The idea of the type of woman I want The Kid to become has been on my mind lately, mostly because of an article I read in the Washington Post about the differences in what qualities men want to see in their wives and their daughters. I am happy to say that I am once again an outlier. The qualities that attracted me to Gladys are the qualities I hope to help The Kid develop.
From the day I met her, I knew Gladys was intelligent; that she would treat me like an equal; that she would stand up to me, or anyone else for that matter, for what she feels strongly about; and was fiercely independent. I want that for The Kid, so I am glad those qualities are at the core of who my wife is.
Knowing that the best way to instill the qualities you want a child to embody is for parents to model those qualities, I am struggling to understand the duality of thinking in the men surveyed and referenced in the WaPo article.
I am not naive. I know this comes from the "women are property" school of thought, where showing a woman who's boss is supposed to be accepted. What I am really wondering is how they expect their daughters to learn how to be independent, how to be strong and how to let her intelligence shine through without having it modeled at home?
Or maybe they were just lying to the researchers doing the survey, which sadly, is what I am sure happened.
As for my daughter, she enjoys being a leader now and continues to practice her craft. Different kids are picked to be line leaders when they go on their community adventures, and a line leader gets to help the teacher. The Kid enjoys being a line leader so much, she practices on us at home. My next challenge is to get her to wield her line leadership with a bit more compassion at home.