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 being kind is empowering.
I want them to know that speaking the truth is empowering even when it isn’t popular, and no one stands to speak with you.
Whether they become mothers or not, I want my daughters to know that having a body 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 yourself to nurture your family or your community is empowering.
I want my daughters to know that having a fulfilling career is empowering, even if it doesn’t mean a huge salary or an impressive title.
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, art, 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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