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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.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:36


Jux Wed 30-Jan-13 17:48:38

I want dd to know that she can lead a very happy and fulfilled life whether or not she 'settles down and has children'. I want her to know how to spot abusive relationships, abusive people, and to get out immediately, that life is too short.

There are lots of positive things I want her to know too, at least some of which are already on this thread.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 17:48:47

Thank you for that post - it brought tears to my eyes.

myalias Wed 30-Jan-13 17:50:10

If time spent with a boyfriend isn't as much fun as being with your male and female friends it is time to let him go.

Bells21 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:51:27

Trust your instincts but don't place real trust in anyone - particularly men......and remember that the purpose of life is not to arrive safely at your grave.

redpickle Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:58

Always check that there is toilet roll before you ....go!

myalias Wed 30-Jan-13 17:59:56

Share a house with male and female friends before you move in with a boyfriend it will teach you all the life skills you need.

StephanieDA Wed 30-Jan-13 18:00:18

I think we need to teach our girls (and boys) to be savvy about the media images they see all around them, and bring them up to know how they are being manipulated by them. This subject can be one which is always open for discussion from before they hit the teen years. Let's empower them to know what they are seeing rather than being unconsciously influenced by it. I wrote my blog on this subject a couple of weeks ago:

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 30-Jan-13 18:08:16

The importance of financial independence.
Emotional resilience.

And more mundanely:
How to change a flat tyre
How to budget
How to jump start a car
How to cook
How to do the basics of DIY
How to open a bottle of champagne
How to read a wine list

And how to make a proper cup of tea grin

In all fairness, these are things I would want to teach my son too, if I had one.

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 18:09:28

I am assuming many of these posters have only girls?

I only have boys. I find some of these opinions alarming.

Am I the only one to find it a bit depressing that a lot of these things we shouldn't have to tell our daughters and they are often as a result of mens/boys behaviour?

That boys lie in order to make themselves look big in their friends eyes.

Trust your instincts but don't place real trust in anyone - particularly men

What sort of advice is that? Especially the last one : If you can't place real trust in anyone what sort of person will you be and what sort of life will you lead? Jeez. Everyone will get hurt at some point, but we live and learn. Never place real trust in anyone? sad

If some of the posts on here are going to be acted on, you will be painting a very negative picture of boys/men.

You can build one genders' strengths, confidence, esteem and respect without making them lack respect for the other gender.

If you have had bad relationships yourself do not project your bad experiences onto your parenting. Hope that your daughters and sons can expect so much better.

My mum told me to "treat men like shit". Not the best advice I have ever received I have to say.

theDudesmummy Wed 30-Jan-13 18:15:04

Never be dependent on a man (or a woman), always be able to leave if you so choose.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 30-Jan-13 18:21:52

If someone says "If you loved me you would..." then the response is "If you loved me you wouldn't make me". Because he wouldn't.

Your friends are not all at it. Not even all of the girls who claim to have had their first period are telling the truth.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 30-Jan-13 18:24:07

The onus on mothers-of-boys is heavy too, of course. My biggest challenge is how to raise them with respect for other people's bodies and feelings. It shouldn't be, but with my history I feel obligated.

Starting off by having a DH (their father) who does mostly respect and value women is a good start.

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:29:21

My Dad told me about young men-said he was better qualified than Mum on the basis he once was one.

I have sons and daughters and I'll be telling them pretty much the same thing and expecting the same kind of morality from both sexes. I will expect all of them to treat others as they expect to be treated and be genuine.

I haven't been 'PC' with my comments because sometimes, whether you like it or not and regardless of whether it's fair or not, that's just how it is.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 18:41:11

What I would tell my daughter is no different to what I would tell my son.

Success only comes with hard work, but work the hardest at the things you love the most.
If someone makes you feel bad they are not really your friend.
Think about the way that the things you do affect other people.
Don't forget that everyone feels insecure-some people just don't show it.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Sex is much better when it is with someone you love and who loves you.
Be true to yourself.

I certainly wouldn't tell my daughter not to "put out" on a first date because then she wont be respected. That would be very hypocritical of me..!

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 18:42:33

I am not sure why you quoted me there Back2Two? Can you expand? Mine wasn't advice, it was an observation on previous comments. And I don't only have girls.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 30-Jan-13 18:47:02

LOL @ how to open a bottle of champagne and how to read a wine list Hearts

I fear my DC's may need to learn rather different skills ! smile

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 18:54:32

Oh I missed that Hearts grin. You never know Juggling your DC may become chefs or restauranteurs or waitors/maitre'ds

VenusRising Wed 30-Jan-13 19:11:36

Girls need to know:

that they have to fight for their rights, still, in this age of supposed freedoms, the fight continues, and must continue until every woman and girl, man and boy are treated equally and with respect.

The gender pay gap is an absolute disgrace, and in nobody's interests.

That they must negotiate a 20% increase in any starting salary, and any rise, and that they should be prepared to walk out if the negotiation breaks down.

Women are still paid 20% less for a job, any job than a man, any man does, just because he's male.

Never take second best.

That you own your body, all of it, and you have 100% say as to what happens to you.
Fight for your reproductive rights to have a choice.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 30-Jan-13 19:12:02

Or get swept away by a handsome Prince ?

(DD or DS naturally, we're all open to a good opportunity grin)

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 19:16:55

Ive been pondering this thread during dinner. In life I have to say that I have been treated far worse by girls and women than by men. Yes, boyfriends have broken my heart and battered my trust.

But it was girls at school that judged and bullied because I was a bit more interested in school than they were.

It's been girls that have egged me on in drink fuelled situations, and despite having been sailing equally close to the wind, have humiliated me the following day.

It's been girls and women that have bitched and colluded in the workplace to draw attention to themselves. One very nearly got me fired using her affair with our boss to ensure I got dropped in the shit.

And shamefully, on accession I have been just like them because I didn't trust my own judgement.

So to my daughter I would say stand tall, if necessary prepare to stand alone, use your integrity to seek others of a like mind. Say yes or no and bloody well mean it. Expect a full education and exploit it to your full potential. Find a job you enjoy, friends you can trust and using these skill expect a love that makes you smile.

Also if you can hang wallpaper, cook eggs on toast and mix a killer gin and tonic that'd help smile

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:18:48

Hi abigail I think it was because that statment seemed to just perpetuate the (generalised) feeling that boys=bad and nasty and girls=sweet and innocent and need protecting from boys.

As you know, if you are a feminist, it's society that needs to change . Boys and girls are both innocents. Parents have a real heavy duty to raise boys and girls to respect each other.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:24:13

Am I the only one to find it a bit depressing that a lot of these things we shouldn't have to tell our daughters and they are often as a result of mens/boys behaviour?

What can you possibly fault with the above comment backtotwo?

And the world will never be PC ankl if we continue to spread shit and misogyny to the next generation

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:25:42

Abigail was saying that previous posters should not teach their daughters to alter their behaviour when men are the ones causing the problems.

For example, don't tell your daughter to not walk alone at night, tell your son to not go out raping at night.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:27:52

I have a feelin that people who say "putting out" don't really enjoy sex at all. It's said in such a derogatory way.

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