I am 100% behind raising strong girls. Inner strength is what lies behind happiness, it is what carries you through the day and it is what keeps you going when nothing else will. We have to teach our girls how to be strong. We have to show them that they don’t need a man (preach it) and that they should be warriors, fighting for themselves and for others. We have to raise them to see that women can be strong. 

But why is strength taught to be the opposite of kindness? Why are girls taught that to be strong they have to be masucline, that they can’t be gentle or softly spoken? Why does strength mean you have to coat yourself in a hard armour and put up walls? Why are we told strength is putting yourself first at the detriment of others? 

What if kindness was strength? 

Kindness does not have to be the opposite of strength, it can and it does go hand in hand. This is what we should be teaching our girls. Strength does not have to be combative and kindness does not mean we have to be doormats. We shouldn’t allow anyone to walk all over us but we don’t have to fight fire with fire either. True strength can be gentle, it can be kind. It can look like caring for others as well as caring for yourself. It can look like a listening ear and standing up for yourself. It can look like giving time to others and saving time for yourself. It can look like holding back as well as being bold. 

Girls should not be told to be strong over being kind. They can be both strong and kind. In a world where they can be anything, teach your girls to have strength and kindness. It will serve them well. 

-Tia Shah
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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