Things that haunt my nightmares

[I apologize in advance for the sort of stream of consciousness nature of this post, I’m writing it during a baby nap, which I think only adds to the effect.]


As many of you who hang around the HQ know, I have a 7.5 month old daughter, who’s the joy of my life. I’m blessed to have an intelligent wife who figured out how to make an income so that I can stay home 4 days a week and tend to our little angel.

I confess though something has been eating me up ever since we found out we were having a girl at that 20 week ultrasound: how the heck am I going to shepherd her though this mess of a world?

Looking back now to about a year ago, when we knew we were having a child, but didn’t know what variety, I had the generic fears: will they be healthy, will they be smart, will I drop them on their head. But once the ultrasound tech said “it’s a girl!” a whole new set of fears manifested itself. Fears mostly about the ages from 10 to 18.

I think, I was vaguely aware of similar concerns with regards to raising a boy, but being a man myself, having navigated the messed up culture myself, there are at least enough threads left of manhood (manliness? “Good men?” eh whatever) that I could stitch together a decent person.

I sometimes fear this is less and less true for raising a girl.  Look no further than the rise of the Kardashians (or the fact that “Kardashian” is even in my computer’s spellchecker!)

Looking back over my short life it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to raise a good woman. Or to put it differently, values that I tend to associate with being a good person are being pushed farther and farther into the counter-culture, especially when it comes to women.

Can I raise a daughter who realizes that her worth isn’t based on how short she can wear her skirt or how many notches she has in her bedpost? That relationships aren’t merely things to be thrown away on a whim?

Or will my attempts to do so be drowned out by the dominate culture (which, decaying at the rate it seems to be will be little more than pure hedonism by the time she’s a teenager.)

I won’t lie, it scares the living crap out of me.

6 comments to “Things that haunt my nightmares”
  1. There are good men out there…..they are just drowned out by our coarsened culture.

    And your daughter will find one of those good men and you will be having these same fears for your granddaughter!

  2. I’m sure every generation has the same thoughts I do. Granted I suppose at some point there really doesn’t have to be “a bridge too far” as it were.

    Women wearing pants (1920 fear): eh, no big deal.
    The expansion of hookup culture: now this is something to be concerned about.

    Granted, IMHO, that’s because I don’t like the hookup culture for men either (despite what feminist say about the “double standard” in that regard.) I’m not trying to raise a 1800s Victorian style woman here, but I’d also rather she not pick up the bad traits of culture in general. The push for equality seems, in some respects, to be a push for sameness in the bad and the good.

  3. Though I am by nature a cynic, I think your worry is a bit excessive. But you can use it to your advantage: lead by example, and show your daughter what’s good in the world and, more important, teach her to BE good. Don’t leave that to the schools and other outside sources.

    I’m my two major careers (both “creative” fields), there was no lack of opportunity for women, even before “feminism” became a Big Deal. What counted was ability and knowledge. Make sure your daughter is encouraged to acquire both.

    It’s really up to the parents. Help her develop admirable values, and as she gets older, help her to become who and what she wants to be.

    Pablum? You bet. But it works. You can do it.

  4. I get that, tsrblke. Gave me a chance to go all Norman Vincent Peale on you, too!

    Damn, haven’t delivered a sermon in years….

  5. Look on the bright side; in 15+ years, the USA will look like the world of The Walking Dead minus the zombies (probably).

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