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We need to raise girls to be kind too.

April 3, 2019

As a Boy Mum, you hear it so often. “We must raise men to respect women, we must raise men to be kind to women, we must raise men to never put down a women”, all of which, I agree with! (Apart from one person, I can’t remember their name, who once stood on stage delivering a speech declaring that ‘We must raise men not to rape women’ – Men as a default aren’t born with a desire to rape women, rapists are born with a desire to rape people, but thats a whole other blog post and I feel like dropping the R word into my blog post has lowered the tone!)

What’s happened though is we have taken the heat off GIRL being kind to GIRLS.

We are starting a new chapter with my stepdaughter as she enters her tween years as the girls around her start to show signs of clique behaviour and girl on girl rivalry. I am reminded all too quickly of being a teenager myself and just how savage girls can be.

I have been scorned by men. I’ve been disrespected and I’ve had my heart broken but you can bet your bottom dollar that girls have left much bigger and nastier scars to me than the male counterparts.

Lets just put a discalimer out there, when it comes to empowering girls. I am one of the biggest cheerleaders. I am absolutely DOWN with building up other woman. But I also have a zero tolerance attitiude for girl on girl bullying having come under fire myself.

One of my biggest and worse experiences with a girl was as a late teen. I had beef with a girl from college, or maybe she had beef with me. Either way a war was started and it took almost a decade to repair but the lessons learnt will always be very vivid for both of us. We are both incredibly similar and in the correct environment, Motherhood, we work well together and can thrive and support one another. Raising children can do that to you. Having our babies a few months apart from one another has brought us back together and allowed us to forgive each other.

However, in the incorrect environment – an environement of teenage hormones, rivalry for the Queen Bee status and boys attention as well as both being shot in the middle of a beauty college course with a gaggle of people that loved the gossip of winding us up against eachother. Damage was done that will never be reversable.

I’m a strong character – but even the strongest characters can’t handle showing up to an environment every day where there will be outright lies told about you, girls being your best pal one minute and your worst enemy the next depending on whose side they choose that day, your personality/looks/character dissected and analysed – I wouldn’t wish that environment on my worst enemy.

I’m not for a second dimishing that boys cant do irreconsiable damage to girls character or self esteem – but lets not take the heat of girls either who also have the capacity to bully and do so.

As I look at my step daughter and how the need for a Queen Bee hierarchy is starting to submerge, the emphasis is on that situation to nurture and teach her the ways to find her power within kindness. As the girls are on the cusp of fleshing out the popularity contest and trying to decide whether they do that by taking the bitchy/bully path or the kind/compassionate one. Boys are still hanging from the monkey bars trying to wipe bogies on eachother not paying any interest.

By putting the heat on boys to be raised with an equality mindset, we are shifting the empahsis off girls when both need to be raised to understand that kindness is badass, bitching isn’t bonding and to have conversations about things and not people and also that, in the words of Cady Heron, calling someone ugly won’t make you any prettier.

Can I get an amen for my fellow Mean Girl fans?

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