Thursday, 17 October 2013


When I look at my daughter I see pieces of myself. I see my eyes, or a certain expression, her stubborn personality or the love of climbing trees. I also see the differences. Her love of clothes, makeup, hair styles and dance. Her uniqueness is what makes her so beautiful and so special and I love her, like all my kids, more than life itself. I would move mountains for my kids if I could, and I want only the best for them in every way possible.

When I see the tremendous pressure that girls are under these days it scares me. The magazines, the movies, the billboards, the music videos and Hollywood to name a few are the influences that our younger generation sees as the norm. This is how they are told to dress, to act, to be. If they don't achieve this unattainable look they somehow don't measure up.
You see, I am a true believer in equality. For EVERYONE. In our world there has been and still is slavery, hatred, inequality and prejudice. I don't understand it. I can't see why any of use would be intolerable of any one else because of their religious beliefs, gender or race. I would have thought we would have learned those lessons by now. And we have somewhat. Through education and individuals that have spoken out we have come leaps and bounds further than we ever have in our society.
But I for one am concerned for Women. I personally don't feel equal. There are still the old opinions. If you say you are a feminist you are considered a bitch ( excuse the language ) The same goes for women in power. A man earned his way to the top, a woman was a bitch to get there, or slept her way there. When I received my pilot's license many years ago I was told by more than one individual that they would never fly with me because I was a woman. Think I'm exaggerating? I'm not. A couple of years ago I was on a flight. When the Captain's voice came on the speaker, and it was a female, you could see the looks passing between people. I even heard someone utter, " Oh no, a woman pilot." You know what? There are good pilot's, great pilots and terrible pilot's. It really doesn't matter what sex they are.
As a woman, I feel this generation has taken a huge leap backwards. We have allowed the sexualisation of our young girls to take place and done absolutely nothing to stand in its way. We should be shouting from the rooftops. Instead we allow our girls to be sexualized on magazine covers, billboards and in music videos. Our latest fashions for teens promote sex. Breast augmentation is at an all time high for young women, as is Bulimia and Anorexia. To garner male attention seems to be what's most important. If you watch Pop Music Videos, most show women ( young girls ) in subservient positions. Movie stars that are men are considered more handsome as they grow older, women movie stars just get older and disappear.
It's the same in literature. Fifty Shades of Grey was an all time best seller in which the Male character was the dominator and the woman a submissive, having no control in the relationship. What message are we sending out there? To men and women?
You see, in this world we have had to fight for equality. The United States finally had their first Black President and we celebrated. Canada has become a top multicultural country with equal rights for any race and we are proud. Yet our girls are sexualized every day. We don't care. Some people even say we want it this way.  I was told recently when having this conversation about this topic that "Us girls like the attention we get, and we dress provocatively on purpose. We want male attention. It's our goal." Well, its not mine and I don't want it to be that way for our daughters.
We have wars over oil. We have wars over money. But we turn a blind eye to the fact that 8 and 9 year old girls are being married off to older men, then dying or being permanently injured on their so called wedding night. We don't care that women are being suppressed, forced in to marriages they don't want and denied education. In my own country we as women have only been allowed to vote in an election for less than a hundred years. That's in someone's present day life span, and I know some women who will still vote for whomever their husband tells them to. They don't and can't have their own opinions.
So here is my wish for my daughter. That when she grows up, she feels equal. To anyone. That she never has to feel different because she is a woman pilot or engineer, or welder. That she can feel proud to be happy with herself. Her body, who she is and what she is, not measured by what the media tells us we should be, but what we want to be. That she finds personal satisfaction with herself and that she finds a partner in life that feels the same way. And most of all I hope that we can all band together to ensure that our world is a safe place for women, where we have equal rights and opportunities no matter where we live. We deserve it. Isn't it worth fighting for?

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