An Open Letter to My Daughters

My Loves, please know that I would never choose to take you to the march this weekend.  I am sparing you exposure to the message I feel is counterintuitive to how your father and I have raised you.   We have raised you to be strong and independent.  I have taught you to fight against the wrongs and defend others.  You are more than capable of taking a stand for justice.  On the flip side, I have instilled in you compassion for others, the ability to be strong without being hard, a fighter with a soft side, a woman of character and integrity.

In this life, you must first respect yourself before expecting anyone else to respect you.  This is very powerful.  I see these women marching for the right to be sexually free, carrying signs that state, “My body, my right to be a slut.”  How sad.  There is no being sexually free.  It’s an oxymoron.  Others should not have full access to your body.  Something that special, that precious, should have to be earned.  When you fight for the right to be a “slut”, you are locking yourself in your own prison, and with each partner who uses and abuses you, your self-worth drops and you will feel less and less valued. You are more than a sexual being, yet while these protesters proclaim that, they are donning vagina hats that scream they are nothing more than a vagina. I don’t want you to think that this is acceptable.  You are the whole package, and you need to recognize that.  Also, abortion is not birth control.  If you do not want to have a baby, there are plenty of options out there, including not having sex.  Why would anyone ever want to have sex with a man with whom they would not want to have a child?  Why would you be willing to give your body to someone not valuable enough to spend your life with? If he is not willing to marry you and make a commitment, why are you willing to give yourself to him?  Value yourself more than that.  I don’t want my grandchildren sucked into a sink.  Actions have consequences, and you need to take responsibility for the choices you make in this life.  All choices. Don’t be the victim. Don’t blame others. Own what you do, or better yet, simply make the right choices in the first place.

Secondly, men are not holding you back, keeping you from being your best.  You will have negative encounters with men just as you will with women.  It’s life.  It does not mean an entire segment of the population is evil or against you. Understand that.  A man holding the door for you is not implying in any way that you are incapable; rather, he is respecting you and showing you that you deserve to have that door held for you. You should be questioning the character of a man who doesn’t treat you well or open doors or pick up the check on a first date.  Chivalry is not dead; it’s simply a lost art. Find it.  You deserve to be treated well.  And you need to treat men well.  Life is full of relationships, and it takes effort by all involved to be successful.

On that note, understand that there are so many different opinions in this world, and while you don’t need to agree with someone else, you need to be respectful, even when others are not.  Name-calling and insulting are unacceptable.  Do not engage or lower yourself to being nasty.  You win some, you lose some.  And just because one may not agree with something, that does not make the person with an opposing view a racist or a bigot or a hater.  For eight years, I had to live with a leader I did not choose. I did not agree with his politics, yet to say that would cause me to be labeled all kinds of inaccurate names.  Now that the tide has turned, I am still attacked and called those names.  The intolerance and hatred is unbelievable.  I have found out who my friends truly are through this, which brings me to another point…be loyal, but not to a fault.  Know when to exit a relationship.  Recognize when it has run its course, and leave with grace and dignity.  No one should ever take advantage of you or mistreat you, and if it happens more than once, that is on you.  You allowed it. You are better than that.

You will fail in life.  Failure isn’t final, though, so get up, brush yourself off, and move on. Learn from your mistakes.  Take chances.  Move forward.  Never be afraid to admit your errors or to ask for help.  I am always here for you. I am your biggest cheerleader, and if you haven’t noticed that yet, you haven’t been paying attention.

Be proud that you are a woman, but never let that overshadow the fact that you are a decent, kind, loving, loyal person.  You deserve nothing more than anyone else simply because of your gender.  You also deserve nothing less.  Fight the good fight, and always be the incredible, smart, talented lady you are today.  I love you, and I my wish for you is nothing short of a happy and fulfilled life.

Love,
Mom

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