Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mothers should educate their daughters about gender equality

Empowering a child can be a tricky thing. As moms, we want our children to be strong and assured of who they are, but we do not want them to make mistakes or to face problems that we may have had to deal with when we were growing up.
While raising three daughters, my husband and I have walked a tightrope, per se, to teach our girls to be strong and persistent without being bullheaded and careless. Our priority is that our daughters are strong as individuals.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 KJV
Part of making sure that our daughters are strong is making sure they know who they are in God. Our faith is very much a part of who we are and a large part in how we have taught our daughters that we are all equal. Each and every one of us, black, white, yellow, red, brown, male, female, what have you, is equal. Part of being equal means that they should not ever allow anybody to disrespect them.
Our girls hold on to stories of Jesus talking to Mary and Martha freely along with the other disciples, as well as Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people by having the courage to speak up.
Being honest and upfront with our girls allows us to use everyday examples with them as they grow and mature. As life events occur we teach them how to handle it so they know what they should expect and how they, as young women, should be treated.
Doctor WhoOne television show our daughters enjoy watching that puts women on an equal footing with men and allows them to share the spotlight with the main character is “Doctor Who”. The show is on BBC and shows equality better than any others I have seen, whether it is Donna Noble giving the tenth doctor the what for, River Song confusing everybody, or Sarah Jane, who went on to be in her own show. All three women are good examples of strong, independent women that oftentimes upstage the men in the story line.
“Doctor Who” is not the first television show to have a positive girl-power message for my daughters. When they were younger, they loved to watch “Sailor Moon,” which features female action heroes. There were five main characters with five very different personalities and different interests that became friends simply because they were teamed up to fight evil.
Sailor Moon - Beautiful Senshi Sailor Moon
In using the show when they were younger, we were able to point out the traits that were good in the characters. My oldest daughter loved Sailor Venus, who was all about performing, and who also happened to be the top crime fighter in London. The middle daughter loved Sailor Mercury, who was shy, timid and a genius. Then the youngest was obsessed with Sailor MiniMoon/ChibiUsa, who was simply determined to do what she set her mind to do. Each of the characters that the girls related to had a characteristic that they themselves had while also showing independence.
It helps to have examples that kids can relate to while they come up and are molded into their best. There are women that my girls have learned about who show them they can be anything they want to be, regardless of whether that job is a stay-at-home mom, a career woman or even president of the United States.
This article was originally published in The All State Newspaper, the Student Voice of Austin Peay State University since 1930 in the March 27th edition. And as an online grouping on March 28th.


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