Thanks to everyone who engaged in the enlightening discussion that happened on various platforms, after I wrote this post: Raising My Daughters With A Positive Body Image.
I had a epiphany in the midst of the discussions that as left me feeling even more confused about what my stand point is on this issue.
I’m not a hardcore feminist and I hardly think myself intelligent enough or well versed enough on these topics to voice an opinion, but here’s the thing, after these discussions and a heated debate with my husband last night, I find myself even more confused about where I stand in all of this.
My confusion and conflict and outrage and everything in between, stems from this comment:
as moms of girls are we saying ‘no you can’t wear a bikini as it will invite unwanted attention’ – is this not then the same message we don’t want to be giving our older girls: wearing a miniskirt means you could get raped i.e.: it is your responsibility to avoid violation and your fault if it fails?
Victim blaming… rape culture…. Things I vehemently fight against but which I find myself so deeply indoctrinated in that my mind, I’m ashamed to admit, does automatically go there. It was during this discussion that I realized, this indoctrination into blaming women and girls for rape, starts out so young. And the injustice of it makes me FURIOUS! And it’s even simpler than victim blaming… teaching our daughters that their bodies are shameful and dirty and attract unwanted attention, it starts so young too. This idea that “boys will be boys” and therefore somehow except from responsibility while it all falls of the shoulders of girls… Its unjust and it’s not right and it makes me so angry. I know that is a sweeping statement and a generalization but I’m talking about society in general here.
My husband sees the injustice of it, he understands my anger but then he says we also have a responsibility as parents to protect our children, which I agree with obviously, so he does not want to encourage our girls to wear what they like and express themselves as they like, to protect them, but this also oppresses them and then I land up feeling so confused by all of this. I want to protect them but I also want to free them, I want them to have the freedom to express themselves through play, clothes, toys or whatever inspires them and brings them joy and I hate that I constantly have to think about how the world contains predators who will take advantage of that, who may hurt them and then society will blame them, because of the bikini they were wearing, the short skirt or tank top they wore, the club they went to, the company they kept.
And then…. I get so bloody confused about where I stand in all of this… my head starts spinning and I get a headache just trying to wade through all the thoughts on this topic.
One thing is for sure, one step at a time, so for now, Ava is getting a bikini and hopefully in time, I will some how wrap my head around all of this…. in time for approaching the teenage years and all the pitfalls that that will present!
I’d love to hear your opinions on this, you know, just to make my head spin even more!
Also, check this out, I came across this article the other day and it really got me thinking about all of this: