Wednesday, 6 July 2016

"50 Things To Teach Your Daughters": An Edit

"50 Things To Teach Your Daughters": An Edit (Beyonce, Ivy Blue)


You sent me the link to a post on Facebook (Dawn French's fan page, to be precise) entitled "50 Things To Teach Your Daughters" and I so appreciate the gesture, but I was a bit nervous to even open it because I suspected--rightly--that I'd find it, y'know, problematic.

I know sometimes you think that I'm just looking for things to be annoyed about, but you have to understand that I care about the "small things" because they are part of a bigger picture; they help make up the foundations of bigger, more damaging problems. These things are important to me not because I'm a contrarian, but because they are important.

I bolded the ones I agree with (30.5/50 - see? I'm a reasonable person) and left some without comment because they were weird or simply hard to comment on.
Hope it makes sense to you!
P.S. Dawn almost definitely did not write it herself, sorry to break it to you. In fact, I think I found the original on Meraki Lane here.

P.P.S. I know you're a Christian, so some of these things--namely, the ones about sex--might not fit your beliefs; it's the overall message that's important, though, as I'm sure you'll understand!

P.P.P.S these aren't, like, the lessons I personally would want to teach my daughter... just my edits. Although thanks for the content inspo!

1. NEVER use scented tampons.

2. Always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them. But also if you're anxious that's okay, you're not weak. Don't let someone make you feel small for something like this.

3. Don’t scrimp on wine, perfume, or handbags. They say a lot about a woman. Don't scrimp on wine because cheap wine tastes like piss. Otherwise, spend money on whatever makes you happy regardless of what it "says about you" as a person.

4. You are beautiful - Believe it! But also remember that your worth is not based on your appearance; beauty isn't about looks.

5. You are not better than anyone, and no one is better than you. You're allowed to consider yourself better than racists and war criminals and cheats and abusers and so on, but don't act like you're above or below anyone.

6. Just because you can fit in the extra-small, doesn’t mean you should be wearing it. Wear whatever you want.

7. It’s not the quantity of friends that matter. It’s the quality.

8. You can tell a lot about someone by their shoes. Make sure yours are always polished. You can tell a lot about someone by their personality. Be a good person. Again, wear whatever you want.

9. When people talk to you, LISTEN to them.

10. Make sure you always have a little extra money tucked away for those times when life isn’t treating you the way you want it to. Consider a "Fuck Off Fund".

11. See the world and pack Imodium. Although, only take Imodium if you're sick on a long journey - that stuff just temporarily bungs you up so it's only gonna make everything way, way worse when it wears off.

12. Live to eat, not the other way around.

13. People remember how you make them feel. Never forget that.

14. Don’t gossip. Except with me. I love that stuff. Know when not to gossip.

15. Go with your gut. It’s very rarely wrong.

16. Go to university, live in residence, and have fun. But get good grades. A degree will take you places. University is perfect for some and not for others. If you get a degree, great, if you don't get a degree, don't sweat it; it'll be okay out if you work hard.

17. Take responsibility for your actions and apologize when you’re in the wrong. 

18. Don’t be afraid to fail.

19. If he (they) makes you cry anything but happy tears, he’s (they're) not worth it.

20. Repeat after me: I. Can. Accomplish. Anything.

21. Don’t sleep around. Guys may have fun with easy girls, but they don’t marry them. Women are allowed to enjoy sex. Sleep with whoever you want to sleep with. Regardless of your religion or values, remember: a girl isn't "easy" if she has sex with multiple people. If a guy doesn't want to marry you based on the number of people you've slept with, knee him in the balls, hard, and walk the hell away.

22. Don’t be a sore loser. But don't let someone call you a sore loser if, say, your country votes to leave the EU and you're mad about it. You're allowed to be angry about a result that negatively affects you.

23. If you decide you prefer women to men (or you like both, or neither, or other), your Dad and I will not care, nor will we love you any less. Just promise me you’ll take me to a gay bar. I know I’d make you proud.

24. Don’t smoke cigarettes and never do anything chemical. Smoking is bad for you, and drugs can be dangerous: it's your body, but always be safe. 

25. Don’t take yourself too seriously. But if you are sensitive or emotional, that is okay. Don't let people shame you for that.

26. A shot of vodka before shopping for swimwear makes the whole experience much more pleasurable. 

This one was hard. I wanted to write "Love your body. Love how it looks in swimwear" - but that's not the point. Instead I had to tag in Sarah Koppelkam's "How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body" to say it for me.

27. I don’t care how young you are: if you’ve been drinking, call me. I’ll get you and your friends home safely. No questions asked.

28. Download Miles Davis’ album, Kind of Blue.

29. Never judge people you don’t know unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Or they've done bad things.

30. Don’t let a day go by without listening to music.

31. If you’re not married to him, don’t have unprotected sex with him. Have unprotected sex if you know and trust one another and, if you don't want to get pregnant, you are on the pill. Although, preferably don't take the pill because it is SO BAD... there are non-hormonal types of contraception.

32. The world is too small a place to be a jerk to anyone (unless he was a jerk first).

33. When wearing pantyhose, always have a back-up pair in your purse.

34. Don’t be afraid to go out without make-up on. I imagine it must be quite liberating. But also if you don't want to go out without makeup on because you like wearing makeup, that's okay too.

35. Wear sunscreen.

36. Always bring your own dessert when you go to Gran and Grandad’s for dinner.

37. Learn how to say “NO”.

38. Read lots of books.

39. When it comes to relationships, don’t settle. Wait for the one that takes your breath. Like I did.

40. Rules are made to be broken. Except mine.

41. I’ve always got your back.

42. If you’re not comfortable talking about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. Society will often shame you for doing things and you might feel uncomfortable talking about them as a result. Do them anyway if they make you happy. And keep talking about them until it gets easier.

43. Very few things are more painful than childbirth. Bikini waxing is one of those things! Bikini waxing is probably not as painful as childbirth.

44. Never go to bed mad. And don’t tell your partner everything. Never go to bed mad. And tell your partner everything.

45. Learn how to cook. I didn’t, and we both know how that turned out.

46. Tattoos are permanent, so think long and hard before you get one - and where you get one! Decorate your body however you want to, but find a good artist (and don't get something stupid). Tattoos don't have to have deep meanings to be beautiful, so if you want to get inked spontaneously, do it. Old people look great with tattoos, by the way.

47. Always have something that’s just for you, be it writing, music, crafting, or something equally awesome. And make time for it. It’ll do wonders for you.

48. Never lose your sense of humor.

49. Even when I’m gone, I’ll always be with you.

50. Everything is going to be okay.

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