I’ve had the Ashley Madison garbage on my mind a lot this past week. Part of me is disgusted… WHY does this site exist? Another part of me is sad- sad for the spouses, sad for the children, sad that these men made a revolting decision that is exposing their families to a very public humiliation. Can you imagine if everyone in your life (and strangers) knew of the betrayal that had befallen you? Heartbreaking.
I do not now, nor have I ever, followed the Duggar family because I am not interested in their version of life and treatment of women. I did hear about Josh Duggar’s sickening molestation of his sisters (and I think others?) and the fact that his parents did little to protect them. And I also read that he frequented the Ashley Madison site (who is shocked?). A few friends shared a beautifully eloquent Facebook status of a woman I’m not familiar with, and of course I can no longer find after an hour of searching, who is concerned for Duggar’s wife, Anna. His poor wife, who I know little about, has stuck by his side through the molestation accusations and cheating scandal. But what choice does she have? She is immersed in a culture that told her she must meet and marry a “godly” man and bear his children. She wasn’t given much of a choice, I imagine- no option to go to college, to get a job, to build a life. And it’s clear her husband does not respect her as a human being.
I am not a mother, but, her statements have stuck with me. Are we failing our girls? I know that I never want my niece to feel less-than. I want her to know that she’s strong and can make it on her own. I will encourage her to get an education and explore and hopefully give her the tools to learn independence and confidence. I want to instill in her the courage she might need if, God forbid, she falls in love with someone who treats her like a doormat. We know they’re out there, but it doesn’t mean that’s the end to your story.
As much as I love Disney movies, perhaps we shouldn’t teach our daughters and nieces and granddaughters and sisters that Prince Charming is our only chance at survival. Instead, let’s teach them the skills they need to thrive so they don’t feel trapped if their Prince Charming turns out to be an asshole in disguise. Let’s teach them that their opinions MATTER and their happiness MATTERS and that it’s okay if they want to travel the world instead of settling down and it’s okay if they want to stay home and raise children. Teach them how to be thoughtful and kind- being a mean girl is weak, not strong. Teach them to be curious and ask questions and that it’s okay if you can’t cook or iron or don’t know how to change a flat tire. It IS acceptable to do what you want and live the life you want to live.
Let’s stop putting limitations on our girls and on ourselves. Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day and, as much as I love bringing awareness to women’s rights, I hope we get to a point where it’s not an issue. We should demand equality and demand that we’re heard. It might not be given to us, so we must fight for it and teach our girls to fight for it, too. After all, it’s fine to be a princess… but it’s equally fine to be a damn warrior.
What do you think about this topic?
PS: Do not miss this giveaway! These cameras are adorable, and I may have to join myself…