Little girls are trained to be nice. Don’t talk back, be a “lady,”
whatever the heck that means. We read about women who allow their personal boundaries to be cut to the ground. Why? Are they so unsure of their talents and worth? Do they need to demean themselves for fame or to keep a job? I am sure that the lower income single moms are more vulnerable but the fear belongs to many women.
No is a complete sentence. I will not, is just a bit longer. Little girls are sassy. Little boys stand up for their rights. A female athlete is seldom seen photographed in her sport. More often she is posed, like a cosmetic or clothes model. Nearly every society has moral rules for the girls and “boys will be boys” for the men. Dignity is everyone’s right. To be treated with contempt is wrong but to accept it is unconscionable. Why do women acquiesce to rude and vulgar treatment? In my view and my book “Virgin-Martyr” it is because we are sent to the boot camp of self-deprecation very young. Many women accept that attitude and the self-effacing manner that comes with it.
When I was raising my children I tried to have the same standards for the girls and the boys. Yes, raising them was different, but each child is different.
My mother and grandmothers worked the fields, did the cooking and canning, made the clothes and birthed and tended the children. My mother told me she worked harder than any man. It was not a lack of respect for the hardworking farmers. It was an awareness of their own strength and what they did and could do. They were true partners.
Girls need to learn that they are worthy of respect. Perhaps then, they will not need to demand it.