I knew what I shared yesterday was contentious. I knew it had the potential to be inflammatory.
In the end, finger hovering over the publish button, I realized the irony of holding back a post about not caring what others think—because of what others might think.
Sincere concern from an old friend I know came from the right place gave me pause to reflect on how strongly I stood by my words. Marc’s words gave me pause. And I appreciate that.
I’d like to go on the record that yesterday’s post merely scratches the surface of deeper thought vectors. It could take me years to figure it all out—assuming I could at all.
So, a few clarifications:
- Relax. I’m not actively promoting Madonna and Lady Gaga to my 5-year old daughter, here. I’m simply going on the record with how my perspective changed as a parent (who really gets into music). Besides, civilized society is slipping through our clenched fingers as we consciously avoid if not outright debase those who do not share 100% of our beliefs.
- I would never suggest my daughter base her sense of value on being physically objectified. That said, it’s not my body. It’s not my life. It’s not my choice. But it IS my responsibility to help her understand the opportunity costs associated with whatever paths she chooses in life.
- There are, absolutely, countless other strong, savvy, and creative female role models out there. Artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, astronauts—her mom. Still, the gender pay gap is real <– neat link, BTW), and I want to make sure she grows up ready, willing, and able to defy ANY backwards, bullshit social mores that would seek to limit her potential because she’s a girl. Fuck that.
- It’s my job to teach her the value of sound counsel—and to know whose advice is worthy of trust. By no means am I a child psychologist, but as a father, I want her to know she can ALWAYS come to me with ANY comment, question, or idea, knowing I have her best interests in mind.
- And I want her to grow up able to see the good in everyone—especially in those who are different.
There’s a tectonic difference between suggesting my little girl see the strong, sexually liberated female celebrity as being a positive role model and suggesting she do so RIGHT NOW. It’s more a personal realization that there are positive lessons to be learned just about everywhere you look.
In the end, my litmus is simple:
How do I want my child to react to this?
I stand by my words.