Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Upbringing

Subtitled: How not to bring up your daughters. When I was a little girl, two particular trite sayings were dinned into my pretty little head. I say that with some irony, as I was never told I was pretty, or complimented particularly. One doesn't want one's little girl to turn into a vain little thing. Or even worse, confident with her own appearance. Back to the tritisms. 1) I want never gets. Please may I have stands a chance. This was repeated endlessly. Apparently my father suffered it, so felt it appropriate to din it into me. I was rather dismayed at the rude behaviour of my current Partner when I met him. He did not say please very often. If at all, although thank you seemed to feature in his vocabulary. What a terrible upbringing he must have had, I thought to my superior self. For 20 or 30 years I dutifully went round saying please at every grovelling opportunity. One day, the scales fell from my eyes. I want does get. Please may I have stands a chance of being totally ignored due to such wimpy unassertive language. 2) Little girls are seen and not heard. Note. Little girls. Not little girls and boys. Or little boys. Or little children. Just little girls. Now why is that? Ah, good training for when you grow up and your opinion, views, intelligence etc etc are all worthless because you are a woman. So, just keep quiet and don't say anything. Nor is it attractive behaviour to sound off about what you think. Women who do, are most unattractive. What man would want a woman who voices her opinion without being asked for it? Speak when you are spoken to, no less. (Another one I have just remembered). The trouble is, that all this tosh is just that. It is absolute garbage and the worst possible way to bring up your daughters. It is indoctrinating them with an inferiority complex, total lack of confidence and assertiveness, and of course, just passing on all those cool subliminal patriarchal messages. Well, clearly at some point I got out of it. Maybe it was when I noticed women who weren't still stuck in their childhood corner and seemed to have rather a nice place in life. Maybe it was when I noticed women getting exactly what they wanted by saying so - and men too of course. Maybe it was when I just grew up.

1 comment:

Shabnam Blamer said...

Funny what you say about 'please' and 'thank you'. As a kid I used to think they were stupid extraneous words designed to disrupt the grammatical flow of a sentence. I kept genuinely forgetting and was always corrected. Why couldn't people just decide that 'I want' is polite, I thought.