Teach Your Daughter About Her Physicality and Her Responsibility

What is it about us fecund beings and tiny humans that encourages such disdain, dislike, and outright abuse? It makes no sense to punish women and children. 

I don’t know the why. But I do know the solution. Teach your daughter.


teach your daughter “Pro-life in the streets, pro-choice in the sheets.” ~Jennifer Weiner

That’s the best phrase I’ve seen to characterize many of our political leaders.

Wish I had come up with it, but I must credit Jennifer Weiner for her scathing editorial in the New York Times listing the various anti-abortion political leaders who have arranged for or urged their various mistresses/wives to have abortions. Weiner writes, “There are a few, rare exceptions that abortion opponents tend to allow to their hard-line rules: rape, incest, life or health of the mother, and ‘I got my mistress pregnant.'”

Now, our course, our beloved President has agreed that corporations no longer must provide birth control in their health coverage for their employees. And in my state, the eternally female-hating Texas Legislature is making it nearly impossible for poor and rural women to access health clinics where they can get necessary birth control. Would love to know what they do when their daughters want their birth control and/or their abortions.

Furthermore, despite Royal Princess Ivanka’s claims, not one iota of effort is being given to support working mothers who need high-quality, affordable childcare.

Lest we forget, apparently Congress forgot to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, so by next February, 9,000,000 children will no longer have health insurance.

To top it off, in case you haven’t heard, yet another media mogul, in addition to scum like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly and Bill Cosby, has taken a tumble. Harvey Weinstein, movie producer extraordinaire, has admitted to decades of, to put it mildly, inappropriate conduct with the many young women whom he lured to his hotel room with promises of promotions, etc.

I’m not even touching the religious issues here, where female-hating and suppression has become an art form, all justified by a white male “god” in a beard who they insist has decreed that people must have a certain genitalia to be in spiritual leadership. Here’s the topper: Mark Driscoll, now apparently fully “restored” after years of being a skilled spiritual abuser and who has proclaimed himself ready to lead the world again, thinks women have one primary function: to be “penis homes.”

What is it about us fecund beings and tiny humans that encourages such disdain, dislike, and outright abuse?

I don’t know the why. But I do know the solution. Teach your daughter.

Teach your daughter

OK, here’s my advice to all parents/guardians: TEACH YOUR DAUGHTER ABOUT HER BODY AND HER RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT.

Teach her early and teach her well about the nature of her physicality.

Teach her that, unfortunately, most men will not “respect her in the morning” despite all pleadings and promises to the contrary.

Teach her that she must give active consent for anyone to touch her body and make sure she understands exactly what that means.

Teach her the astounding pull of her sexual urges and how to deal with them in a way that preserves her health and integrity.

Teach her that way, way too many men, and especially those who see themselves as king of the hill, are sexual predators and view her as the prey.

Teach her to respect, not hide, her anger at male privilege.

Teach her all about birth control and make sure she has early and easy access to it.

Teach her about sexually transmitted diseases and how those diseases can ravage her body.

Teach her about abortion, preferably how and why it should be legal, safe and extremely rare.

Teach her the importance of planned and wanted pregnancies and the privilege of being the one who can bring forth new life.

Teach her self-defense techniques and make sure she practices them diligently.

Teach her that she has a voice and has every right to raise it and to speak out, very loudly when necessary, if someone does something to her without her permission.

I wish I had known all those things. It’s time to do better.

Men, unfortunately, are the enemy

Let’s face it. In this area, men are the enemy. Too many happily spew sperm into any possible orifice and prefer to take zilch responsibility for the possibility that life may form, or disease may appear, or someone might suffer egregious harm.

I hate saying this. I have given birth to three sons, three fine men who have chosen to love their wives deeply and passionately help rear their children. I am married to an extraordinarily decent man. I know a lot of truly good men and am sure there are lots more like them.

But, in general, your daughter needs to know that she must protect herself. Predators abound and most have mastered beguiling disguises. Courts will not dispense justice for females, nor will legislators, politicians, corporate or media executives or entirely too many so-called religious leaders.

We women must stand up and shout loudly our protests. More than that, women must be willing to continue to pay the price necessary to become the ones with political and religious power.

We also need to acknowledge that being the mistress of a powerful man betrays us all. This practice must stop.

We need to affirm loudly and make sure our daughter knows that the privilege we, and only we have, of bringing new life into the world deserves far more respect and support than anyone or any institution offers now.

And finally, we need to make one thing clear. Until men start getting pregnant, enduring pregnancies, birthing and nursing babies, and putting their careers on hold to deal with the tough and tender moments of child-rearing, they need to do every single thing possible to support healthy women and children and ensure their financial stability.

When men take over the role of childbearing and child-rearing, then they get to make any rules they want that oppress themselves, relinquish ownership of their bodies to others, and keep themselves in poverty. But until then . . . it is time to change course.

The future of the world depends on it.

It makes no sense to punish women and children. And that’s exactly what is happening right now.

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  • Chuck Johnson

    Teach her that, unfortunately, most men
    will not “respect her in the morning” despite all pleadings and promises
    to the contrary.-Christy

    Christy, you are showing yourself to be ignorant, bigoted controlling and hateful.
    Unfortunately, this is what passes for “feminism” with you.

    • Ungodly Sweet

      Yeah Christy… how dare you speak out against men disrespecting and hating women! Now poor Chuck has to mansplain to you about how you’re treated by men. And since he has a penis (and I’m assuming some size issues) definitely knows more then any women..

      • Chuck Johnson

        You as well.
        The politics of stupidity and dishonesty.
        In case you need to be told, you are trolling.

        • Linda Coleman Allen

          Chuck, I have been reading your comments for some time now. It seems that about 95% are negative and critical. I wonder, why do you read Christy’s posts at all? Is there not something else that you could contribute to that might allow you to be positive?

          • Chuck Johnson

            I keep on seeing so many of Christy’s posts to be wild and paranoid exaggerations.

            Christy and I are both politically liberal, but overstatements do not help the cause, they hurt it.

            As such I see many of Christy’s statements themselves as being negative and critical.

            In this post she is insulting young people.
            The young men that she refers to are selfish, sex-obsessed predators.
            The young women are brainless suckers.

            I don’t see the hyperbole as being helpful.

  • jekylldoc

    I think saying “Men are the enemy” is unfortunate phrasing, but the enemies of daughters in the “gender wars” are usually men. Dishonesty, exploitation, selfish myopia, irresponsibility, all these feed into “pro-life in the streets, pro-choice in the sheets.” It might be worth noting that when it comes to thinking the responsibility for children is all on women (and their main responsibility is to marry a responsible and successful man) many advocates are women. Navigating the larger context, which is generally unsympathetic to the vulnerable position of women, is about so much more than power against an enemy. So I would expand the list of things we should help our daughters understand.

    Caring for children is a wonderful thing to do with your life, and most people get around to seeking it even if they don’t when they are young and in their prime child-bearing years. A good life partnership views this joy as the responsibility of both parents (heck, more than two if things turn out that way) and has the poise to talk about the division of labor before crunch time hits.

    The man you are attracted to is not necessarily the man you will be glad to be with. That is a heavy, heavy issue to take on. Fortunately attraction is broader than its most intense versions will lead a person to believe. Choosing a life partner is not all about managing trade-offs and foreseeing likely problems, but those kinds of skills of rationality can make a big difference in the long run.

    It’s okay to stand up for yourself (yes, you said that already) and it’s okay to know what you want. Knowing how to get where you want to go (and how to avoid the traps along the way) is important, but so is scoping out your own ambivalences and weaknesses. Those in power often assume they can manage the way you relate to them, but if you take the process as seriously as they do (more serious, really) you can usually manage them instead of being managed by them. And if you are raped, go to the police while your body is still evidence. We at least have that much established in the judicial system.

    • Shirley Blake

      A whole hearted yes and I will add teach your sons as well. I have raised three strong women and am in the process of bringing my youngest a son into adulthood. As women we are as much responsible for what we teach our sons as our daughters and this is not just about women. These same issues have an extremely negative impact on men as well.

      • jekylldoc

        Shirley – yes, I agree. We men need to learn to resist cultural pressures against empathy and caring, and our own lives will be much the richer for it. And we need to be ready to respond out of our positive motivations whenever frustrations or discouragements tempt us to see only our own desires. I’m glad Christy raised this issue.

  • Brenda Finnegan

    Just last night I had a lengthy, loud, and heated discussion with my husband who asked this question about a waitress wearing a low cut revealing blouse: “Since she obviously is dressing that way to increase her tips from men, why does she get angry when they pay attention to her tits?” He’s a good and sensitive man on every other feminist issue, but this one he just could not grasp. (Maybe it has something to do with using only one of his heads at a time, or the excess testosterone that has given him male pattern baldness has eaten his brain cells too.) I’m just speaking up when I must, and loving him through it, and raising our son to do a little bit better.

    • Chuck Johnson

      “Since she obviously is dressing that way to increase her tips from men,
      why does she get angry when they pay attention to her tits?”-Brenda

      If she would actually be dressing that way only to increase her tips from men, then she would get angry out of dishonesty and hypocrisy.

      But in the real world, asking her why she gets angry might provide some good insights.

  • jamesparson

    “Men, unfortunately, are the enemy”

    Why don’t you think harder and see if you can come up with a better enemy.

    Maybe women who vote pro-life are the probem.

    Maybe your holy book is the problem.

    I short, F U

    It has been a while since I was thrown under a bus. Here is a big one.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ffecbd8f50b48960c72a68b891310e78f74147297af280e31f36927b08437615.jpg

    • Chuck Johnson

      You’ll have to forgive Christy.
      She is prone to tout prefabricated moral precepts from Christianity, Feminism, etc.
      And yes, she should be thinking harder.

  • Brandon Roberts

    i agree with some of this

  • Jennny

    ‘…most men will not respect her in the morning…’ Citation please? The real world I inhabit with 3 daughers in their 30s is one where their peers may well have had several sexual partners before marrying ‘Mr Right’ and being faithful, it’s just modern life. They’re not ‘sluts’, only fundamentalists label them thus, they’re just ordinary inhabitants of today’s world and thankfully they have thrown off the chains of sexual repression and outmoded ideas learned from a bronze-age book.

    • jekylldoc

      Jenny – I see what you are saying. I don’t particularly disagree, being enmeshed in “modern life” myself. It could be that the “pro-life” people who seem so intent on condemning sexuality outside marriage, particularly female sexuality outside marriage, are just following outmoded ideas from a bronze age book. Or, more likely, following the sexual mores that always amounted to “respectability” in their mind.

      On the other hand, you must have been paying some attention to the growth of “hook-up” culture (Google Hannah Rosin for a good review) and you will find that, even while women have been taking their own sexuality in hand and no longer need to feel a man will still respect them in the morning, they also get a more unvarnished view of the men. So, men given permission to seek gratification without promising to still respect a woman are more honest, but not more respectful. They don’t see her as a slut for having sex with them, but they are as bad as ever at seeing a chance for sex instead of a person. So maybe the terminology was old school, but the reality still fits it remarkably.

      I’m not saying women can’t find respectful partners, only that they are no more able than they ever were to expect respect.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    Excellent article Christy. I have not seen today’s problems for women so well explained in a long time. I agree that women need to teach their daughters about all of the things that you have stated. I wish that I had been taught any of it. My life may have been completely different. I think it is wonderful that your sons are such good men, husbands, and fathers. Thank you.