To my friends, seeking to raise empowered daughters, a reminder:
We are raising women, not girls.
Love and support them
(no matter what they throw at you).
Encourage their ambitions,
But do NOT seek to control them.
Our bodies are our temple,
created for our own pleasure and utilisation,
not for others approval or gratification.
Empower her to approve of herself
whatever her shape, size, features,
to wear what she wants,
to do what she wants,
to say what she wants,
and (for the love of god) to pleasure herself.
Make sure that she knows her route to fulfilment is an inside job
that cannot be achieved via a “good” education/job,
riches (or a rich husband),
a Pinterest-worthy house,
a beauty-industry-standards conforming body/face,
nor a gaggle of babies,
- although any/all (or none) may feature along the way.
Show her that we are different to men,
but that does not make us less than them,
and that our differences are there to be celebrated and leveraged,
not used against us.
In a similar vain,
let her know that we are different to folks of different races, creeds, gender identities, sexualities, ages, sizes, abilities, and more,
but that does not make us more (or less) than them,
and that those differences are there to be celebrated and leveraged too,
not ignored, demonised or used against anybody.
Lead by example and always put yourself first.
No matter what.
For she will follow in your footsteps,
and you don’t want your girl to grow into a woman
who spends her life resentfully giving from a half empty cup,
while wondering, “when do I get mine?”
Explain that emotions are our friends.
They are neither good nor bad.
They are our teachers, our compass, our guide.
Approve of them.
Learn from them.
Express the joy and the rage.
The pleasure and the sorrow.
Feel ALL the feels.
Let her know that there is no such things as mistakes.
That every experience,
every perceived failure,
every decision is for her evolution.
That you can never put a foot wrong,
when you learn to listen to your gut and trust yourself,
over everyone else.
And that sometimes, hearing and interpreting your own intuition is easier
with a trusted yet impartial mentor
- which may, or may not, be you,
since, let’s face it, it’s difficult to be impartial when it comes to your loved ones, right?
Teach her that we don’t see things as they are, we see them as WE are,
so that she can understand that perceptions and opinions are merely a reflection of the person sharing them,
and therefore there is no need to create meaning around others perceptions and opinions
(even when they’re about her).
teach her to question everything
(except her own intuition),
to think critically and independently about what she believes,
what she is asked to believe,
and for whose benefit those beliefs are.
Empower her to use her voice,
to speak up,
to serve herself and her passions
even if that causes discomfort for others
Remind her that she is powerful,
a limitless being of opportunity,
and that whatever she wants can be hers
with focus and dedication.
And show her that LOVE is always better than fear and hate.
That everyone is equally, and wholly deserving of love.
That being different isn’t less than.
That life is not a zero sum game.
That many people have fewer privileges and thus require more support.
And that, because the universe is pure abundance,
that support does not have to be at the detriment of someone else.
And teach your boys the same.
Teach them that respecting and supporting women,
rather than trying to control them or keep them “safe”,
is the key to a better world.
Teach them to embrace and celebrate differences,
of every kind.
Including when it is they who are different.
Teach them discernment and critical thinking.
Teach them that it’s ok to f*ck up.
And teach them to feel all the feels and approve of them.
For not approving of their feelings is the biggest cause of suicide among young men,
and the only people who can really change that are empowered parents raising empowered adults
(which our children have the opportunity to become).
You see, we can make this world a better place.
A kinder place.
A more understanding place.
A more generous place.
A more loving place.
One newly empowered adult at a time.
P.S. what would you add to this list?