Tuesday 28 June 2016

Be A Good Girl

If I ever had a daughter, I would never tell her to be a good girl.  We push this terminology on our girls as though it comes with an instruction manual or at the very least a list of what it is.  I used to date a man who told me to be a good girl.  I let it slide, because I interpreted it to mean he loved me. It did not.  It meant he wanted me to do what he wanted me to do.  That was being a good girl.  Being a good girl means doing what someone else wants you to do.

As children, the good girl sits smiles and says hello when spoken to.  The good girl repeats this performance like a dog doing a trick over and over.  She puts on the dresses that are laid out for her. She sits as her locks are pleated with braids.  The good girl is polite and well-behaved.

As prepubescent girls, the good girl smiles as her uncle gives her the wrap-around feel, cupping her tiny breast in his beastly hand.  The good girl respects her elders no matter what they do.

When puberty strikes, the good girl smiles as the teasing comes in.  Every part of her body feels foreign to her, as does the attention she keeps getting from others.  Kisses with tongues jammed in mouths are things the good girl simply deals with.  The good girl is now seen as the temptress.

In late teen years, this label hypnotically molds the good girl, her thoughts, how she sees herself. When the good girl finds herself in a situation with a boy, she let's it happen because she was never taught to defend herself or to speak out.  The good girl lets it all happen and deals with the memories later all alone.  Stoically, like a good girl does.

During dating years, the good girl is attracted to a certain kind of man.  Being told what to do and what to think is natural to her now, a part of the very essence of her being.  The good girl gets abused more often because her vulnerability attracts scum.  The good girl is very often a scum-magnet.

Good girls allow shit to happen to them because refusing or protesting feels wrong.  Sticking up for themselves feels wrong.  They were reminded innumerable times growing up to comply.  Compliance can develop into habit.  Habitually doing what other people want becomes second-nature to the good girl.  This is not what I would want for my daughter ... or for any of the daughters out there.

I want today's girls to speak up and speak out.  I want them to tell us what they think.  I don't want them to do what other people want them to do.  I want them to think for themselves, live for themselves, and love themselves by knowing who they are and what they believe in.

The label "good girl" is poisonous for some.

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