Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On Raising Daughters




(Totally a picture recycle from an earlier post...but I think this picture captures girlhood innocence perfectly!)

Being a little girl should mean being strongly protected, loved, and innocent. My own parents raised two girls and did a truly beautiful job of it. They were committed to teaching us reasonable modesty (in how we dressed, but also in how we acted). They also were very gifted at showing us the beauty of being a girl - much of the standard "girls can do anything!" but combined with a beautiful witness to being a wife and a mother (thanks to my own mother). They raised us with a sense that there was more to being a girl than being physically attractive to a male, and that our worth was not based on what others thought of us.

With the birth of our second daughter, the Abbot and I have been having even more conversations about the importance of preserving the innocence of our daughters, and of raising them to recognize what true feminine beauty is (something very different from what the modern media would show you!). 

The Abbot started working again today, but his mother is staying with us this week, so Sister Nugget and I have still had plenty of time to cuddle up with ye olde laptop and do some solid reading and browsing. (Well, she's doing some solid sleeping, but since my abdomen seems to be her favorite place to sleep and my body is still healing and all...well...we're pretty settled in our little nest!)

Anyway, I was trying to explain to the Abbot yesterday some more about the reality of the attack on girls. For example, I grew up playing with Polly Pockets...fun, cute little dollhouses that you could carry in your pocket. Nowadays, my daughters have the option of playing with Polly Pocket - a doll who not only does NOT expose little girls to a variety of imaginative real-life settings in miniature, but who also dresses in mini-skirts and short-shorts and seems to live in an entirely unrealistic pink world. From what I can tell from browsing online, it seems like the new Polly Pocket is pretty restricted to the salon, the mall, and slumber parties...all while wearing attire that covers her body rather poorly.

This is sad on multiple different levels. To begin with, it hugely limits the possibilities for imaginative play! Yes, the Polly Pockets we had growing up included a sleepover, a castle, and a fairyland - but there were also restaurants and schools and hospitals and zoos, etc. etc. Little girls could imagine themselves in any number of real world occupations and settings. Polly and companions also dressed in clothing that was realistic for each playset. Little girl Polly wore a sweet one-piece bathing suit in the pool playset, and a dress and hat to school (modest and pretty, like an actual little girl outfit!). Girls couldn't possibly feel pressure to dress as anything other than little girls!

Barbie was, of course, the battle my parents' generation fought. Our Barbie-type dolls were very limited - we were allowed to have some, but my parents didn't make that big a deal out of them. It was clear that they favored toys that were realistic depictions of girls, such as American Girl dolls, Polly Pockets, Raggedy Ann, Anne of Green Gables, etc. And it rubbed off on us! We grew up wishing we could have been pioneers or that we could be something like the smart and spunky girls that filled the books we read. 

But now, girls are more under attack than ever. In a Planned Parenthood world, our girls' bodies are not respected, and the only healthcare worth preserving for them is that which destroys the function of their female bodies. More than ever, girls need to be defended!

Which leads me to this wonderful article I came across the other day.

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts!!

Daughter to feed and diaper to change now...

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