What I told my daughters about the Women's March.
I worked a lot this Saturday, finishing up a large project from last week. Which is good - for some of you - because it distracted me from composing a rant about the Women’s March, albeit temporarily.
I did, however, take a couple breaks during the day. I emerged from my office to find my daughters in the kitchen, discussing the march. We chatted briefly. But we chatted more yesterday on a daughter date at Starbucks, sipping coffee. Was this a “rant” of sorts? No. This was a no holds barred, woman-to-young-woman, mature discussion. And it went something like this…
I told my daughters that women will be disrespected until the end of time – so will men, children, people of every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and creed. Because disrespect will live as long as people wish God were dead. Disrespect is a result of one person not seeing another person as a child of God with inherent worth, value, purpose and dignity. It’s a result of a Godless life.
I told my daughters if they want to abolish disrespect in this world, then preach the Gospel. Live the Gospel. Reflect the light of truth in the Gospel , and in this way the darkness of disrespect will be cast out once and for all. There is no other way.
I told my daughters that until this happens, someone WILL, at some point in their lives, say disrespectful things about them. In truth, it’s already been done. And they knew it. Bullies are everywhere.
I told them that they will not be respected by everyone, but they can be respected by many. If they respect themselves... in the way they dress, speak, and act. I told them to respect themselves enough to NOT wear a pink vagina hat, to NOT shout f-bombs in public squares, to not make or wave signs with vulgar obscenities, to NOT “march” over top of pro-life pregnant women because they happen to not agree with you.
I told them if they want respect, they should give respect to others -- and they should earn it, with poise, self-control, dignity.
I told my daughters they will not get respect by modeling after Madonna, Ashley Judd or Hilary Clinton. They may get attention. They may get applause from mobs. But they will never get true, lasting respect shouting vulgarities and preaching their desire to blow up the white house.
I told them to model after Kellyanne Conway, who took the injustices of life (raised by a single mom with meager means), worked her tail off picking blueberries as a kid, diligently went to school, got a degree, got entry-level jobs and worked – not complaining, but embracing the fact that she lives in the greatest country on earth where women really can do anything they set out to do – like running the most successful and historical presidential campaign in U.S. history, like going to work in the white house while still being a wife and mom, like being hired by and earning the highest and utmost respect from a man who previously said quite disrespectful things about women.
I told my daughters if they want to be respected by men, then do not fear femininity. Do not compete with masculinity. Embrace the fact that God made women with the great and wondrous and unique ability to share in his most important work – that of populating the planet. He made us with the ability to grow a baby, make a home, even run an empire.
I told my daughters that being strong does not mean being loud. Being bold does not mean being vulgar. Being courageous does not mean being aggressive. No. No. And no.
I told them being strong is adhering to moral law, even if it means doing so by yourself. Being bold is speaking moral truth, even when it’s not popular. Without violence, with couth. Being courageous is seeking a moral life, even if you live in an amoral society. Strong, bold, and courageous is a towering lighthouse standing firm on the dark shores of a roaring sea. Again, it is not wearing a pink vagina hat.
I told my daughters they are beautiful; they are talented; they are gifted; and they are destined to do great things in this country and in this world. I told them if anyone tells them differently, they are a liar and not worth their time.
I told my daughters there are countries around the world where women can’t drive, can’t vote, can’t speak, can’t dress as they want… where women are shared by many men, where they are beaten, raped, and abused, just for being women.
I told my daughters not to discount the privilege of living in America, not to squander the gift, not to become distracted by errant noise.
I told my daughters I love them, that I am proud of them… and that I hope to God I never see them in a pink vagina hat.