I am the granddaughter of a grandmother. I am the daughter of a mother. I am the mother of a daughter.
I am terrified.
Can someone please explain to me how I am supposed to raise a girl in today’s society? How am I supposed to raise my daughter to have self-worth and feel valued when everything in our society is telling her that she is not important? That she doesn’t matter.
How am I supposed to convince her she’s worth something when child molesters are being caught with child pornography and are being let back out on the street to molest again within a few months, maybe a year?
How do I tell her she means something when a young under age girl is drugged and gang raped, photos distributed of the incident online, and no charges are laid? The distributer of the photos gets probation, her peers blame her?
How do I convince her to demand respect from a partner when a celebrity brutally beats up his girlfriend publicly and her peers do not come to her defence? The police reports allege that Chris Brown punched Rihanna in the face, smashed her head against the window and when she tried to cover her face in self-defense, he repeatedly punched her in the back of her head. Yet her peers do not want to get involved, stating that Chris Brown is a good guy. His fans are tweeting that he can beat them up any day! The media is not only allowing him to perform on their shows but they are encouraging it, his records are still selling. I guess the money means more than the woman. He is showing no remorse for what he did and worse, Rihanna still communicates with him as though it was all just an innocent mistake. She obviously doesn’t feel as though she deserves better.
The media bombards us with images of young beautiful women who think it’s cute to go out in public without panties, get into drunken fights over boys and who are more concerned with the way they look than what kind of person they are. We care more about a women’s body than her intelligence. Every now and then the media will big up a woman for her brainpower but more often than not it’s just a footnote to how beautiful she is.
So now I’m left to wonder, how do I ensure that my daughter knows better? How do I teach her that what’s on the inside is always more important than the outside. I want my daughter to be the best woman she can be. I want her to always be able to stand on her own two feet.
Ms. J is going to be stunning and I want to teach her that her beauty does not define her. That she is so much more. I want her to feel confident in herself because she is smart, kind, affectionate, generous and not just because of the way she looks. I want her to have respect for herself. To truly understand that showing the world your body is not how you gain respect. I want her to know that posting half-naked pictures of herself on the internet and sending naked pictures of herself to boys does not make her sexy and that it’s dangerous.
I hope she knows that she is more valuable than that. That she is worth so much more. That she deserves so much more.
My grandmother was a victim of domestic violence. My mother, in turn, was a victim of domestic violence. I never witnessed that kind of destructiveness and I want to ensure that my daughter never experiences anything of the sort. The best way to prevent that is to ensure that she knows her value and her importance and it is going to be an uphill battle.
This daunting task is up to myself and her daddy because the world is going to show her just the opposite. Every day society is going to show her that she doesn’t matter, that she is just a girl.
Her daddy will have to demonstrate to her how a good man loves. He will be her example of how a man treats a woman. He will be her example of a how a man is responsible for his family. He will be her first love. If anyone has the ability to steer her away from the kind of men who will take advantage of her it will be him.
I have the responsibility of modelling an intelligent, capable woman. A woman who follows her dreams, who says what she feels and who isn’t afraid to take the tough road sometimes. A woman who is just as smart as she is beautiful but puts more value in her brain than her booty.
This is scary. The scariest thing that I have ever taken on. The thing is that I can’t fail. I have to be successful at this. Her life depends on it. The path she takes depends on it. Can I do it? My dream is that sometime in her lifetime we as a society will come to our senses. That somehow it will no longer be acceptable to disrespect women, wether blatantly or in subtle ways. That women will have more dignity and will demand more. Sadly I don’t think that is going to happen so YES I will succeed. I will teach her that she is much more valuable than a piece of ass. That she will be a great addition to someone’s life one day, if she so chooses. That the world is her oyster and that she is capable of doing anything her heart desires.
Most importantly I will let her know how proud her daddy and I are of her and that we will be there for her every step of the way through this sometimes difficult journey.