This post... God. So much of this post makes me cry. And I cry because there are so many moms who aren't teaching their precious daughters this. I've steered clear of the Duggar nonsense, but I will dip my toe in here because... This:
I have to quote this mom: "Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren't given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don't have to marry a man their father deems "acceptable" and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must."
And she closed with "As for my girls, I'll raise them to think they breathe fire."
With the rare exceptions of mothers (and fathers) like this, we are failing our girls.
We are teaching them to be objects, to be ashamed, to be afraid. We have taught them that they are princesses, victims, pawns in a game. We have told them that they need to fit into a certain sized jean to be loved, they need to have a certain hued hair to gain approval and that their lips and eyes and everything else needs to constantly be on show for them to register as 'human' on an nonexistent scale.
We are teaching them that what's between their legs is more powerful than what's between their ears. We have shown them that it doesn't matter how awesome you have are, how intelligent you have made yourself, how hard you work, they still are less because they are female.
We have given them no reasons to not accept behavior like Josh Duggar's with a wince and inevitable forgiveness.
We tell them to be quiet, to sit down, to be 'nice', to be polite. And what are they left with? The world doesn't give a damn about a woman who knows how to set a nice table, parents. The world will eat your daughter and her salad forks without thought, and it will chew her up and devour her hopes, her dreams and her potential. As PARENTS, we take on the mantle of protecting and teaching and loving these little beings will all of our souls... But how can we do that if we don't build our daughters into beings?! How do we feel as though we've done right by our daughters unless we teach them how to be themselves and, most importantly, how to honor themselves? We say we need more wives and mothers, but do we? Do we need broken mommies and sad wives who subject themselves rather than celebrate themselves? I don't think so. I think that's how we build a tragically broken society without conscience.
Teach them, my friends. And let those around you help. Teach your little girls to breath fire, to rain hell and to refuse to be anything other than her incredible self. And show her how to lead others. Teach her compassion, kindness and strength. Teach her hard work, honesty, bravery. Teach her to be aggressive, but teach her strategy. Teach her words so she may communicate. Show her science and technology and art and history so that she can understand the human condition and her place in this world and so she can wonder. Teach her curiosity. Teach her everything you know and more.
And then let her go. Let her make mistakes and stumble and fall and rise again. Let her find her way, let her choose her life, let her decide who she will be. Let her create and fail. Let her love and live. And let her love you. Because, mom & dad, these are the most precious lessons you will ever teach.