"You are snarky, over-authorative, and too influential."
As a woman, would you take this as a compliment, or a reprimand?
How about as a 16 year old girl?
How about if you are that 16 year old's mama?
My daughter, who many of you know about through my blog since she was born, or recently, as she represented both on Huffington Post, the Today Show, etc., was given a "behavior notice" recently. I was a bit stumped. When she told me why, I was proud. Take away the snarkiness. Teenager eye-rolling needs to stay out of the picture, and like I told her, learning to keep your poker face no matter what your inner emotions are right then is a talent that we learn as we age.
I have literally spent the last 16 years raising this girl to be confident, have an opinion, be able to speak, be aware, and become a young woman who is authentic. That takes some energy in today's society here in the U.S. There are campaigns and groups out there that are trying to do what I did at home. I have surrounded her with strong women who love her and celebrate her, both in the family and my circle of friends. Hell yes she is influential! I would rather her influence other young girls than the media. Does influential make her bossy? Maybe? If she were a boy, would she get a behavior notice too?
Ah....and the AUTHORITATIVE. Do you have to be authoritative to be a leader and make a change? Yes.
adjective \ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtā-tiv, ȯ-, -ˈthȯr-\
: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject
: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people
That kind of sums up my daughter. She speaks about it in front of CEO's, community leaders, donors, television, schoolchildren, etc, about the things she loves and is passionate about. Because she lives it and has "impressive knowledge about the subject".
Shouldn't all our girls be authoritative? Isn't that what we are striving for?
Instead, I am finding that adults are often intimidated by confident youth. Both girls & boys. More than once, I suspect that is because of personal issues, maybe issues from that adult's youth? I wonder if they had been raised in a more confident manner, being praised for their own individuality instead of trying to conform to the norm, would they embrace the confidence of today's youth?
I believe that young girls, and boys, definitely need good role models in our society. At this point, they are being raised by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Their role models are celebrities, that don't always make the greatest choices, or their "popular" peers. Should we not celebrate youth that come from all walks of life and settings, and have accomplished great things in their young lives? Who are well spoken, well mannered, and shown responsibility and drive?
There is certainly more to this story, but from what I see, I have raised my child to have an opinion, and to respect others.
I feel very strongly about this. I am proud of my daughter, and by the way, everyone in our "family" who has heard about this is applauding her (minus the snarkiness, again). This leads right up to the subject of women being called "bitchy" when they are really confident, assertive, the boss? There is of course a fine line between being a leader and a steamroller, but that is a different subject.
What are your thoughts?
Labels: authentic, confidence, girls, strong girls, youth, youth program