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Sunday, April 13, 2014

DOWN WITH THE DAMSELS IN DISTRESS!


I’ve noticed an interesting trend in books, movies and TV shows. When I was growing up in the 1980’s you never saw a woman fighting a man in hand to hand combat…well maybe with the exception of Charlie’s Angels. It just wasn't cool.  However, in the last five to ten years, it is noticeably more common to see a woman and a man duking it out, sometimes to a bloody end.

Clearly it, the era of the damsel in distress is over and that is a good thing!  Women aren’t helpless and frankly never have been and I’m glad to see them given credit for their strength and ingenuity.

That being said (and don’t call me some name for pointing this out) Men and women are not built the same.  Often, by virtue of their gender, men are physically stronger.  How often do we hear of a man suffering a terrible beating at a woman’s hands that puts him in the hospital.  We just don’t because most often, the man is strong enough to ward off a direct physical attack.   

 So here’s the point.  When our daughters watch men and women directly fighting (and often killing) each other, does that change their perception of what a woman can physically do and is that what we want to teach them?  

For me, I have mixed feelings on this issue.  I want my daughter to be tough, to know what she wants and to be able to defend herself in any situation but I also want her to realize that not being the same as a man does not mean she’s weak.  I want her to celebrate the fact that men and women have different strengths and virtues and can learn from each other. I want her to know that it is okay to need someone, especially if that someone needs you in return.
So how will what she watches on screen and reads about affect how she sees herself. Which messages will she embrace and which will she reject. Only time will tell.

What do you think? Do the trends in popular culture affect us and how will this one change our daughters, our friends and the little girls who will one day grow up to lead us?  I'd <3 to hear from you.

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