I was sitting in the dance studio, trying to work on my manuscript while simultaneously watching my child pick her wedgie and scrolling instagram when I saw an article that said a famous actress won’t let her daughter(s) watch Little Mermaid and Cinderella because she doesn’t want them to give their voice up for a man. And I’m just here to say… I cannot relate to this new tidal wave of fury we women are into.
First off, let me say that if your child’s self worth is so easily swayed by an animated movie created before we were even born… you have bigger fish to fry. But secondly, they are not chasing men… they are chasing freedom and choices and (gasp) maybe even the idea of true love! Is it so wrong to want that or are we so wrapped up in being “strong” and “independent” that the very idea that we may actually allow ourselves to have emotionally or financially dependencies on the opposite sex might mean we are weak?
Allow me to use another child’s movie for an example: Tarzan. Here we are with this gorgeous, long-haired dude who cannot speak our language, probably smells a little funny and most likely doesn’t put his coffee mug in the sink like he’s been asked to many, many times… and Jane… a highly intelligent but kind, gentle, vulnerable woman… and they are absolutely in love! It is built into our DNA to want these things, on even a base level within one another. Men like to feel powerful and protective and women like to feel taken care of and adored. Do I NEED my husband to put the food processor away for me? No… I am quite capable of getting the step ladder out and doing it myself… I do A LOT by myself. BUT – his muscles look damn good when he has to flex and reach to put it away!
I have dated assholes, I have dated men without ambition or manners… and THOSE men did not like a strong woman, one with conviction. Why? Because they were not strong… and it’s embarrassing and intimidating to have a woman who can function without them. So, I get it… teach a lady to handle shit from an early age and she may be less likely to fall victim to running into the arms of a guy who is not going to be an equal participant in the relationship (on all levels). But, we do not need to go on this rampage of demeaning men JUST to prove how capable we are. Needing to put someone down just to get attention or feel powerful only makes ANYONE look like they have nothing better to offer.
Maybe – just maaayyybeeee the idea of a princess longing for her prince charming isn’t so bad. Because lemme just say… a goldfish has a longer life expectancy than that of most Hollywood marriages so I’m just gonna take their ol’ opinion with a grain of salt. I WANT my girls to be vulnerable… I think there is something so strong and beautiful about a woman who doesn’t have to tell you how amazing and independent she is. She just is. And if she has dreams, and ambition and kindness, this will attract a mate that is worth her time. We do not need to shield our children from the dangers of lust. Our mistakes are our life lessons. Sometimes they have nothing to do with our choices but sometimes they have EVERYTHING to do with them. We will suffer devastations – and it is OK.
And let me ALSO add that in my 31 years on this planet… the MAJORITY of insults I’ve received from body hair, crooked teeth, large facial features, flat chest – the list goes on but I am out of wine… anyway… the majority were from OTHER WOMEN… NOT men! I was completely boy crazy growing up, but a lot of my poor decisions were to impress other girls to be friends with me! Maybe I’m the minority here, but I know I’m not. We (not just women) have this need to place blame on someone else for the wrongs that exist in our lives instead of figuring out what we were responsible for and finding ways to improve and strengthen ourselves. Building our OWN selves up, is a hell of a lot more rewarding than expecting someone else to do it for us. Are there true inequalities across the board? Sure! That’s life… I’m not saying things shouldn’t change, I’m just saying we don’t need to get ridiculous about it.
Kids should be kids. I want mine to believe in magic and love and silliness… there is plenty of time for adulthood. If we are fortunate to live a long life, we spend more of it as adults than as children and I want to preserve that innocence as long as possible without someone shoving propaganda down their throats and telling them what they should want for themselves. My girls will decide that. I don’t want them to be shielded from the good that so rarely happens anymore the same way I will fiercely protect them from the true bad that does.
I’m a stay-at-home mother… pretty sure that wasn’t my parents “dream” for me… but they’re proud of how I raise my girls and how I built this life with my husband. Together. We argue and disagree on a lot and there have been periods where we BOTH have felt disrespected or ignored. But we are here, in love, doing life as partners. I don’t NEED him – I WANT him. I rely on him and it feels good to have someone that I can completely let my walls down with and still feel powerful and loved at the same time. We will watch Little Mermaid and Ninja Turtles and whatever other random kid shows the littles demand on repeat because we are proud to screw them up in our own unique and loving way. (According to the age appropriate ratings).