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Things Girls Should Know - what are your thoughts?

(250 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jan-13 11:10:42

Last week, author and Mumsnet Blogger Kate Figes appeared on Woman's Hour with Steve Biddulph, author of the recently published Raising Girls.

The programme sparked plenty of discussion, and inspired a couple of interesting posts from Kate, who often writes about being the mother of teenage girls. The first (Things Girls Should Know About Bodies) - is here, and yesterday's post (Things Girls Should Know About Boys) is here.

It got us thinking here about things we'd like our daughters to know when they're older - and we thought we'd throw the discussion open to you. So, what are your own Things That Girls Should Know? Share your thoughts (and URLs if you blog) here.

Looks are only skin deep and only take you so far in life, looks fade so work on your personality, fitness and education because they will take you further.

Berts Wed 30-Jan-13 16:10:48

That it's not important to be liked by everyone, or to always be a 'good girl'.

The 'girls are good/nice/pleasing' trope (while boys are allowed to be 'naughty') is probably the most damaging. My niece has been horribly bullied at school (now at different school) because she is nice and wants to be liked, and doesn't know how to respond to bitchiness, so responds by trying harder to be liked.

I dread to think how that will translate to how she lets boys treat her when she's older!

And then when we get to work, we think that if we're 'good girls' and work hard and keep our heads down, we'll be noticed and rewarded for our hard work - and of course, we're not!

Let's stop teaching girls that the most important thing is to be liked. If they're happy, confident, kind people, the right people will like them anyway. The rest can f**k off - and that's not a bad thing.

X post with Sparklyboots - yes extremely well put smile

Berts Wed 30-Jan-13 16:13:52

Oh, and porn is to real sex what 'Die Hard' is to real policing (I'd like to tell that to the poor boys too!)

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 16:33:43

As Judge Judy Sheindlin so rightly says beauty fades, dumb is forever

Never settle for second best, especially in relationships.

If you wouldn't want to show a photo to your Nan and/or Dad don't take it in the first place.

Men are after one thing from 13 to 103. Most of them will say and do anything to get it.

If you put out on the first date you're unlikely to get a second.

Success genuinely is the best revenge.

williaminajetfighter Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:30

wishingchair i wish you were my mum.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 30-Jan-13 16:39:29

Ooh, good question. Will be back later with more but initial thoughts are:

- You WILL look back and think you looked gorgeous (yes, even if there are photos where you have two chins or no boobs, it's just a bad photo) so you might as well enjoy being gorgeous now rather than wasting time hating yourself.

- Qualifications/things you've learnt are the one thing that NO-ONE can ever take away from you, whether that be GCSEs or how to cure hiccups or how to put up a shelf. Your brain is a wonderful thing so fill it up.

- Fashion always changes, that's the whole point of it, but the colours and shapes that suit you will stay much the same. Either choose your own unique style if you have an eye for it, otherwise stick to what makes you feel good rather than having to wear pink/PVC/tunics/skinnies because they're in fashion if they make you feel like a bit of a dick.

- Yes you will certainly have boys who like you, you will be kissed and have sex if you want to. Honest. Even if you think you have a big bum or you're too tall or whatever. Honest.

- Mooncups are amazing and will save you a bloody fortune!

- Your conscience is there for a reason, listen to it.

Sparklyboots Wed 30-Jan-13 16:49:42

Not sure about all this searching 'within ourselves'. As if what I think and feel as a parent hasn't been affected at all by the fact that I live in a particular time and place, with particular values and beliefs. Or that the hypothetical girl will be searching 'herself' for a similarly untouched and transcendent answer to a question which I'd bet my house was culturally specific (shall I sleep with x? should I dye my hair? what a-levels shall I do?). Sounds a bit like essentialising what are cultural values to me, and deciding that girls and boys need different parenting because of who they are, rather than because of what we expect them to become.

MoodyDidIt Wed 30-Jan-13 16:53:58

<marking place> ...for future conversations with little dd who i just can't imagine ever being anything other than a sweet, innocent little 3 yr old

louisianablue2000 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:00:07

Be a geek. Geeks get the opportunities to do the most interesting and well paid jobs. Well paid jobs give you freedoms that other jobs just can't. It also means you hang out with geek boys and they like smart women and therefore make good husbands.

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:01:00

williaminajetfighter ... ah yes, I can talk a good line, but have no idea if what I say goes in or if it is just a roll of eyes and blah blah blah!

and elephants yes! I look at teenage girls and they are so fresh looking and full of life. I want to grab them and give them a good shaking and tell them they look amazing, and definitely better than they will at 40 so make most of it!!

abbyfromoz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:15:42

Mummy and daddy adore you.
You are the most precious thing to us and you should trust in your God given female intuition. Don't be afraid to be feminine- it's a gift! If people try to squash you for being too sensitive, don't listen to them! There's something wrong with them not you! You are powerful! You can make things happen! Follow your heart and be who you are. Never smoke! I made those lungs and it was bloody painful to push out 10.5lbs of child without drugs! So don't wen thing about ruining those lungs! or that liver! or anything else for that matter!! I will constantly remind you of the sacrifice i made for you (yeah yeah your dad too... Sort of?) revere the mum guilt! You too will possess this power one day. As did my mother before me! grin

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:20:42

And yes I totally agree - financial independence is key, or at least the ability to be financially independent should circumstances change. If you have that as an objective, then that should inform some of the decisions you make. My DH had to take ill health retirement from work ... Thank god I have a job and can support us as although he has a pension, we couldn't live on it.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 17:21:39

If you put out on the first date you're unlikely to get a second

Only with the kind of man who you wouldn't want a second date with anyway, a decent guy isn't going to be interested in playing games with you where you have to not have consensual enjoyable sex together so you don't look like a slag

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:23:22

And finally from me ...
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is
If you wouldn't like your actions/words on the front page of the newspaper, don't do/say them
If something doesn't feel right, walk away
And always talk to someone ... Me, a trusted friend, relative, anyone.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 17:23:33

Sparklyboots
'Finding yourself' or looking inside yourself is too much to ask of a young girl, but we have to encourage them to believe in their self worth.

Yes, they are going to have to work with the society in which they were born, but it doesn't mean they can't challenge assumptions and low expectations.

specialsubject Wed 30-Jan-13 17:24:27

- that if shoes mean that you cannot walk properly, they are useless shoes and you are a fool for buying or wearing them.

- that makeup is optional.

- that being high-maintenance makes you very boring. Wash and go.

- that you should study the subjects that interest you, regardless of the gender of the other students.

- that 'no' means 'no' however you dress; but your behaviour must back up your words. If it is 'no', don't say 'maybe' or 'later', and if he thinks the subject is up for discussion, don't discuss -leave.

ithaka Wed 30-Jan-13 17:24:42

It isn't important what they think of you what matters is what you think of them. There is no need to try and please people you don't admire.

Get qualifications, get a good job and earn your own money. Self determination requires financial independence - don't give that up for anyone.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 17:28:14

I'd tell dd that being with a man (or a woman) and finding one won't be the most important thing she ever does, so don't worry about it,no matter what TV or movies say. The only remarkable relationships I have ever known happened when both parties were busy being awesome. She is her own person, being selfish is only frowned on when women do it, and make herself happy

ithaka Wed 30-Jan-13 17:30:12

The only remarkable relationships I have ever known happened when both parties were busy being awesome.

Oooh, I like that!

curryeater Wed 30-Jan-13 17:31:37

I will say to my daughters: talk to me. I will always love you. Everyone needs help sometimes, one of the great things in life is to have trustworthy people who you can ask for it, and the first one, and the one who will not ever, ever, ever go off you is me. I know you won't always want to talk to me, but do it anyway.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:39

If life feels out of kilter and sad, have a hug, a bath or time with female friends.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 17:43:36

Would you also tell your daughters that there's also an army of women raising sons to believe in equality, kindness and consideration toward women and not (just on thus thread alone) to believe porn sex is real, to rely on manipulation or drink to have sex, or lie or smell.

Thanks smile

PastaB Wed 30-Jan-13 17:45:11

I agree that I want my DD to know the importance of being financially independent and having her own pension.

I want her to know that she can choose whether or not she wants to have children and that having babies is enormously exciting if you so choose but so is having a career and she can do both if she wants.

PastaB Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:01

Oh yes enjoyresponsibly I shall. Thank you.

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