, Audrey Hepburn, once gave advice called "How to Be Beautiful" that started, "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. …"
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What all this claptrap boils down to is the feminist fear of girls growing up wanting to be (horrors!) mothers and homemakers. Feminists prefer to pretend that gender differences either don't exist, or can be stifled. In short, we must not EVER cater to a child's innate gender interests. Bad! Bad! Bad! Never let boys pretend they're warriors. Never let girls play house.
This stifling of gender roles is both sad and unnecessary. Plenty of girls will grow up to be career-minded. We don't need to hurt them by denying their innate instincts and pretending gender differences don't exist.
I guess feminists want all girls to grow up to be androgynous career-minded drones. Yet too many career women who put off having children become burned out and bitterly regretful that they ignored their womanly side.
Now tell me – who is really hurting our daughters' futures by denying them their biological inheritance?
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact [email protected].
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