Just spent the weekend with extended family, celebrating my middle daughter’s wedding. All of my adult kiddos and their significant others plus the two grandbabies plus one of my sisters and her family plus my parents. Lots of time spent catching up with those I love and loving on kiddos who matter a bunch to me!
During a discussion, I was made aware that one of the young ladies I love struggles with exactly what it means to “be a girl”. Our culture is full of women who want to encourage younger females to grow into strong women. Girl power songs, books for the boss babe in all of us, women taking a more active role in writing scripts and directing movies/television shows . . . you get the idea.
But I wonder if we’re sending the right message?
The little miss in question has asked what’s wrong with liking the color pink. Or wanting to wear dresses. Or wanting her hair to be cute. Somewhere in encouraging the women in our lives to be strong and independent, have we gone too far?
Don’t get me wrong. I have an entire “girl power playlist” on my iTunes so I get why those messages of “I am woman, hear me roar” are so important. But wasn’t the feminist movement all about choices? The choice to EITHER stay home with kiddos or have a job? The choice to never wear make-up or never leave the house without being completely pulled together? The choice to decide how I am going to live out “being feminine”?
If your favorite color is pink, wear it. Top it off with some glitter and ruffles if you are feeling it. And a cute pair of heels, perhaps? But if you prefer camouflage and combat boots with no make-up? Then rock that look for all it’s worth.
Fuss with your hair or don’t. Own multiple pairs of high heels or live in Converse. Choose to be a stay-at-home mom or have a career and kids. Or maybe you choose not to have kids. Cool.
Whatever choices you personally make, can you do me a favor? Cheer on every woman regardless of the choices she makes? Celebrate those who express their “womanhood” in ways that are completely different from you. Encourage younger females you know to be confident in their choices – musician, theater kid, athlete, book lover, whatever.
If we want men to see us as their equals in every way, we have to do it for one another first. It’s where this has to start.