A Prayer for My Daughters on this International Women’s Day

I pray that my young daughters would not have to fight for their rights. I pray that they would not have to struggle to clear room for themselves to be able to flourish in life.

I pray that, by the time they are old enough to understand fully, the victories would already have been won. I pray that they could simply assume so many of the things that I as a man already do.

But where the battle still rages, I pray that they would fight.

I pray that they would never accept being told that they can’t do something simply because they are ‘girls’.

I pray that they would be gifted with the fierce determination they need to overcome restrictive structures and systems.

I pray that they would get angry where they see sexism or misogyny, and that they would channel that anger into action.

I pray that they won’t ever give up.

I give thanks for the amazing women in their lives: their extraordinary mother, their grandmothers and aunts. I pray that my daughters would take careful note of their example.

I give thanks that they live in a country where we have seen women as Premier and Governor, Prime Minister and Governor General. I give thanks that my daughters will never know a time when this would have seemed impossible.

I pray that they would remember those who have gone before them; those who are recognised by name and those who were no less important but whose names have been forgotten.

And I pray that they would stand in solidarity with women in places where the same opportunities (even to publicly take up the battle) are not available. I pray that they would never take their own ‘white lady’ privilege for granted and forget that they are deeply connected to women everywhere.

Finally, I pray that, in my role as father, I would be a help and not a hindrance. I pray that my daughters would grow to be strong, self-confident women in small part because of me, not despite me. I pray that they would be much more than just ‘my daughters’; that they would grow to be independent women (who nevertheless understand the value of interdependence). I pray that they would know who they are apart from me (or any man), but I pray also that they would never forget how much their dad loves them, and how proud of them he is (and always will be).

Amen.

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Published by

Josh Dowton

Student of history/theology/nonviolence/permaculture/missional thinking. Large of limb, red of hair. Semper in excretia sumus, solum profundum variat.

4 thoughts on “A Prayer for My Daughters on this International Women’s Day”

  1. Girls: On A High-Heel Of Love
    I pray that my daughters will learn the real meaning of misogyny and sexism.
    I pray, they will understand that these are not feminist-tools to bash, dominate and isolate men.
    I pray that my girls will not be victims of forces who are more about gender war (for political & social purposes) than gender love.
    I pray that my girls will grow up to respect and love men.
    I pray that my girls will grow up to respect and honour the role of their father in their lives.
    I pray that I’ll make sure my girls will not subscribe to such viciousness and hate: “I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.” — Andrea Dworkin (Feminist)

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    1. Thanks for your reply, Mathew.

      I’m just interested, though, in what you thought I was saying in this post to prompt your reply. What was it you heard?

      I didn’t use the word ‘feminism’ in the prayer, but does that word not sit comfortably with you?

      My prayer is not that my daughters would dominate men. I don’t believe that flourishing human relationships include room for any kind of domination. As such, my prayer is simply that they wouldn’t feel that they are dominated, and would stand against those forms of domination wherever they occur.

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