A herd of children were playing in my front yard having a blast wrestling and rolling around in the dirt and grass. When I called my 3 granddaughters in for dinner they came inside filled with girl power and bragging about how they’d wrestled with the boys and won. They were strong; they were invincible; hear them roar. My middle granddaughter (7) grandly announced to the table several times, “I can’t punch. I’m too strong.” As they spoke I learned that a couple of the Dad’s were standing in the driveway next door instructing their sons in the gentlemanly arts. In other words, they boys were made to hold back while my girls went to town wrestling them to the ground and claiming kick butt victory. From their comments I gathered that the boys did not appreciate the lessons their father’s were trying to impart. Allowing the girls to win did not sit well. A rematch sans parents was planned for the next day.
I loved their girl power. I loved that they discovered the feeling of physical power and hopefully took a step on the path of how not to be a victim but concerned that their victory was hollow as the boys probably will not hold back the next time. Without bursting their bubbles, I tried to explain that perhaps they weren’t quite as victorious as they thought but they couldn’t hear me. I let it go but it’s bothering me.
Men and women are not created equal. We are different but equally valuable. For the most part, men rule the world (they are welcome to it), but women run it. One cannot function without the other – different but equal, each necessary to the other and beautiful in what they can provide to collective society. That’s the lesson I want to impart to my children. Finding their value, believing in it from the inside out and not the outside in means they will never be victims. I love their girl power, now I have to figure out how to teach them it doesn’t mean wrestling boys to the ground but believing in themselves even when they can’t win at wrestling.
Please don’t mistake honest evaluation of skills and weaknesses as naïve vulnerability. Just because I am not as strong as most men doesn’t mean that I smile and shrug and don’t use common sense. My girls will learn self defense skills as did my boys. It might not prevent a tragic event like a man with a gun in a parking lot, but basic kick butt knowledge gives them a fighting chance. Just because I appreciate the differences between the sexes doesn’t mean everyone else does.