This has been me since age 13.
My mistrust [of men] is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eye rolling and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence.
How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.
Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.
Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.
'The Tyranny of Capitalism'
In his first major publication, the platform for his papacy, Pope Francis has controversially called unfettered capitalism ‘tyranny’.
Describing the pressing need to change a system that is failing so many he said .. "as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems"
And stressing that this wasn’t some abstract, philosophical discussion but an urgent matter of life and death to millions he went on .. "Thou shalt not kill sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills’.
Recognizing the critical role of politics in effecting the necessary change he added .. "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor." Well good luck with that one, Francis. I think divine intervention is the only hope there.
Not surprisingly, such a hard-hitting, almost revolutionary statement from one of the worlds most influential men has provoked furious debate. Equally not surprisingly, a lot of that debate seems to entirely miss the point and to focus instead on criticisms of the man and what he represents rather than the merits of what he is actually saying.
How can a man who represents one of the richest organizations in the world be taken seriously when he speaks of poverty ? How can an organization with such a dubious history of repression and injustice claim the moral high-ground ? How can a church which still exercises discrimination against some be credible as the champion of others ? Yes indeed, but none of that has anything whatsoever to do with what he is actually saying.
I am absolutely no defender or supporter of organized religion in any shape or form but surely truth is truth, whoever says it ? Of course there are valid discussions to be had about religion, it’s place in contemporary society, the checkered history of the Catholic Church, the inequalities it still supports, the character of it’s current Pope and so on but why not have them in their own right ? Otherwise the hugely important central message here will be lost and those who profit from the present widespread inequality will be delighted.
For an establishment figure like the Pope to be so outspoken about the malign effect of unfettered capitalism is highly unusual and deserves focus on that specific subject, without it being derailed, because our politicians sure as hell aren’t ever going to encourage public debate about it. No-one is being naive. Of course our rulers, and the lawmakers who serve them, aren’t going to have a sudden epiphany and abandon their pursuit of greed and self-interest in order to allow a fairer society for all but at least a public acknowledgement that there is a massive problem by someone millions still respect may offer hope.
And if religion can’t offer hope then what good is it ?
(some background here)