Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"What a Little Girl is Made Of"

Have you heard it lately? It's been happening for decades, but only recently has it been common. I'm talking about how parents describe their little girls, from young ages.

No, I'm actually not talking about the sex-driven descriptors (hot, p0rn star, etc.) that many advertisers are now plastering girls' t-shirts and underwear with. And I'm not talking about the boy-demeaning words & phrases we see all too often either (smarter than boys, girls rule, etc.). Nope, I'm actually talking about the tendency to label little girls as "tough," "independent," "strong," and "rough." I've heard it from friends, on TV, and read it on many blogs; it's everywhere...moms bragging about a daughter's toughness.

First Peter describes women as "the weaker vessel", not meaning that we are not spiritually strong- but that we have a tendency toward physical and emotional weakness. And it's true. No matter what culture you are looking at, across the board, it is accurate to say that men are physically stronger than women. So why are we actively trying to "buck" the truth by encouraging our daughters to be something that they are not built to be?

And let me just clarify: it's not so much the words I'm concerned about, as much as the frequency that these comments are made, and the intention of the words used. I'm sure I've said something along the lines that our daughter is going to be tougher than she otherwise would have been if she hadn't grown up with two older brothers. That's one thing, and I certainly am not talking about speech control or not stating the truth.

But here's what I'm hearing too much: moms of little baby girls and toddlers, praising them for their toughness, independence, and "sassy"ness, all things that are either boyish or sinful. Are these really the things we want to praise and promote as desirable to our little girls? And can we really label a two-year-old as a "tomboy"?

Isn't every two-year-old a little wobbly, prone to bruises, curious, and more rough than they should be? That's where
teaching comes in. To little ones--girls AND boys, surely we say, "we must be gentle" when we see a little kitty cat or a newborn. This is the age where they begin to learn about soft touching, not hitting, that it hurts to scrape your knee, that other people don't respond well when we're agressive, etc. Boy or girl, these are all things that happen around age two or three. So why would some moms be bragging about "my little tomboy", when really all they have is a little girl who is a toddler?

This is one more sign of the after-effects of over-the-top feminism unleashed in the everyday American home. Too many young moms are encouraging their daughters (by their words, even if they don't realize it) to be "rough and strong"... words we use to describe a combat fighter, fireman, or policeman.

Why are we promoting toughness to our daughters? Why are we proud of encouraging our daughters toward masculinity? Why is it OK to encourage a tear-prone little boy to "buck up" and to be a "strong man", but it's not OK to encourage a fall-prone (or physically agressive) little girl to be more gentle, more kind, and more ladylike?

Any thoughts?


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