Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. I grew up in a time where we girls were told we could do anything, and we believed it. Most of the friends I have that are my age; don’t give being a working mother a second thought, accept our friends who choose not to have children, and accept all the choices that women make. I choose to stay home right now because it is what I think my family needs, I cook because I LOVE it, but I also hate high heels.
I have a 15 year old daughter. I am not sure her generation feels the same way that mine does, in fact, I am down right appalled sometimes at the behaviour of young women of her generation. I understand that NOT ALL girls act this way, but this is how my daughter acts, and the young women she looks up to act. Stupid seems to be cool. There is is this giggly “I am just a girl” attitude, and they seem proud of this.
Here is the big one that really bothers me: they use their sexuality for power. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I think that we women should not embrace our sexuality, but to think that is the only way we can get men’s attention is wrong. It is in the music, television, and movies that our kids watch. Much of the music that my daughter listens to has lyrics that talk about getting drunk and having casual sex. The clothes even the “good” role models wear are clothes that I would not allow in my house. When did this become okay? Why do parents not scream at the top of their lungs that there is something wrong with this?
I do my best, and I think that I am making a difference, that she is hearing some of what I have to say. I know that not all young women are influenced by this stream of popular culture, but my daughter sure is. Many strong and smart young woman reject this role. But what about the girls who are not smart and strong? What about the girls who do not have their educational success to fall back on? What message are we sending them? Sex is not the only way to get what you want.