Sense of A Woman
A Girl's Best Friend? Some Girls Could Really Use a Best Friend Right About Now
In October of 2005, the Diamond Promotion Service and Jewelry.com ran a multi-million dollar advertising and PR program, furthering the concept of the Right Hand Ring. The Right Hand Ring was a promotion to free women of the belief that a diamond ring had to come from a man as a symbol of a wedding proposal or anniversary gift. The tagline was "Women of the world, raise your right hand".
Although the concept may be termed as a "gimmick", encouraging women to spend money on jewelry that may seem frivolous, it is my opinion that this campaign, along with its unifying battle cry of a tagline, was actually quite inspired. It was a call to women to take control, spend THEIR money on something THEY wanted and should wait for no one else to obtain, to display self pride and self love. And when we look around at the state of the world today, these are virtues that could use some promotion. As a mother, it is my wish to inspire my son to respect women as he grows older. I wish to inspire my daughter to reach for the stars...find your limits and then catapult past them.
It is a task that grows more and more daunting. Many music videos feature bikini clad - or less - women dancing around for men. Plenty of songs refer to "the pole", glorifying strippers as being beautiful and desirable. More and more movies and television shows are succumbing to the pressure of the adage that sex sells for the sakes of box office sales and ratings. And this adage generally translates to the undressing of women as opposed to men. How does one help but to wonder...what does this mean for our daughters? Who are their role models? What do they aspire to in a society that tells them that to make money and/or be popular they should be naked or close to it...that they should tolerate constantly being referred to as "bitches" and "hoes"? It isn't to say that the good influences aren't out there. There are indeed some celebrities that promote strength and class, and who know the art of being sexy without crossing over into trashy. In addition, there are a number of television shows, movies and songs that have taken a stand in defense of women through their messages and portrayals. But the sad truth is that there is still way too much sensationalism that generally centers around negative influences for our girls. While I love the idea of being a role model for my daughter, it seems unfair that I fall into such sparse company. And in turn, for our boys...I hope to raise a man who is chivalrous and respectful. I have to also hope he'll find a girl who appreciates it, and deems herself worthy of such treatment, thusly inspiring the continuance of that behavior in my son.
The good news is, that there is hope. On the front lines of that hope, are we, the parents. We get the opportunity to teach our children the virtues of self respect and dignity. How we treat our friends, our spouses, and how we regard ourselves - all influence and shape our childrens' opinions of themselves, and their perceptions of their places in this world. For this reason, there should be solidarity among us. Because although there are complaints about women's status here in the US, the fact is that this is the greatest place in the world to be a woman. In too many other parts of the world, women fall victim to barbaric, male dominated laws and traditions. As a result of this, we must set forth a good example. Outside of the destruction of self image, we have other bones to pick - the equalization of health care, the increase of business empathy toward working mothers, the destruction of the glass ceiling, the increased protection of abused women, the promotion of the understanding to all men in all parts of the world that no woman is property and a call to end domestic abuse. All of this starts with shaking up the media to stop glorifying the objection of women. We must instead further the trend of teaching young girls to have confidence, to respect themselves and demand that others do the same. Beauty and sex have their place, indeed, but the key is that we should be inspiring our children to not put either of them in FIRST place.
"Women of the world, raise your right hand"... Tomorrow, I may do just that. And if I please, as the choice is mine, I may just walk past the jewelry store first.
© 2009 Catherine DiDesidero