To the young girls of the world: I have something to say
Some studies suggest that a mother-daughter bond can affect everything from a young girl’s health, to her confidence, to her overall self-esteem and worth.
Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have a cherished mother-daughter relationship knows this. I’m not mentioning this because it is necessarily new information.
Instead, I’m mentioning this because of its timeliness.
Or rather – the timeliness of all female relationships.
I had a strong mother who was frank and honest with me about some of the unfortunate perils I would inevitably face, simply because I was a female. She explained that not everyone has good intentions and she always promised she’d always be there if I ever felt unsafe in a situation. Promising to scoop me up and take me home, no questions asked.
Even after her death, I’ve felt a sense of this protection remain.
I’ve been quiet on my blog lately. I’ve been watching the world – listening to Kavanaugh hearings, reading angry comments and tweets that have kept me up late at night.
My heart hurts for all of these women. Those who have been disregarded, dismissed, silenced, and worse. I find it hard to believe that any adult woman could discredit these women, but alas, there are some.
Maybe they are jaded from years and years of the same abuse. Maybe they are just scared, too.
I’m sitting outside of a coffee shop as write this, a park nearby with school-age children playing. It must be their lunch break. They spin wildly on the swings, chase squirrels, babble on in secret languages that only they are privy to.
They are young enough to be essentially immune to the incessant arguing, to the appalling remarks made by our commander-in-chief, to the division of our country.
Yet, I can’t help but to think that there is an entire generation of young girls, listening, right now, to what is being said. Listening to news channels, learning that the highest levels of our government don’t take sexual assault seriously. Hearing women being blatantly cut off by men mid-sentence. Hearing women hate other women.
Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up with strong female role models, to know that these types of supportive female relationships do exist. I was one of the lucky ones.
“Somewhere in America, a teenage girl is listening to her parents defend Brett Kavanaugh and she is thinking to herself, "If something like that ever happens to me, I have nowhere to go." (@todd_holloman)
It’s clear that our society has some sorting out to do, to put it lightly, and I am thankful for all the women and men who are working hard alongside each other to do so.
Sometimes it is hard to know where even to start.
But at the very least, we should strive to be the type of people that support strong female relationships. Little girls are paying attention, everywhere. What they hear today will shape their future. Think twice before discrediting or speaking poorly of other women.
Remember, these little ears are listening.
Image credit: @littlekinjournal