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Things I Learned Growing Up in an All Girls House

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SPU chapter.

Do you remember the question you were asked as a kid: “who is your hero?” Some kids would take this literally and list a superhero or others would name a sports star or celebrity. As we got older the answers changed to famous authors and poets or billionaires. My answer, then and now, has not changed: “my mom.” She raised my sister and I by herself and did so with grace and humility. 

I feel there is a double standard of how our culture approaches families raised by single mothers. The mother is praised (rightfully so), but then the attention is switched to the children to analyze whether they are lacking anything or if something is wrong with them. For example, I get angry while on social media and underneath a video of a young woman doing whatever, I see comments like “fatherless activities.” Or similarly when there is something perceived as “wrong” or “abnormal” with my sister and I, then they must stem back to “daddy issues.” 

I’d like to counteract those claims and state how growing up without a father figure benefited me in unique ways. I grew up without toxic masculinity and instead saw what feminine strength looks like close up. So without further ado, here are six things I learned from growing up in an all female household. 

  1. There is nothing wrong with showing emotions 

I cry a lot.  I cry when I am happy, sad, angry, you name it. The reason why I cry is because it is freeing, euphoric, and cathartic. We as humans are meant to show emotions and not bottle it up. When you become comfortable with your emotions then you can identify it and move on from it. I was never taught to bottle it up and move on. 

This was the biggest lesson for me and it’s an important one. 

  1. Love your body

This is a hard one, especially as the generation who has grown up on social media in the age of comparing yourself to others. I will not claim to be the perfect self-love person, but I will say that I am comfortable with my body and that is because living with all girls you can walk around naked. Now I am not saying I do it all the time, but being able to move freely, with or without clothes, without any judgmental eyes is very healing. And living in an environment with no sexual connation is very nice. 

  1. Always be selfless and caring 

I learned these virtues from watching my mom. She gave me the definition of selflessness and sacrifice. If I am to be remembered for something I hope it is for my giving and empathetic nature. 

  1. Patience is a virtue and listening is a skill

Let’s be honest, there is nothing more annoying than a person who does not care nor has the patience to listen to you. It’s especially annoying when that person is a man who has deemed that your voice is not worth being heard. Having patience and the ability to listen well are admirable feminine values. 

  1. On the other hand, do not be afraid to make noise and take up space

Keeping quiet will do no good in stopping gender inequality. Men are not afraid to be loud and take up space, so why should we? This is an example of feminine strength.

  1. Women are fierce on their own

Women should be raised to be fiercely independent like I was. This independence I gained does not look like hating all men and staying celibate for the rest of my life, but instead treasuring my worth and putting myself first. Along with a good dose of self-confidence, this is the key to success. And while we build our success, let’s build other women up while we are at it. 

That’s only a small list of lessons I have learned from my unique home, but I hope they are applicable to all women (and men) who have grown up within the confines of toxic masculinity. 

My experience has made me think about how differently our culture and our world would be if we were matriarchal. I hope in the future we do see something similar.

A women in STEM with lots of hobbies, writing included.