I am the feminist mother of a daughter.
This morning I was watching the news – as I do as part of my job – and the never ending story about Justin Bieber’s interview with Rolling Stone came on. Ignoring the comments about issues he clearly doesn’t understand, they landed today on his comments on Canadian health care and his assertion, whether joking or not, that “you guys are evil.” You guys, of course, being the USA.
The anchor on CBC said to the meteorologist “He’s 16, you’ve got to cut him some slack.”
And I felt rage.
When Miley Cyrus was 16 did we cut her any slack?
When Lindsay Lohan was 16 did we cut her any slack?
No, we told them they were being bad role models and they were acting like sluts and they should be ashamed of themselves and they needed to change their behaviour because the whole world was watching.
It all goes to this infuriating theory that while boys will be boys, girls need to be held to a higher standard.
But guess what?
I’m a woman who gets angry. I swear sometimes. I sweat. I have body hair. I have stretch marks even. I’m not perfect and I don’t expect anyone else to be – certainly not my kid. I want her to make mistakes and learn and grow. I want her to become a real human being with scars who maybe doesn’t always know what she thinks or *gasp* even changes her opinion sometimes.
I want her to look up to people who are flawed. I don’t want her to think she has to be a Barbie doll or Taylor Swift lest the world judge her.
I want her to meet her own standards and no one else’s.