I believe that there are two distinctively bad methods of raising a child, each resulting in different types of damage. One type is neglect and abuse...this is similar to what's being done in society to young boys. Their educational and emotional needs are being neglected while their sense of self and self-worth is being abused. The other type is over-indulging and spoiling the child. I believe this is representative of what we're doing to our girls. Although the abused/neglected child unquestionably suffers more from their raising, in many cases, despite what they've suffered, they actually turn out to be better people than the children that are spoiled and never given limits or taught boundaries.
I know it's hard for some to feel much empathy for the plight of girls in today's society. After all, girls are being catered to everywhere you look. While boys are the butt of every joke, girls are being empowered. While boys are taught they're destined to become stupid, useless and often evil MEN, girls are taught that they'll be beautiful, wonderful, capable women. They're taught more than that, though. Has anyone ever watched a movie or a televisions show where a woman acts like a complete and total b**** and the general attitude of everyone around, including audience is 'you go girl'? Anyone watched a movie where the girls that were beautiful and popular treated everyone around them like crap? I know I have. I don't even like my daughter watching Disney Channel because the way the girls talk to everyone. Their role models teach them to act like priveleged princesses that are better than everyone else. I can't think of any good role models for girls in the media.
Girls are taught to be powerful, strong and independant...but they're not being taught to be good people. They're not being taught to be kind, charitable, honest, to have integrity and empathy. They're being taught to be the next Paris or Britney. If I have to choose between my daughter being strong and empowered or kind and charitable...I'll take kindness and charity any day. And no, I don't believe this will make her a doormat...I believe it will make her a good person. I've always told my daughter that the very best she can aspire for is to be a good person. I don't care if she has a college degree or a great career. If I can raise my children, girls and boys, to be decent human beings that genuinely care about those around them, that treat others with respect...then I'll have succeeded and couldn't be prouder or happier.