If you happened to be on the internet this week, you probably couldn’t help but notice that on Wednesday it was International Women’s Day. It might seem odd, seeing as how I am a woman, but it’s never really been an event I’ve paid that much attention to.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who could tell me why I should care more, why I should be paying attention or why this does affect me. I have a whole other post planned about letting people choose for themselves what they care about. All I need to say for now I’ve never really given IWD that much thought.
Yesterday, lots of people were sharing pictures, quotes and gifs showing what IWD meant to them. I saw two that really got my proverbial cogs turning.
The first said
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
Now, I already consider myself a “strong woman”. You couldn’t live through the things I have in the past few years without at least a smidge of inner strength. Yet am I passing that strength on to my two little girls? What am I doing to ensure that they grow up capable and prepared to deal with everything that life is bound to throw at them?
The second was from Emma Watson and goes:
“Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior”.
This got my back up a bit until I went and did a bit more digging in Google and found this full quote from an interview with Watson, where she said:
“I feel like young girls are told they have to be a princess, and be delicate and fragile, and that’s bulls**t. I identify much more with the idea of being a warrior, being a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I’d be a warrior princess, definitely. I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave sometimes. I think you’ve got to embrace it.”
Now that’s more like it.
I do get tired of hearing all the Disney/Princess/Feminist backlash. I’m a pretty girly girl with a love of all things fairytale and romance. Does that make me weak? Hell, no! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking wearing dresses and dreaming of finding the love of your life. Just as there is nothing wrong with being a tomboy and not being romantically inclined. Each to their own.
You also don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. Why not be the warrior princess and enjoy the best of both worlds? I myself am a particular fan of She-Ra, who was pretty hot (for an 80’s cartoon) but could also kick ass with the best of them!
For me, I hope to teach my little girls that the best thing they can be is whatever the heck they want to be. Don’t work at trying to meet other people’s expectations or what other people say is right. Just embrace who you are and make it work for you.
Miss Mess is like me, a girly girl with a bit of edge. She’ll happily stick on a tiara or a tutu, but you’d be just as likely to find her running around with a bow and arrow, or a sword and shield. She’s always experimenting with her adventurous side while also bombarding her dad with questions about Science and History amongst other things.
Mini Mess is a law unto herself. Sometimes she’s the princess, sometimes the prince and occasionally neither. She’s often running around pretending to be one of the pups from Paw Patrol or Cat Noir from her new favourite show, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.
The most important thing for me is to let them be who they want to be. They are bound to change a million times between now and adulthood. Hopefully when they get there they will thank me for giving them space to work it out who they are for themselves.
I have no doubt they’ll be all the stronger after the journey.