A “damsel in distress”. You never want to be one. You are also probably really sick and tired of seeing them in real-life or portrayed in movies, and you darn sure don’t want your daughter to ever be one.
I’ve posted a lot of articles about raising daughters. I have two, and more than anything I want them to grow up being strong, self-sufficient, graceful, well-respected, and happy women. But, I most definitely do not want them ever desiring to be a damsel in distress. I never want them to think or believe that a woman needs someone other than herself to take care of her and fulfill her. I never want them to think that being a “damsel in distress” is attractive. I want for them to know and understand that they have inside of them the power to care for and gratify oneself.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a “damsel in distress” is “a stereotype of portraying an unmarried female who needs to be saved”. Well first off, let’s get rid of any freakin’ stereotypes. I hate stereotypes. I like to defy them and I like to observe others doing the same. Stereotypes do nothing but standardize and set in place unrealistic and inaccurate expectations. Stereotypes hold people back and negate their ambition. This is not good. Secondly, everyone has inside of them the ability to “save” (which has an extremely different meaning for all people) oneself.
The idea that a woman, married or unmarried, should be waiting around or alternatively, actively searching for a man or a woman, or a specific pre-defined (in her mind) “someone” to fulfill her is erroneous and ludicrous, and completely unproductive. Raise your daughters to be damsels making damage instead of damsels in distress. And by “damage” I mean making waves, making differences, making things happen for themselves and for their community, and the world.
What are some real-life examples of ways in which we can erase the idea from our daughters’ minds that damsels in distress are attractive, and instead be striving for individuality:
- Model self-sufficiency.
- Exemplify strength.
- Be steadfast and vocal about your opinions.
- Stay true to your values.
- Never wallow in tragedy or amidst challenges for very long.
- Don’t play the victim card.
- Be responsible for your own attitude and happiness.
Thankfully most of the time, I don’t see too many damsels in distress walking around. I am so grateful for this. I am so appreciative of the fact that most of the women that my daughters and I observe seem to hold strong beliefs in themselves; seem to be driven; seem to have purpose; seem to be confident and proud of their status as a woman.
“I’m not a princess. I don’t need saving. I’m a queen. I got this [stuff] handled.” – Anonymous
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