I Won't Raise My Daughter To Be Nice
Nice. A pejorative term to me. Something that is supposed to convey a value of merit.
But think about it. When we picture ‘nice’ we think of a passive woman. Almost always. I mean come on, think of how we use ‘nice’.
‘Be Nice’… “Oh, well at least she’s nice”… “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice”.. “If you have to say anything.. just be nice about”
We have been told since we were pretty little darlings dressed up and taken out that above all, we must be nice. The epidemic of nice is terrifying, especially for someone raising a girl. Nice is how girls stop raising their hands in school, nice is how girls end up giving up what they've worked for, and nice is how girls stay quiet about molestation, abuse, and rape.
And I have a problem with that, and I will not raise my daughter to be ‘nice’.
I will raise her to be kind, smart, opinionated, mannerly, fearless, fiery, artistic, strong, sassy, empathetic, capable, sympathetic and caring. But not nice.
I am raising her to take what she wants. To go passionately forward to whatever lights her soul up and gives her pride. I am raising her to voice an opinion, as ugly or unpopular as it may be, to take the lumps that come with having a voice that isn’t afraid to debate, argue, to be WRONG.
I am raising her to expect everyone to listen to her. To raise her hand first in class. To never, ever pretend not to be as clever, artistic, and beautiful as she is. To be first in line, challenge adults and her peers when she doesn’t feel like things are fair.
Her dad is raising her to expect to be valued, and respected. Not to ask, not to hope, but to expect and DEMAND to be treated as the extraordinarily capable human that she is. To work on cars, to shoot a gun, to get dirty, to challenge herself by how much she can carry, how far she can climb, how fast she can run.
We are raising her to be free to make mistakes, be too much. To be too opinionated, too outspoken. To learn humility by way of ‘foot-in-mouth’ and grand failures.
We are raising her to have to learn to be LESS fierce and LESS intimidating when the situation calls for a softer, more gentle approach. We are teaching her to feel her emotions, but to not let them cloud her better judgment.
We are raising her to be witty, clever, unafraid to tell a group of adults a funny joke, a story, to let herself shine in the center of attention and to want to feel that MORE. That wanting to be heard and seen is normal, natural and encouraged.
We are raising her to never question WHY she couldn’t do something, but rather how.
No, we are not raising our daughter to be ‘nice’.
We’re just raising our daughter like how everyone else raises boys.