Should woman be protected?
Leigh and I started to have this conversation over breakfast this morning. It was rushed as breakfast often is on his current schedule but I am still thinking about that whole concept. Should woman be protected, and how that is evident in a lot of religious and cultural beliefs.
Now as parents of three girls we think about how we want to raise your girls. We have already had discussions about what if any of them are lesbians (we will still love them, Love As Thou Will), what if they don't leave home at 18 (we didn't and ended up at my parents house for longer than we would have liked) how we will deal with dating (an on going discussion as the eldest is 6 so we still have a ways go there) and so on.
Leigh grew up in New Zealand, the first country to give the women the right to vote, and so feminism was awash in the schools. Leigh was required to read a lot of strong-female-character books in school and by the time I met him in our early twenties, he was really sick of all that stuff. We recently realized however that most of his favorite science fiction and fantasy series have strong female main charactors, so I guess it sunk in somewhere.
Being the father of three girls has also rubbed off and Leigh is just as much involved in making sure that our girls are exposed to the kind of characters we want them to see (no Disney princess movies, though Tangled and Shrek are good), not that we are perfect.
I have recently found Intimate Conversations with Allana Pratt, a free weekly interview program. I found it because I heard about her interview with Shelia Kelley. Anyway one of the things Pratt was talking about was how she has found that asking men to uphold the feminine form and to respect it brings out the best in men. It is sort of the knight complex from my understanding. That as men respect women they want to protect them. Not in the incapable-will-fall-apart-at-the-drop-of-the-hat-damsel-in-distress kind of way. But in the you-deserve-to-be-treated-with-respect-and-anyone-who-disrespects-you-is-going-to-have-to-deal-with-me kind of way.
Women do need to be protected. Especially after birth, especially with young children, especially as young girls. Especially when we are vulnerable to society telling us who we are and what we should do.
But women do not need to be covered up and told that their bodies are shameful. Women do not need to be told that they are not sexual human beings. Girls should have the same dress codes as boys, neither gender should be wearing mini skirts to school or shorts that do not come up over their bottoms.
Women are powerful, we do move in different ways from men. We can and do change the world. We are the bringers of life and death.
Everyday I think about these things, how best to raise my girls. How to show them by example to be who they are, not who anyone thinks they should be.
Do I stumble and fall and show them things I'd rather they didn't see? Sure. But in doing that I am also showing them that we are all human, and that we all need to grow whether we are a baby or a 90 year old.
So do women need to be protected, and if so how? What do you think?