Why I Cried During Wonder Woman

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Now let me be clear about something, I am not the most emotional person known to mankind. I shy away from movies that feel that heavy, I steer more towards action and science fiction. You’ll never catch me curled up on the couch watching The Notebook with a glass of wine. I’m just not that kind of gal.

That being said, as I sat with my daughter in my lap in the theaters of the Wonder Woman movie, a strange feeling came over me. An unexpected feeling I really still cannot describe, it gave me the chills. I was fighting back tears. These weren’t tears of sadness though. Nope, I was fighting back tears, feeling quite ridiculous, during the fight scenes of this movie.  The scenes that I typically live for.

My five year old was fixated in awe at this strong, commanding woman while she clutched her Wonder Woman action figure tightly. She whispered in my ear, “I think Wonder Woman is the strongest ever.” I softly replied, “she is baby, isn’t she wonderful?”

I began looking around at all the other little Wonder Woman’s dressed in their hero’s costume gazing with their full hearts of joy and admiration. Then the scene of no man’s land begun. Aloof or perhaps unaware to the shock of men around her that desired to protect her and couldn’t imagine a woman wishing to be within the heart of the battle. When Diana enters into the heart of the battle alone, taking all of the gunfire without hesitation, she just commands so much power in that scene, charging towards enemy forces.  She fought every stereotype that women can’t be heroic, selfless, strong, fearless and commanding. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t dainty or sexy, it was everything it needed to be. It was powerful. Goosebumps shot up my body as tears welled up in my eyes.

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When I think back to my personal hero’s as a young girl, I don’t think I can even remember one. That isn’t to say there haven’t been many, many that should have been but there’s something magical about a mythical hero such as Diana Prince.

She didn’t “run like a girl” or “hit like a girl” like many of us were taught. She was selfless but not egotistic, just matter of fact.

Perhaps, my daughter and many others will grow up believing that we aren’t such fickle, modest and weak creatures. I’d love to see that day.

I realized that this woman is exactly what we all needed, like a sigh of relief…finally!

Finally, there’s a character that portrays women fairly amongst all other superheros.

If you think superheros are just not that important to children, think again. Ask any child that wishes to be a firefighter or a police officer, what it is that their chosen profession entails. What they’ll describe to you is a gripping tale of fighting bad guys and saving innocents, much like what they see in the movies with their heroes. It matters.

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So thank you Gal Gadot for being the woman we all needed to see. For being a part of a movie that little girls can truly relate to. When my daughter runs around the yard with her shield and sword fighting invisible bad guys instead of dressing up dollies, I know you had a little part of that.

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On a side note:

What makes Gal Gadot such an amazing fit for this role also comes from her own combat experience. She was a combat instructor in the Israeli army.  She also studied at law school and is a mother of two daughters. Not to mention her grandparents are Holocaust survivors, which if you watch the movie, is also relevant to her character.  Now how much do you love her more? You go girl, you really are Wonder Woman!

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The Everlasting Debate of a Women’s Outfit

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The past few years of my life have been eye-opening for me. I’ve watched friends of mine subjected to harsh criticism over their appearance from their spouses, been a part of many heated discussions about what my daughter will be “permitted” to wear with her father and watched the world turn against mother’s who breastfeed publicly.

A heated discussion arose today with my ex regarding what his daughter will be permitted to wear once she’s reached adolescence. Through this discussion, I pointed out that had I birthed his son, there would be no discussion about his attire. He asked me if I would let my daughter, at the age of 12 walk out of the house in a mini-skirt. I replied, yes.

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Now before anyone tears me to pieces, let’s us women, look back on our adolescence for a minute while I tell you about mine. In my family, my school and amongst my peers, I (along with all western girls) were taught some basic rules from a young age about what was appropriate for me to wear. How someone could get the wrong idea about me or how I could appear to be older or more sexually developed, but most importantly, how dangerous that was.

I can recall the age when grown men began to watch me more closely or smile at me flirtatiously, I was 14. I can even recall being out to dinner with my parents, standing in line for a buffet where a man had started a conversation with me and his spouse glared at me with jealousy. Myself and my family can tell stories about how I told quite a few men that I was, “just 14.”

All the while, my outfit was that of any other typical 14 year old girl at the time. No I assure you, no breasts, ass or otherwise were exposed. I was, of course, flattered that an adult man would have any interest in little me, it made me feel pretty and desirable. I told all my friends as my mother clenched her jaw at the idea.

At that age, the most exciting thing about becoming a woman would be the interest that it brought from boys and occasionally, men. I reveled in the idea that I could be considered sexy someday. All the while, all those around me continued to tell me to contain my body as not to encourage this flirtatious behavior from others.

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In middle school, my skirt had to reach the bottom of my fingertips when I put my hand to my side. My tanks tops couldn’t have straps thinner than two fingers width.  I suppose twelve year old’s have particularly sexually suggestive legs and shoulders. If that isn’t humiliating enough, we would be pulled out of class if we didn’t follow these rules. Because it is totally logical that girls should be interrupted from their studies so they don’t distract the boys from theirs.

You see, the problem with constantly reminding young girls that their bodies are “sacred” or to be “modest” is that we are teaching girls and boys equally, how a woman’s body is a sexually arousing place. Never once did I catch a glimpse of the shoulders or legs of a boy and think…oh my god, that is incredibly sexy. We have tricked ourselves into thinking that women’s breasts are actually obscene rather than something that men and women both possess.

This concept of modesty reinforces the idea that women have something to hide on their bodies in the first place. Something so desirable that teenage boys will trick or persuade young girls to send them nude pictures, just to catch a glimpse. While her peers will call her a whore for having sent them.

We live in a society that finds teenage boy’s hyper sex drive humorous while girls are loosing their virginity, before they truly wish to, just to earn love. She’ll pay a huge price for it, being deemed a slut, public criticism of her lack of sexual knowledge, pregnancy or sexual diseases. Often, girls such as myself believed that my best quality, my only means of catching a guy or keeping him, was my sexuality.

So when my daughter’s father asked me why I would let my future 12 year old leave the house in a mini skirt, the answer is that my job is to teach her that her body is not obscene. Her confidence should come with how beautifully she shines from within. I cannot steal her freedom of expression through how she dresses. I’ll teach her not to buy into the notion that what you wear should define who you are.

If more parents taught their children these concepts, there might come a time where a woman’s legs, shoulders, stomach or breasts don’t exhibit any sexual obscenity. Because, as many statistics will show you, young girls who dress more modestly are still not less likely to be molested. In fact, as the following statistics will show, our society has a particularly unhealthy view of the innocence that young girls possess.

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  • Most popular word searched on PornHub in 2014: teen (although not always #1 every year, it is always ranked in the top 3)
  • According to Glasgow University in the UK, 38% of young girls regret losing their virginity so young. The same study shows that 1/5 of those girls felt pressured to have sex.
  • According to Cornell University, the majority of women first experience harassment (catcalling) between the ages of 11-17.
  • According to Utah State University Sexual Assault and Anti Violence Information

– Myth: Rape victims provoke the attach by wearing provocative clothing

– A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple as a glance).

– Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.

– Also according to Utah State University, “Nation-wide, one-third of college men reported they would rape a woman if they knew they would not get caught.”

  • How young do we begin to teach “modesty” to our little girls? Do a quick Google search and you will find thousands of websites attempting to teach your toddler girl, modesty. Dr. Meg Meeker, M.D. suggests that you start to instill sexual modesty in girls alone (no mention of boys modesty in the article at all after kindergarten ages) in early elementary school years. She also recommends that mother’s and father’s should both chime in about their daughter’s clothing choices.

 

Now that we’ve established that you’re not protecting your daughter by teaching her modesty, let’s hope that instead, we teach boys and girls that your dignity isn’t tied into your clothing and everyone deserves respect. Women are not sex machines.

 

If you feel like reading a nauseating article titled: Why we owe it to our sons to teach our daughters modesty, I’ll just leave this right here…

Why we owe it to our sons to teach our daughters modesty

 

 

 

10 Things I Will Teach my Daughter

This is a little off topic from what I normally talk about but I recently read an article and it touched home for me. What was even more unsettling than the actual story were the majority of the comments on the post. It lead me to realize that nothing much is going to change until we teach our youth otherwise.

The story was about one particular school’s regulations for Prom dresses. The school’s administration decided that all female students were to bring a picture of their chosen prom dress for approval prior to the dance. The regulations were tight on this. Even a dress that looked sheer but actually wasn’t, was unacceptable. No cleavage of any kind was allowed and the dresses had to be long.

The comments of this post included many saying: “if you don’t like it, don’t go to Prom,” “good, glad they are taking measures to teach these girls what’s appropriate, it’s a school dance, not a whorefest.”

This isn’t something new, we continue to teach our young ladies that our natural bodies are taboo. That what happens to us on a monthly basis is taboo and undesirable. That if we dress a certain way, we are welcoming male attention. Well I just do not agree with that.

♥ 1. You’re body is not an object – Let no man or woman tell you otherwise. Your body is beautiful and it belongs to you, no one else. It is not a sexual object.

♥ 2. You’re not a whore – Whore is a word that people throw around way too much. You’re a whore if you have had too many partners, you’re a whore if you love your body, you’re a whore to someone who doesn’t like you, you’re a whore if you dress provocatively. Well, I’m here to tell you, you aren’t. None of those things make you a whore.

♥ 3. Never place value on yourself based on your appearance – This is something that takes many women years to understand. Much like men are not judged on their natural looks in the world, neither should you.

♥ 4. Never compare yourself to other women – This one is difficult to do sometimes. When you see a woman that you believe is beautiful, it’s ok to admire that about her, not compete with her.

♥ 5. Getting older is not the end – As women, sometimes we believe that as we get older, we become less attractive. This can sometimes lead us to believe that we are less valuable to our men. Aging is natural, things will not always be so perky (if you know what I mean 😉 ) This doesn’t mean that you are less beautiful in any way.

♥ 6. You’re not a bitch for voicing your opinion –  Sometimes people mistaken honesty with hostility. Just remember that your voice is just as important as anyone else’s.

♥ 7. Don’t play with double standards – If you want to be treated equally to everyone else, you need to play the part. You need to work hard, be diligent and never settle. Likewise, never let your man tell you that something isn’t acceptable for you, when it clearly is for them.

♥ 8. Don’t be so quick to judge – When you see a woman breastfeeding her child and you might think it’s gross, just remember that she is feeding her baby and it’s a pain to be stuck at home all the time. Likewise, she might be feeling uncomfortable about it as well, you don’t need to encourage this. When I was younger, I remember seeing a prostitute and thinking that she was disgusting, not because she wasn’t well kept, but because of what she does. Don’t judge another woman, you’ve never walked in those shoes.

♥ 9. Sometimes, it is your fault – When you’re arguing with someone and you are dead-set that you are not to blame, just remember, sometimes you are. It’s ok to admit that.

♥ 10. Nothing about you’re body is disgusting or shameful – Whenever women are on their periods, we feel a natural urge to keep this information incredibly private. We don’t want anyone to think we are “icky.” Well stop, the earth is populated because of a woman’s fertility.

Once you have children, your body will change. It’s inevitable, your skin will sag around your stomach, things will stretch and leave you with nice “tiger stripes.” This isn’t shameful, it’s life. Life is beautiful.

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Curious what information about you is out there? You may be surprised!