Stop “Raising Strong Girls”

Stop “Raising Strong Girls.” Hear me out.

You’ve heard the slogans. Has it ever seemed weird to you the way that this notion that we must work to “raise strong girls” implies that girls and women won’t be? But if you look around, I imagine you’ll be surrounded by strong women hardened by their experience growing up in a patriarchal, capitalist, white supremacist society. They are bold and brave and strong (and historically unseen. Especially if they aren’t white).

And you know what else?
They are people pleasers and self loathers.
Uncomfortable with rest, at best, and incapable of rest at worst.
They hate their bodies and their hunger.
And at the same time that they are bold and brave and strong, they spend their lives trying to stay small enough to be palatable.

So what if instead of focusing on raising *strong* girls, we focused on raising girls who…
…can express their feelings.
…claim their desire.
…set boundaries.
…know their hunger.
…and relate to their bodies as a way to move through the world, instead of as a lifelong project.

What if we strived to raise the exact girl in front of us, instead of some ideal we have of the perfect daughter? What if we strived to raise those kinds of girls?

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