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?