On Daughters: A Manifesto


Oh, my girls...


Your fate is not to be as a lonely princess, waiting in frozen youth and painted beauty for final, heroic rescue by some physically strong but one-dimensional man.

You are strong and brave.

Since the day you were born.


Don't waste your life stalking around the dark and crumbling ruins of girlhood, swathed in a pile of mouldering lace and dreams.

Dream for yourself.

Keep your heart your own and free.


Oh, my girls...

Don't hide behind the words our society has for brave women: bitch, hussy, tramp, whore, unrefined, headstrong, impetuous, etc. This is always the lazy way out.

And you are not lazy.


Don't let Disney and the culture of cheap romance at any price convince you that you need a man, a certain kind of relationship, cartoonish body parts, or formaldehyde beauty in order to truly experience a life alive and heroic and real.

You were born to do heroic things and great beauty is often hidden inside great effort.

You are to be someone's rescuer, not the rescued.

You are not to wait.


Oh, my girls...

The Christian church in every manifestation will tell you that without a man you must never speak strongly, fiercely or openly about anything in your head or heart. Not without expressed permission and never in certain environments.

But you are never to ask permission for who you were created to be.

You must never allow your voice to be silenced.


Let those who choose the status quo tremble.

Go ahead and let them call you names.


Oh, my girls...

If you are single you will be asked why. If there are no children or no children of your own blood you will be asked why.

If you have friendships that last and last, through love and loss and change and years, you will be asked how this can be.

If you change, dismantle, challenge, question or rebuild anything in this world, you will be asked who the man is (father, husband, brother, boyfriend, leader, boss, mentor) who helped or gave you permission.

You must not care. And you must never settle for this small an inheritance.


Oh, my girls...

I want the same things for you I would want for sons: truthful words, brave hearts, kind hands and eyes, a will to be reckoned with, a mind that is sharp and well-used, a life that seeks to right wrongs and create lasting peace.


If you were my sons I would implore you to overcome the current stereotypes of violence and isolation, of a life spent largely internally alone and for your own sake, your own survival.

But you are my daughters, my little women.

I challenge you to never let your mother souls stagnate within your own house, your own children, your own dreams, your own creations.

I challenge you to never accept the second-best you are offered within our culture's archaic laws of size, shape, role, and silence.


Your Mama is completely confident of this:


You are the ones the world has been waiting for.



BeckyMPH said...

I trust your girls will live brave and beautiful lives because you are their mom and you are showing them the way.

pshene said...


brenna said...


Glenn said...

Beautiful and compelling, Annagrace. Thanks for sharing.

Ambergris said...

If they go straight to the Source, the Source would tell them no such thing. It is only Intermediaries who make such rules.

natalie said...

Tears. Amazing. It almost makes me wish I had daughters so I could share these dreams with their hearts. Instead, I will share dreams of such women with my sons, in hopes they will rise to share the same respect, love, and admiration for their sisters, wives and friends that I have for you.

I've always said I will feel we have accomplished something great if my sons have to try harder and reach farther because they are competing against and working with the brilliant minds and hearts of women. They will only be challenged and made better when women are given equality, dignity, and respect in ALL ways. I pray I raise them to see this.

Jay Cosnett said...

Wow. Just wow. I want to share this with my daughter. Thank you!

MaryB said...

This is fabulous and true, true, true.

Anna said...

Love this! Gave me goosebumps :-)

kinglouie said...


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