Being a parent this day in age comes with an equal amount of absolute joy and immense heartache. A heartache that I wish I didn’t have to walk with every day. Being a mother of daughters? The walk alongside the heartache is long, filled with muddy waters and calloused feet. I will always believe that there is more light than darkness, however, I find myself holding my breath each time a story is told or a headline flashes. Somewhere along the way, being a ‘real woman’ in our society has become less about intelligence, virtue, and dignity and rather about who can shout the loudest, who can wave the crudest banner at a rally and who can emasculate the most men.
When I knew I was going to have a daughter I felt immense pressure. And that pressure grew when we found out we would have a second. The pressure to teach them what being a real woman is all about. The pressure to teach them that they were born with a power unique and divine. That trying to do everything a man can do means forgetting they can already do everything a man can’t. And that? That is power. That is unique. That is divine and that is absolute magic.
My wish is for them to know that true feminism is allowing men to be chivalrous for they know that they deserve nothing less than the best of what men have to offer. And for them to also know that by giving men the room to do so, they are aiding a cause much bigger than themselves. They are aiding an entire society. My wish is for them to know that emasculating men means to rob those men of the opportunity to bring their own unique gifts to the table. That real women lead by example because nothing speaks louder. That there is no ceiling too high. That they have amazing women in their history to follow after and stories to be inspired by – women who have left their mark – no permission needed and with no apologies. Joan of Arc, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt. I want them to know that there is power in numbers and women working together in virtuous and noble causes is an inspiring and absolutely unstoppable force.
I want my daughters to know that a real feminist will always stand for the future rights of those unborn. That the creation of life is one that brings a woman to the side of The Creator Himself as they work hand-in-hand. That no matter how small, all life is precious and all deserve their own chance to be dreamers of dreams and live a life as big as they can imagine for themselves. That being a woman means they can be both feminine and strong. That they can be soft and bold, kind, and confident. That a real woman can be in the world and not of it. That everything is available to them and they need no one’s permission to achieve everything they want to in life.
My hope is to teach them that a real woman will always be the one building others up instead of tearing them down. That real women are the ones that leave people better than how they found them. For them to know that real women are nurturers and healers. And most importantly, that they are daughters of a King who created them in His image along with all of the stars in the Universe. That they are called to stand for hard and holy things. And that they can do so with a soft hand, a spark in their eye and fire in their soul.
To my fellow sisters… take heart. Let us walk arm in arm among the world shining through the darkness. And let us continue showing our daughters what true feminism is.