Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's more difficult than one might think

I read the Huffington Post article How To Talk to Little Girls by Lisa Bloom with some sense of, I don't know, maybe superiority?  Well, of course you don't simply tell girls how pretty they are!  Isn't this feminism 101?  Etc. etc.  And then I stopped and thought about it.  How many times a day do I tell my daughter that she is beautiful?  Do I tell my son this in equal measure?  How do I react when, inevitably, everyone else in the world opens up a conversation with my daughter by telling her how pretty she is?  Do I react at all? 

These sorts of comments, whether one tries to avoid them or not, are knee-jerk.  We all grow up in this culture where girls are prized for their beauty, and boys for their strength and smarts. We are so inundated, and it is so saturated into the cultural consciousness that we hardly notice it when it happens. 

So - yes.  It is feminism 101.  And feminism 101 is harder than one might think.


  1. A couple of days before my mother passed away, I was leaving to return home, and her last words to me were "You are so beautiful." This was the last time I saw her and so of course the words stuck. I know, for her, it was the highest compliment she could give me. To be loved, one had to be beautiful. I used to kind of resent those words, and then the more I thought about them, the more I realized, for my mother, it was the nicest thing you could say about your daughter.
    I don't know what happened to feminism. It seems we place more value than ever on how women look. Personally, I find it sad--the things women do to themselves to look good, be sexy, be beautiful.

  2. It's funny, I have the same problem with my son, too...he is so damn cute that I have trouble not telling him that all the time. :) My daughter is 12 and I am careful not to talk much about her looks but I can tell you that she gets a ton of other people telling her she is beautiful...I do really wish they wouldn't. She thinks about that stuff enough without other people commenting on it. My son is only 2 1/2 so I don't know how much attention he pays to any of it, really. Hmm.

  3. We have two sons and no daughters so I don't know how I would be with girls? We do tell our sons that they are beautiful when they get out of the tub each night.