Daughters & Swords & ‘Badass’ Women

By Sylvia Beckerman

We knew who we are before they gave us a name that was finally accurate.

We knew who we were even as we were growing up.

We knew what to do, who to believe and trust, when to be wary, when to be scary, when to be soft and when to be hard.

Now they give us a new word.

It is a good one. It plays off old stereotypes and rivets them into something more accurate and truthful.

‘Badass’ women – women who consistently show up, speak up and get the job done.

And that got me to thinking about Daughters and Swords. What would I tell a daughter or granddaughter today? It’s so difficult. Back in the day, I had to take out my ‘sword’ quite often to stand up against the ever present male society. ‘It’s a man’s world’ as they keep pointing out.

Yet a daughter I’d always wished for. (Note to my two sons – love you guys). I’ve thought about the things that I would teach her: believe in yourself, you can go far, don’t let anyone tell you differently. And then there’s love. I would want that for my daughter, to feel that – love for herself first and then for others.

As much as I’d have to teach her to keep that sword close, I would hope to be able to teach her just to know that it’s there in her voice and within herself. And watch her grow into a strong, independent, loving woman.

That sword would always be close by. I’d keep mine and have one ready for her. Oh, the magical things that would be accomplished. Sometimes we’d need it at a Barney’s sale, when the doors first open and there’s only one pair of the shoes that she wants. She’s poised to be at that door.

Yes, a sword may be needed. A daughter may even have to take it out when disagreeing with me. There’s the potential fight over the TV and favorite shows. There would always be so much to share and teach her.

Women are women and men are men. One woman is different from another woman.  Yet the femininity of today is defined by our actions, those of women. Our pens, our words, our minds, our victories, our loves, our desires, our triumphs, are mightier than any sword.

And with a smile, keep the sword where everyone can see it.