Every once in a while between my just being a drippy dad to three wonderful daughters, stories/studies come out that again remind me of the myriad of obstacles that young women face growing up today. Now I realize that raising any child/ren these days is difficult, but if you have girls, you know – and if you don’t, you should realize – that being a girl has it’s own unique set of issues to navigate: body image, sexuality, institutional and blatant sexism, etc. And if they are also out of the mainstream in terms of class, ethnicity, etc., the odds of girls thriving can sometimes seem overwhelming. One can see why some unhealthy and unconscious choices are made for and by girls that are less than helpful.
Now in no way do I want to raise my girls with a posture of fear or paranoia, more so I want them to be aware and agile of the human realities that surround them. In my "super-parent" wonder world, my girls will we attune to the possible obstacles they will face, they will have the attitude and skills to deftly maneuver around/through them and they will NEVER EVER EVER hand over their spirit, soul and hope to those things/people/institutions that would want to hold them back from being all than God intends.
I am sure every parent wishes this for their children.
And then this study is released about Asian American women and suicide.
- Suicide second-leading cause of death for Asian-American women 15-24
- Highest suicide rate among women of any race, ethnicity for that age group
- Experts cite "model minority" expectations, family pressures as factors
The article itself gives a glimpse into what so many Asian American women face these days and it is one more reminder about how easily it is for society and individuals, Asian American or not, to slip into common myths and assumptions that have dire consequences.
Now as a boy, I will/can never fully understand what my babies will go through as females in this world. That does not, however, let me off the hook from trying to gain glimpses into their lives and how I can help them build the skills and outlooks that will help them grow. This is a huge challenge, but even more so a huge gift.