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Fathers Be Good To Your Daughters

June of course is the month in which we celebrate fathers, and I hope it goes beyond just one day. While we mothers lament that we only seem to get one day (and sometimes only until lunch!) to be celebrated, I have to admit that it’s true dads don’t truly get their due. In fact, in a world where the US president has said some unsavoury things about women in society, I think sometimes men get the cards stacked against them and viewed with a critical eye simply because they happen to share the same gender. While I don’t think men as fathers have it any harder than us women (let’s be real here), they do have a tightrope to walk when balancing their masculine gender role as the head of the family, the protector and provider in traditional families, while raising daughters.

Betty-Ann Heggie explores this dynamic in her latest blog post, Fathers Of Daughters, Your Job Is Not Done Yet where she shares some examples of how fathers can – quite terribly – drop the ball and fail to display the character we’d hope. But, she offers some really great ways that fathers can do right by their daughters raising them in today’s society. From Betty-Ann:

1) Encourage Voices NOT Bodies- We need men who openly admire women for their achievements rather than how they look. The next time you are tempted to comment on a woman’s appearance consider instead expressing admiration for one of her comments and compliment her for having found her voice. And when you witness others talking or acting inappropriately be ready to defend women and make it clear that such actions are not acceptable.

2) Do a Paradigm Shift- Rather than viewing this blog content defensively and seeing it as a limitation on your masculinity consider it instead as a portal to greater connection with your daughter. When you take a stand toward equality for all women, your daughter will feel more valued and will in turn, value you more as well. The enhanced relationship will be well worth the effort of seizing this opportunity.

3) Break the Pattern- Don’t participate in conversations that sexualize women such as, “Do you think they are real?” At first it may be uncomfortable being the outlier in a group of men, but eventually you will become adept at changing the conversation. Start by committing to watching and discussing films or TV shows where women are portrayed as strong, smart, problem solvers rather than as simply sexual objects.

Food for thought this Father’s Day weekend and beyond, don’t you think? I encourage you to read Betty-Ann Heggie’s blog post here and perhaps share it on your social platforms this month to get the discussion going. Whether you’re married or divorced, raising daughters is still a partnership and having a father value her and hold her as the apple of his eye gives her the confidence to go forward in an uncertain world right now. We can only hope that we see more examples of exemplary fatherhood in our leaders to come.

To help encourage discussion on this important topic, we’re offering a PayPal cash giveaway. You could win $100 to share with your favorite father in your life this month just for joining in the discussion. Simply fill in your name and email address in the form below to get started, and then leave a comment on this post answering this question: Which of Betty-Ann’s three tips resonated with you the most and why?

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  • I can relate to #1, too many people criticize others appearances not looking underneath that to see what the person is really like, I see and hear that daily in my small town, people are too quick to judge, myself I dress for comfort not fashion, I may not look stylish or up to date on fashion but it how I choose to dress. In my town lots like to wear fleece pants and people are always pointing fingers saying look they have their jammies on. I find in the past 10 years people are so judgemental of how one is dress they don’t take the time to see what the person is like

  • #1 commenting on appearance is something that is unecessary and usually has negative effects. No one else should concern themselves about how someone else looks.

  • Definitely #1. Women tend to be objectified, so maybe pointing out the smart things they do instead of how “hot” they look would go a long way.

  • Breaking the pattern is a great tip. I’ve seen how conversations and jokes shift when one person refuses to laugh or joke along with misogynist comments.

  • 3. Break the pattern
    I have seen this & felt it from comments like ,” are they real” to demeaning wolf whistles after which I was accused of ignoring the rudeness.

  • Right now it is #3. Having discussions about gender, as well as all of the different communities out there, seems to be especially important in today climate.

  • Tip # 3: Break the Pattern resonated with me most. As a female I am appalled by all the content in media (TV etc.) that portray women as only a sexual objects. It does not make for good role model behaviour and incorrectly shapes the minds of young women. For men it gets them to think of women too often in that negative light. By breaking the pattern, change can happen!

  • The most relevant for me is #2 – Take a paradigm shift. If we must try to change a behaviour, we must first change the way we think about issues.

  • I think #3 Break the Pattern is quite challenging not only for daughters but for dads too, as they grow up with their own patterns to follow and think that it is right and cannot be changed. It always involved understanding, talking and thinking how the world changes every day.

  • “break the pattern”, and noticing when tv show and movies do it too, to start a conversation with others about this important topic.

  • Encourage Voices NOT Bodies – probably because when I think about it, there weren’t many men in my circle of friends or acquaintances that would do otherwise.

  • For me, Break the Pattern is very important. We all have ingrained patterns and we need to step out of them and by that we can change the way we participate and help others see differences.

  • The #3 tip resonates the most with me.
    I know sometimes I have been part of conversations where I have felt uncomfortable.
    I need to stand up and voice what I really feel.

  • I love her first tip: Encourage Voices NOT Bodies. This is so important! We see in the media everything is about looks – how we look and how to look better but that’s not what really matters in life. There are more important things to compliment like passion, courage, and a VOICE!

  • 1) Encourage Voices NOT Bodies because we have to see people for who they really are not just whats on the outside.

  • Encourage voices not bodies is important. I find that society is so focused on bodies that sometimes voices are not heard. We always encourage our daughter to say what she is thinking and that just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean her voice is doesn’t matter or is worth less.

  • I like #1. Encourage Voices NOT Bodies. Fortunately I was raised in a home where every voice counts, but I know women who feel to intimidated.

  • wow so many of them resonate with me, but I would say number 1 the most as people are so quick to judge the outside versus the inside. There are alot of beautiful people out there that are inside beauties.

  • I think completing achievements instead of always complimenting beauty builds self-esteem. A lot of shows that are on tv do just the opposite even a lot of childrens’ shows and books are all about beauty I think we should encourage voices #1 to speak more of accomplishments rather than always beauty.

  • Encourage Voices not Bodies. Focusing on women’s achievements creates the mindset that men and women are equal contributors to society. A women’s worth is based on just that, not her aesthetics.

  • I relate to #1 the most. I feel that I am always trying to encourage my daughter that she doesn’t have to look like a princess, she is who she is and be proud of it… She is beautiful inside and out.

  • I think #1 resonates with me both for men AND women. We are so quick to comment on the appearance of little girls as they are “so cute” or “so pretty” rather than on their character.

  • The applauding voices, not body tip resonates most with me. Too much of our media-obsessed world is geared to how women look.

  • #1 commenting on appearance,why do people do that.People dress and look the way they want it,why is it a problem for some?

  • #1 – Encourage Voices NOT Bodies resonated with me the most. A lot. I grew in an environment that was very judgmental of women’s bodies. Most judgement came from the men, especially my father. As a child I was overweight and was told that if I wanted to get married I had to lose weight and be slim. As a result I grew up with a very poor body image and self esteem issues…I felt (and still feel) my body was always being judged by everyone because it always had been at home. I had rarely been praised for any achievements…unless it involved me losing weight, sigh. Even at the age of 37 my father still judges me.

  • I would say #1. Too many men and women are judgemental of womens looks. It seems to be getting worse with so much Social Media

  • #1 encouraging voices not bodies, this is so important .I’m blessed to have many people in my life that live by this

  • Definitely Break the Pattern – I give kudos to any Dad/Man that will stand up to his friends around this. I hate woman being treated as sexual objects. Dads need to set an example to their daughters that this talk/thought process is wrong. Women definitely need to portrayed more for their strength, smarts etc!

  • #1 really hit home with me, like that she said to comment on one of her thoughts not her appearance. My sister is beautiful but is really smart would rather tell her how smart she is instead of how she looks.

  • Definitely #1 – I had a father-figure who made fun of my body as a child and I still have those emotional scars to this day.

  • I think #1 is really important for both men and woman . The media doesn’t help with their un realistic ads.

  • Number one resonated with me most. We are a society absolutely obsessed with women’s bodies. Both men and women seem to tie a woman’s worth to how her body looks when it has absolutely nothing to do with what she can contribute to a workplace, a relationship, a conversation, etc. Men, on the other hand, can be regarded as intelligent, capable leaders with great ideas no matter what they look like. It’s really sad!

  • Break the Pattern (#3) is what resonates with me most. I know so many men who objectify women constantly infront of their daughters & they are such bad role models. To hear your dad talk like that changes the way you will grow up.
    Girls today are influenced enough by the sexualization of women on tv, music videos.. they don’t need their fathers adding to that portrayal.

  • I do find that I tend to give more compliments about achievements rather than on someone’s appearance. These are the compliments that I prefer getting!

  • Tip #1 resonated with me the most. I think as a society we are obsessed with women’s bodies and therefore talk about that all the time. It is important to recognize women for their achievements and to empower them, because we are just as capable as men when it comes to accomplishing goals and doing our jobs.

  • Betty-Ann’s tip for father’s to encourage voices NOT bodies resonated with me. Girls and women are bombarded by sexualization on a daily basis. Fathers can make a huge difference and impact on their daughters with their words and actions.

  • I like the tip of breaking the pattern as it is so easy to get stuck in a certain frame of mind, etc and not look at things fairly from the get go because of it

  • Encourage voices not bodies! This resonated with me most because we are constantly surrounded by images in the media that tell us otherwise, it is so important for this to be taught to young people from a young age.

  • #1 right now for me as I have a young daughter and am already noticing that how she looks and what she wears is commented on much more than it was for my 2 boys.

  • I believe in..1) Encourage Voices NOT Bodies. Rings so true..I have told this to my daughter, a young teen!

  • I like the first tip because women are so judged by their appearances. It would be so nice to have this change and have the focus be on who we are as people, not on how we look.

  • #1 Judging by appearances. My husband’s family does that. I have a few extra pounds on and when I am around them I feel uncomfortable because they talk about weight a lot.

  • I really like number 1. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone she looks beautiful, but focusing on only her appearance is a mistake, because women are so much more than how we look.

  • Tip # 3: Break the Pattern resonates the most for me! I think it’s a truly useful idea and I would love to make some changes this year!

  • All three are great tips, but the one that resonated with me the most is:
    1) Encourage Voices NOT Bodies
    I agree, men need to listen to what women have to say, not just make comments on our appearance.
    If we witness others talking or acting inappropriately, we need to defend them & make it clear that such actions are not acceptable.

  • 1) Encourage Voices NOT Bodies- We need men who openly admire women for their achievements rather than how they look. I totally agree that looks shouldn’t matter. you should ( for both genders) admire a persons achievements & but base everything on how a person looks.

  • #1 resonates the most with me. I grew up in the 60s and was a teen in the 70s, so women were absolutely objectified in that era. It does a number on you, believing that looks are everything, that your worth is for “show”, and having brains wasn’t encouraged. Terrible.

  • Break the Pattern resonates with me most. Over the years I have seen way to much stereotypical behaviour at work. A good ole boys club. I have challenged their thinking and have called out the inappropriate behaviour.

  • Number 1 – Encourage Voices NOT Bodies. Our daughters (and our sons) need to realize that how women look is not the most important thing.

  • I relate the most to #3 break the pattern. Words are far more powerful than many people realize and children are listening even when we may not think they are.

  • I can relate to the first one the most as I work in a high school and it never ceases to amaze or sadden me how much people judge one another for the outside.

tenille-lafontaine

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