Twenty years ago I was a Dad with two young daughters. I knew I couldn’t protect them from all the foibles of society. What was within my control was to be the best Dad I could be. To offer them a healthy male role model. I knew that they were fortunate to have a wonderful role model in their mother. The wild card was me.
I had the power to do good or do harm. I knew my daughters were growing up in a society that too often objectifies girls, defining how they should look. I knew too that society can place limits on the dreams of girls and boys.
My hope for our two daughters was that they would grow up to be strong, confident, adventurous, curious and compassionate women. We’ve encouraged our girls to dream big, trust their instincts and have a heart for those on the margins.
Have I always been successful? No. Am I sometimes inconsistent? Yes. But I keep on trying to be the best dad I can be.
I’m grateful that we’ve raised our two remarkable daughters in a supportive church and community. It truly takes a village.
So it’s troubling on many levels to see that the presumptive Republican nominee for President is a misogynist. Donald Trump has called his fellow candidate, Carly Fiorina ‘ugly’ and dismissed Fox newscaster Megyn Kelly with crude language. The New York Times recently published an article entitled, ‘Crossing the Line: Trump’s Private Conduct With Women’. Based on dozens of interviews the article offers a consistent pattern of objectifying and belittling women who stand up to him.
I don’t want Mr. Trump in the White House. I don’t want him around my daughters. There is already to much sexism, we don’t need it coming from our nations highest office.
When our girls were little, I went to the library looking for a story where the girl was the hero. The librarian introduced me to a book entitled ‘The Paper Bag Princess’. The book tells the story of a girl waiting to be rescued by her prince. After waiting a very long time, the princess decides to rescue herself. Along the way she fights dragons and eventually meets her prince. The prince however is hapless and in need of being rescued from dragons. The princess rescues the prince. Instead of saying ‘thank you’, the rescued prince, critiques the princess for having a torn dress and disheveled hair. To her credit, the princess calls him a ‘jerk’ and tells him to ‘take a hike’.
I read this book many times. Our daughters grew up believing that they too were strong, smart and adventurous. The lives they are living testify to this.
This election is personal. Not only for the sake of my daughters but for all girls and boys. Children are looking to us adults to show them what it means to be a healthy woman and man. Mr. Trump, you’ve met your match in The Paper Bag Princess.