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Why I’ll Raise My Daughters to Be Strong, Not Obedient | Conception Season 2


I read once: Children serve
as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten selves. I basically wanted
to please everyone. That was my motto
from a very early age. I’m a good girl. I’m a very good girl. I was born “Asya”. In Russian it sounds a
little more like “Ash-a”. I was pretty much the model
Soviet child — well behaved, polite, kind, obedient,
check, check, check. In Riga, children were
taught to be part of a group. In America, I felt very
much alone, different and not accepted. I picked up the
language very quickly. I picked up the
culture very quickly, and I just really wanted to
be a regular, American girl. They knew about blow jobs. They knew about dark
lip liner and giant hoops. And I was like this
little immigrant girl who hadn’t started
shaving her legs yet. I was not allowed to wear
makeup, but I, at some point, had stolen my mom’s, like,
little tiny chunk of a lip liner that she had lying around
at the bottom of a bag. We had a pretty early bedtime,
but I would sneak my Walkman and I would listen to
Z-100’s “Love Phones.” I was learning about a world
that was larger than my own, and I kind of
grasped what I had to do to fit in,
to be cool. I told my parents,
I’m changing my name. I’m not going to
be Asya anymore. I shaved my legs. I wanted to be noticed
and I wanted to be pretty. I just wanted to be wanted. In high school, I was known
as the new, exotic girl. And I kept thinking to
myself, if they only knew. When male attention first
came my way, I ate it up and I also defined
myself by it. I still didn’t know
how to displease. I really didn’t know how
to say no, definitely not with any kind of strength. I took these flowers, these
dumb, blue flowers as I went up to his very dingy room. All I remember is crying,
having my clothes taken off, and then him asking
me if I wanted to order Chinese food
in bed. I cried. I said, “God, that was
dumb of me and so slutty. This is so embarrassing.” And then I put it away
for over a decade. Eventually I stopped
being a rag doll. Of course, then I gave birth
to one daughter followed by a second daughter. I realized that in order
to raise strong women, I had to become a
strong woman myself. I need to make sure that they
have a better sense of self than I had. I didn’t have friends
in this country. I felt very much rejected. So one of the
constant conversations we’re having is
about inclusivity. How can we be kind to the
people that need it the most? I think of myself as a
defender of my daughters’ little spirits. And I know that even though
our world is changing, it is going to chip away
at this inner strength that already exists. So my job is to help
preserve that strength and teach them to
have faith in it. These little freedoms
throughout their childhood are going to teach
them to listen to their own
inner voice, and they will know that they
are as worthy as anyone else of making
their own decisions. And if they’re not the most
polite girls on the block, I don’t give a [expletive].

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95 thoughts on “Why I’ll Raise My Daughters to Be Strong, Not Obedient | Conception Season 2

  1. Funny when she grows up to be an adult and nobody likes her. Since they believe being polite and being strong are mutually exclusive to one another.

  2. Friends, today I want to introduce you to the Ukrainian song and accompaniment.
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSo1t_X1B7k

  3. I wish she would have given some reasons for why she felt rejected. It seems like baseless slander since she didn't support it with any evidence. I have a hunch that it's because she's impolite, as the title of the video very much suggests that she thinks impoliteness is strength.

  4. I see a lot of people taking offense at not raising girls to be polite. I’m simply talking about the focus being on strength and kindness — and listening to one’s own inner voice — over fitting into social norms. Perhaps, it’s just semantics — I prefer true kindness to politeness.
    As for why I felt rejected in America — well, many immigrants can answer that along with me. This is a topic I’ve covered a lot in my writing. And I hope to cover it more. A lack of acceptance of “the other” is the basic explanation. That’s why, let’s teach inclusivity and inner guidance (not herd mentality)!
    Love & light 🙏

  5. "Regular American girls . . . They know about blow jobs" that was the first reason she gave after saying she wants to be like them. Just a highlight.

  6. I think the mother was being strong in her own way, her coping mechanism was to be adaptive to the new norm and accepted by the community. She could've made better decisions in the past, but she is strong, and she'd better raise her kids to be kind, polite and strong, not less

  7. Well, I suppose the trick of being strong AND polite is a balancing act we're all learning as we go. But it doesn't much help, I think, to pose them as antagonistic. Strength without courtesy is either bullying or isolationist, and rudeness is a sign of weakness, not strength. Bad, alienating title. Still, the story itself is quite evocative, and useful. We tend, as a culture, to teach boys to be strong, and girls to be considerate, and each could use, in most cases, a bit more of the other.

  8. I don’t think the title is intentionally un inclusive — it’s making a comment on the standard that exists (girls are polite not strong) but in no way is it promoting it

  9. Ya, because it is one or the other? Just what our community needs: less politeness, more selfishness. I hope you have crabs instead.

  10. Trust me as a kid I was absolute nightmare throwing my weight around, standing up to everything – in time I have learnt being polite and decent made my life better.

  11. I am a girl, I was raised to be whatever I wanted to be, but I still appreciate a lot when people are kind and polite to me and to others, because I don't take well rudeness or brute force/strenght. Still, nice video and amazing graphics!

  12. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 I went through the same thing and have decided that when i have my kids, i'll raise them to put themselves first cause from my experience people take for granted the ones who are 'too' nice.

  13. You don't have to be pretty: 'corset-free' movement spreads on social media
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  14. I really understand your perspective. There's different side of politeness, that most people don't understand. Parents starts by telling you should be always polite and kind, for many kids this means don't say no or do things you are uncomfortable with.

  15. This was an wholly dispensable video: white lady thinks her life is remarkable and wants to raise he kids to be better than her. Someone give her a Pulitzer!

  16. If I did the same with a SON–encouraging him to be strong, not polite–he would be labeled an example of toxic masculinity.

    I love fairness. I can't stand double standards.

  17. I think "polite" here just means accomodating others sensibilities all the time. Often, when you don't do that, people find it offensive and accuse you of being impolite. You can't do that all the time, you've got to live for yourself and accommodate people who are going to do the same for you.

  18. What's with all the people saying "why not both?", did you even watch the video? Do you take everything so literally? Does your brain shut off after only reading the title?

  19. when people say girls should be raised to be polite, this often code for compliant, submissive, without opinion- which often manifests in passive aggression. so yes, it's time to raise daughters to be strong.

  20. I find that many women who want strong daughters want them to be very obedient to whatever they want-question authority as long as it's not mine.

  21. The underlying message the video communicates is that politeness is a sign of weakness and that it does not matter. The problem the narrator had was not with politeness; rather, it had more to do with her inability to accept herself as she was and her deep need to be someone who she wasn't. She had the option to start by accepting herself as she was, and then slowly and gradually transform herself into a better version of herself that she wanted. But that is not what she did. Years later, she turns around and blames her mistakes on innocent 'politeness'. There were other girls, and boys, that went to school at the same time that she did and were also raised to be polite.. yes, boys too… but those boys and girls didn't necessarily put themselves through what the narrator did. There's nothing weak about being polite, in fact in today's workplaces and societies when employers are increasingly demanding employees to develop high levels of communication skills, politeness can actually be a strength if you know how to use it. Grooming children, both boys and girls, to be polite is to help them build communication skills that will help them live and thrive especially in the rapidly evolving digital age… that doesn't mean you can't simultaneously teach them to also be intelligent, say 'no' when the must, and be assertive and speak their mind, respectfully. I'm surprised that the New York Times actually condones the content and underlying message in this video…

  22. I am a man but i was also raised to be polite true women should be strong as anyone should. We all need to be strong, and weak at some point, otherwise we can never be good people to the weak, in times that we are strong .

  23. What they mean by not raising her kids to be polite is that they should be able to speak their mind without the fear of offending someone. They should also be comfortable with saying no to certain things they don’t like.

  24. I love this so much. Throughout my childhood I was made uncomfortable in so many situations, but I was always the type to stand by and try to be polite. My parents were radically different but they always insisted I "be a lady." As a child, these simplified behavioral phrases are more confusing than anything else, and I ended up learning to people-please at the expense of my health, privacy, and emotional wellbeing. This has cost me in ways I cannot possibly describe; in ways that I have yet to fully process.

    I pray that future parents teach their daughters to be compassionate and brave, not meek and submissive. Thank you so much for sharing your example of this, and for sharing your story with us.

  25. Anyone else notice the vast majority of people who completely missed the point of this video are male?
    They didn't understand because they haven't lived through it themselves, and don't try to understand anyone who has been raised differently than they were.
    They don't believe our problems because they don't believe we can be trusted to describe our own lived experiences.

  26. She's not raising her daughters to be rude or impolite. She simply wants them to not be walked over like door mats and mistreated like she was in her past

  27. We were just taught throughout our childhood about fundamental rules of life and social limitations, it is all about 'how soft you are honey…and how harsh this world is….'
    Girl maintain your social prestige, don't let others to spoil it…….
    Soft smile in your face should be your permanent ornament…… because anger is not so virtuous….
    I don't want to say that this kind of upbringing is wrong but what if these teachings making u oversensitive and weak emotionally….. what if then it can make you never able to generate your point of view, even for your own self……

  28. Am I the only one confused about the content of the video? The title says raising a strong woman and not obedient, then she goes like trying to fit in to society and wanting attention, then at the end, telling she wants to raise her children to be strong and not so polite. I think it just doesnt connect. What's so bad about being a good girl? Good girl doesnt always mean you have to be picked on or not standing out. I think rather than being strong, you should teach your children to be responsible and confident to make their own choices that they shouldnt care what other thinks about them.

  29. I was raised just like her. To always be polite. Say yes ma'am, thank you sir. Do not talk when not asked to. Always obey, always smile, do not think. I grew up always wanting to please others, always being polite inspite of all the indifference or rudeness people responded back to me, because I was brought up that way. My so-called friends and classmates saw this as a weakness and a tool to use me for their own self-interest. Anything they ask me I'll give it to them, but when I asked, even pleaded for something in return, they just ignored or scorned me off. My self-esteem was basically non-existent and my self worth was unidentifiable. I became depressed and anti-social because I felt like no matter how polite I was, or how much Iwanted to please people, nobody cared. I'm 22 and have one person I can truly call a friend. Overtime, I've started learning how to stand my ground, to mean my "yes" and "no's" and not to say yes when I meant no, to speak my mind without feeling like I've failed to please this person. And I made up my mind that should I ever have kids, I'll teach them to be polite, but also to stand firm for what they believe in and always be free to speak their minds and most importantly, never to feel the need to obey when demanded to, but stand firm for their beliefs and never to let anyone walk over them.

  30. Polite is something that's so engraved into young girls that it's not just a surface value social mechanism anymore… it often leads a lot of young girls and women into less than ideal situations where they don't speak up or defend for themselves or simply say NO for fear of being seen as impolite. That's what this is catering to. Not simple kindness in surface value interactions.

  31. made me realize how grateful i am my mom let me explore my passions and self expression when i was a young adult. i’m very opinionated, outspoken, i’ll say what i’m thinking unapologetically, plus i played around with my looks and got piercings and funky hair colors at an early age. she got tons of backlash from other parents but she just let me be 😉

  32. There is a major difference in being polite and being rude. Being polite is a woman who uses her femininity when approached by men and women and treats all people with respect as a person FIRST by listening even though she disagrees (among other things). I think the reason most males disagree is because they perceive that the video is trying to teach women to be independent and lack dependency in men. That to a man is rude because men need to feel respected and they do not believe that an independent woman admires a man in a way that he will be able to provide and protect for her (which makes sense because she is saying that she does not want to be protected and cared for by a man since she is able to do so on her own). By teaching her daughters to be strong, she is effectively telling them that they can do without men.

  33. the point of her saying she doesn't care if they're not polite is because people define obedience with politeness. If a girl says no, then she's defined as rude and defient. If she says yes, then she's the star child and everyone should be like her. You get the point?

  34. I grew up in a traditional Hispanic household where I naturally always stayed quiet in front of certain company because I was often reprimanded for being outspoken. My grandmother never found anything good to say about me and i don't remember my mother ever standing up for me. I was molested in my home by a sibling whom everyone considered the best son on earth. Of course this made my self esteem nonexistent. My life was mired with pain and abuse because of me feeling I couldn't speak my mind. Idid eventually out him as my abuser but of course mostly fell on deaf ears. Now I'm 32 married and pregnant with my first child, a girl. The message in this video is exactly my goal is with her. She will be bold and confident and I will defend her to a family I know will challenge her intellect and courage.

  35. So true. Western politeness is so fake. Better to be blunt and honest about things and not build an eminence front.

  36. She is projecting her insecurities; not feeling wanted, being a people pleaser, not having a sense of individualism etc onto her children.

  37. Why is EVERYTHING about WOMEN THIS, WOMEN THAT? Empowerment, strength, feminism.
    BLAH BLAH BLAH.
    Im a woman and Im tired of this man-hating mantra that everyone is spouting nonstop.
    Im raising a boy and a girl….BOTH to be kind, strong, smart, respectful, humble, compassionate, pro-active, personally responsible, God-fearing, intuitive, etc…..the list is long. IT’S not ALL ABOUT WOMEN.

  38. I have never related to anything more in my life. PLEASE. WHO IS SHE??? I just want to read more of her work or ANYTHING! PLEASE New York Times!

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