Finding out that we are having a daughter has given me a huge flood of emotions these last few weeks. I’ve had every emotion in the book since finding out, and even some unexpected tears (“Raise ’em up”…Thanks, Keith Urban).
Being a keynote at Leading Moms last friday was extra influential in bringing all these emotions to the surface as I spoke about raising world changers and how if we are to start a revolution of social change within the world, it must first start within us.
Raising a son has been such a fun experience these past (almost) two years! Chayton is loving and kind but also full of energy and adventure. He regularly takes calculated risks and doesn’t ever seem to let fear hold him back. I have loved being the mother of a son. And now I’m really excited to now embark on a different experience, as we raise our daughter with the same values, yet in an experience that is unique to her as a young woman.
While I’d like to think that gender plays no impact on our lived out experiences as we navigate the world, I know this is far from true. Our gender is a huge identifying factor in both our worldview and how we interact with the world around us. As a woman myself, I’m no stranger to the challenges that girl’s face in our world.
I want so badly to raise up a strong, confident and compassionate powerhouse of a daughter. I want her to know the value in her voice and the capabilities she carries within to impact this world for the better. I want her to shatter glass ceilings with both integrity and grace.
Most of all, I want her to be steadfast in the knowledge of her worth…same as I wish for my son.
But I know, that because she is a girl, the world will tell her that she is not enough, and at the same time to settle down because she is too much. She will be bombarded with images and messages that force her to question her identity, her beauty, her smarts, her sexuality and her sense of self-worth.
She will be constantly told where her place is, rather than living with the freedom to discover it herself.
She’ll be called at, harassed, grabbed against her consent, given crude names, and viewed at as a “good time”, rather than a human being of sacred dignity and beauty. And if ever she is sexually assaulted (the thought makes my blood boil), it will be blamed as her fault because she “asked for it”, as that is the status quo of rape culture within our society.
If she were to be born into some other corner of the globe, she may be pulled from school early, or married off at a young age, shamed for her period, not allowed to drive or vote, possibly even treated as a man’s property.
This is the experience of girls in our world today.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We can raise our daughters, and our sons, to be different.
For the sake of the future, we don’t have to buy in to the lies of the past. We, all of us, don’t have to put up with sexist, misogynistic rhetoric that keeps the genders unequal. If the status quo is wrong, we must challenge it and demand better. We must live in a way that honours the spirit of humanity within us all, both male & female. We must amplify what is right through our words, actions and every aspect of our lives.
I know she will become a woman who is smart, savvy and wise – because we will raise her to be one. She will know her worth and not be afraid to speak up for herself. There will be challenges that she will encounter, but I will raise her to know that the fires of life will not devour her, for she can always rise above.
And when she doubts her greatness, or has someone trying to push her down, she won’t need us to run in and fight her battles for her.
But you can be certain that she’ll have an army of friends and family behind her, headed up by her mama, daddy and big brother, ready to take on anyone who tries to take advantage of her…just because she is a girl.
- Tamara Clark Photography: http://tamaraclarkphotography.com/
- Olivia Ann Photography: http://oliviaannsoet.wixsite.com/oliviaann
- Crystal Marie Sing Photography: http://crystalmariesing.ca/
- Mia’s Moccs: http://www.miasmoccs.com/
- She Is Clothing: http://sheisclothing.myshopify.com/
- Mint & Birch: https://www.mintandbirch.com/