Another year, another International Day of the Girl has arrived.
The sad irony is that before realising it was International Day of the Girl 2017, I had sat down to write something about raising girls following the appalling revelations about Harvey Weinstein.
Yet another scandal unfolds before us involving a famous/powerful/influential man (like Bill Cosby and too many other sex offenders who’ve gone before and are still to come) whose sordid predatory behaviour has damaged lives. When you are sick to the stomach as a mother, woman, human, how do you even begin to write all there is to say about this?!
I call it a sad irony that I intended to write about Weinstein, because of the timing of the news story and how it further deepened how I feel about raising daughters.
When the news broke, it brought back all the despondency I’d been feeling and expressed in last year’s International Day of the Girl 2016.
So I would have much preferred to be writing something positive and uplifting as an International Day of the Girl 2017 offering. Therefore, the Weinstein scandal could not have come to light at a worse time. (There is no good time of course because this kind of thing should not even be happening to warrant being written about in the first place.)
It feels like it doesn’t seem to matter what good morals, belief systems and lessons we teach our girls when the world around us – and so many men who live in it – don’t share those same values.
It should be MUCH easier to TRULY celebrate International Day of the Girl 2017 from a place of confidence
It’s now decades after feminism worked its magic in many parts of the world eventually leading the way towards empowering women in their careers, parenting choices, sex lives and so on. Shouldn’t we, by now, be able to hand on heart say we are raising strong females?
Shouldn’t we literally know our daughters can make their way in life, free of intimidation and degradation by the opposite sex, in the same way our sons have the privilege of going forth in a world where sexual harassment by females towards men is a truly rare phenomenon.
Yet it feels like it just gets harder due to the message the media pushes to females from the time they are young girls, the relentlessness of the cosmetics industry selling a beauty ideal that feeds an insecurity complex, the misogynistic lyrics in pop music, the entertainers our children grow up admiring… It’s just endless and I guess our own parents felt this way (without the additional headache of social media in the mix)!
Worse than all of the above, however, the biggest threat to our daughters are (and have always been) the men like Weinstein…
…men who bully and intimidate their way through life, never accepting no for an answer, taking what they want, who they want, when they want. No matter how many positive male role models we may see, no matter that not all men are cut from this cloth, the fact is there are just too many of the other type of man around.
Are men like Weinstein destroying the concept of International Day of the Girl? Or is it men like this that make such days needed more than ever?
From boys who demean girls in the school playground to “great” men of power who destroy lives. Males whom our daughters have met/will meet.
It should be possible to totally encourage our girls in any career path they choose without wondering which one has a ‘lower rate of’ sexual harassment!
As the mother of a daughter who has always loved singing and acting and wants to go into the entertainment business THIS is one of the things I fear. I am worried about how many sick manipulative men she will encounter across the industry in her quest to ‘make it’. I met many of these men simply as a twenty something living in Paris and I didn’t even work in that industry!
In fact I think I fear this – the intimidation of young impressionable inexperienced girls by older men –
more than I do the risks of my daughter getting involved with drugs, in the industry she wants to go into! I can hope the lessons we’ve taught her will stay with her and serve her well regarding drugs. However, I really can’t do anything about a man who may force himself upon her, overpowering her. That is beyond my control.
Here’s to hoping that next year I will be full of a new found optimism on IODG.
In the meantime, here are some positives to end with, great quotes from great women!
HAVE YOUR SAY! by using the Facebook or website comments box below.
SHARE THIS POST! via the social media share buttons below.
DON’T MISS THE NEXT POST! just pop your email address in the orange top banner.
TO FOLLOW my pearls of wisdom entertainment on social media check out: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.