Family Magazine

Raising Strong Daughters

By Sarahanneconnors @thenmousette
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Today was Superhero day at my five year old’s elementary school. When I first heard this a small part of me (oppressed by years of my sociology and psychology undergrad) thought, why didn’t they do princesses too?! After all we have a closet of carefully selected princess dresses for such an occasion! Fret not, this was short lived. My appreciation of equal rights for women took over and gave me a figurative slap up side the head.

My little girl, who I have watched grow into the most beautiful of princesses, was standing in front of me telling me she wanted to be a superhero. Thank goodness MousekeDad was here to save the day! He quickly brought out the costume we had for our son on Halloween. At first our little heroine wasn’t so sure, she eyed the costume with more than a little suspicion. MousekeDad then informed her that Spider-girl is an actual comic book! After a quick internet search she concluded we were not pulling the wool over her eyes and agreed to wear the outfit.

So my little girl skipped off to school in a Spider-girl costume. Later, at pick up time, we asked  if her friends liked her costume. She grinned ear to ear and told us that her friends said Spider-girl wasn’t real but her costume was “cool”. I was confused, I thought she would have been devastated. She then said “Mommy, even princesses are heroes sometimes. Merida has a bow,  Jasmine has raja…. They even all have different outfits for when they are being heroes that aren’t their Princess dresses. Boys just don’t know girls can be princesses AND superheroes.”

Ladies and gentlemen, our daughters can teach us more than any book on feminism I have ever read.

What they show us is that the choice doesn’t have to be one or the other. They are one in the same. Cinderella had to wear the rags to appreciate the glass slipper. Merida had to fight for herself to understand the worth her parents saw in her. So every once in awhile it is okay to take the dress off! Every princess does it.

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