Good girls grow up

Good girls don’t…

How did the gender roles of your childhood fill in that blank?

In the circles of my childhood, girls were to be sweet and nice and silent.  

  

There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  And when she was good she was very, very good. And when she was bad she was horrid. 

My dad would trace an imaginary curl on my forehead as he quoted that. It always have me chills. 

The good girl of those years was not safe to speak up. But good girls grow up. Some stay sweet and nice and silent. They fill church pews and PTA groups. 

But some girls find their voice. 

There is a time to be silent and a time  to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

A woman who has found her voice is beautiful and strong. She knows how to speak for those who have no voice. She calls out injustice. She cries out on behalf of the poor, the disenfranchised, the child without a home. 

This week, truth has asked me to stand up against embezzlement. It has asked me to name sexual harassment for what it is. It has caused me to fight for midwives being treated with respect by hospital colleagues. 

Wisdom cries out in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares. (Proverbs 1:20)

No poem can silence that voice. 

…a time to speak. 


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5 thoughts on “Good girls grow up

  1. Great post. What do you think are the top things parents can do with/for their girls and boys to help them understand they can be a nice person, a kind and caring person, and yet one who is not silenced. That they can speak up for themselves and ask for what they need.

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    1. The only magazine article I ever wrote was one called giving your child a voice. Sometimes when I hear all of the lively discussion in my house I wonder if there’s not too much voice! But I do think those things where you teach a child principles of boundary and of naming feelings and how to ask or demand help. It is a hard balance when you’re also trying to teach politeness and such principles of respect. But I would rather have a child air on the side of being able to use their voice.

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  2. “There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good she was very, very good. And when she was bad she was horrid. ”
    My mother said that to me many times, but of course only when she believed me to be horrid. Can any child be horrid? I’ve not seen one. What an awful perception of self to reinforce into a child.

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