I have four girls age 9 – 15. Each are strong in their own way; each more different than the rest.
Milla is my second girl, and at 14-years-old, she is very much her own person. Earlier this year she announced to the family that she was a lesbian – a pretty big admission for someone so young. Ever since, I have been encouraging her to keep carving her own path. While she has no trouble doing this, I’m still a bit nervous for when she enters high school this fall. Milla describes herself as “odd,” and I think that’s pretty self-aware for a kid.
My goal is to help protect her sense of difference in a high school culture where being the same is critical for inclusion – and usually safe from being teased and bullied.
I have total confidence that she will ultimately find her way, because she doesn’t share my fears. She’s utterly committed to who she is and has a few really smart things to say about being a strong woman.
Milla is a hero in her own right, not because she’s wise beyond her years or possesses a voice that can rock the nation at 14 years old — it’s that she already honors herself first. She’s up for the challenging road ahead; having chosen to oppose conformity even though she knows that makes her an outlier, even in a so-called progressive city like Portland.
She is courageous and taking an active role (whether she fully knows it or not) in establishing the new “normal”.
This is a great example of feminism that goes against the grain of stereotypes. The stigma of feminists is that of a loud, in-your-face activist female, an image ingrained after years of seeing and hearing about only this one narrative. And while we love, embrace and honor these brave souls, there are many faces of feminism.
You can be a strong, self-assured and uncorked 14 year old with a mission.
It’s about being the persistent, unstoppable, you.
So Called Mom