There has been a lot of talk on social media lately about women’s empowerment, and the thing I have found interesting, and frankly disheartening, is how often empowerment for women is associated with sex and sexiness–as if the most powerful thing a woman can do is be alluring to a man.
I have two beautiful daughters, and I always want them to be comfortable with their bodies, but I also want them to know there is so much more to being a strong woman than can be expressed through sexiness.
What I want my daughters to know about a woman’s empowerment
I want them to know that speaking the truth, even when it isn’t popular and when no one stands to speak with you, is empowering.
Whether they become mothers or not, I want my daughters to know that having a body that is capable of growing and feeding another human being is empowering–no matter how that body looks in a bikini.
I want my girls to know that sometimes when you are right, that is enough because being right is more empowering than winning.
I want my daughter to know that soothing a fussy baby or charming a grumpy toddler is empowering.
Saying no, even when everyone else says yes–even when you want to say yes–is empowering.
Being a soft place for your children to fall is empowering.
Prayer is empowering.
Giving of yourself to nurture your family or your community is empowering.
I want my daughters to know that having a fulfilling career, even if it doesn’t mean a huge salary or an impressive title is empowering.
I want them to know that celebrating the gifts and talents of other people is empowering.
I want my daughters to know that knowledge–not just of figures and data and bottom lines–but of literature and art and music and ideas–is empowering.
Beauty is empowering–not hotness, not sexiness–true beauty.
I want my girls to know that being empowered doesn’t mean doing whatever they want, it means having the freedom and the strength to do what is right.
I want my daughters to know that true empowerment doesn’t look like a man’s sexual fantasy or an unreal expectation of female beauty.
Most of all, I want my daughters to know that empowerment means accepting themselves with all of their talents, all of their abilities, and all of their flaws as worthy of respect and love.
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