We're happy to present this article by Laura Lifshitz from one of our favorite sites, YourTango.
I am not a b*tch all the time, sadly. I am a go-getter and I am usually straightforward about how I feel, but I don't assert myself like a b*tch does. Why would I want to be a b*tch, you ask? And what is a b*tch, b*tch? Well, to the outside world, the word "b*tch" has a negative connotation: a nasty woman who tears others down and selfishly only acts in her own interests. A b*tch cares about nobody but herself!
But I've reframed the definition to be positive and I'm recommending — yes, recommending — that you raise your girls to be b*tches. Here's how:
1. A b*tch never diminishes her character.
A b*tch is a female who acts in her own interests and considers others' needs as well, but not to the point of diminishing her own character. There have been times in my life when I have been a dreadful doormat. I said yes to things I didn't want to say yes to, and reluctantly let men walk all over me. A b*tch thinks of others — but not to the point in which her self-esteem and life suffers.
When my daughter told a 40-year-old man to "please move" because it was her turn during a game of basketball, I was impressed with her chutzpah. Was she direct? Yes? Did she hurt him? No! She acted in her own interest in a healthy manner. A b*tch doesn't apologize for taking care of herself.
Encourage your girls to speak out when someone is hurting them or treating them badly. Encourage your girls to articulate what they need from you and other people. When they have grown up, you won't be there to speak for them, so teach them to speak for themselves now.
2. A b*tch does not apologize for her feelings.
One day, a strong woman somewhere decided to say how she felt without dumbing it down, softening the blow, or apologizing for her feelings before she opened her mouth. And then she was called a b*tch. I ask each one of you: how great does it really feel to always have to "soften" the blow about your hurt or angry feelings? Do you feel amazing when you have to apologize for your emotions?
It sucks to have to cater to everyone else. Do men do that? Not usually. If being a b*tch means telling people how you feel honestly and being able to stand up for yourself, then sign my daughter up today for the course on "How to Be a B*tch."
I cultivate honesty in my daughter and tell her that if others make her feel bad, she needs to speak up and then ignore them and walk away. I teach her that she doesn't need to be around negative people and that when someone hurts her or makes her angry, she should speak up and say something — even if it's me she's mad at!
Nurture that trait in your little girl: say something and don't be afraid. Most importantly, reconceptualize what it means to be assertive and female. Asserting yourself does not make you a jerk: being an aggressor does. Women are happier and stronger when they can assert themselves in healthy ways and not reduce themselves to passive-aggressive behavior.
3. A b*tch is not a "good girl."
We often tell our daughters to be "good girls." What this typically means is please share, be quiet, avoid making mischief, and be polite. These are all wonderful and good, of course — nobody wants a rude child. But sometimes when we tell our girls to be good and quiet, we're actually saying, "Don't speak up, don't question anything, and do what everyone else wants you to do!"
This is problematic.
Do you want to raise a follower or a leader? Sure, not every person will be a leader, but if you can foster a sense of independence in your girl, you're giving her a leg up in the adult world later in life. Let your child do things for herself. Give her chores. My 4-year-old feeds the dog, sets the table, and puts her dirty laundry in the hamper. I am teaching her that she can own her own actions.
When she's rude to someone, I make her solve the problem. I've had her apologize to a cashier before when she was only 2 years old. When she's with kids and they're acting out or perhaps she's bordering on making a bad choice, I ask her to think about it. I let her learn from her own natural consequences. If she can make a choice that won't hurt anyone, like pick her own clothes or decide an activity for the day, I let her.
And sharing? Sharing is important, but let's be real here: sometimes we don't want to share our stuff — and that's OK. Teaching your kid when to share and when to say, "Sorry, this is my piece of cake," is crucial.
Nourish that independent spirit in your daughter. That quote, "Well–behaved women rarely make history," is right for a reason. Embrace your daughter's right to be a b*tch. She will succeed later on in life.
4. A b*tch can do anything the boys can do.
No b*tch (i.e., a successful, strong woman) believes she just "can't" do something because it's out of her skill set or not for women. When you start to segregate how "this is for girls" and "that is for boys," you essentially tell your daughter there are only certain things fit for her to do. False! The world is your child's oyster. Don't put up walls for her to break down: our society will give her walls to conquer as it is.
There is no such thing as impossible. Let your daughter know this. Even if she wants to do something that's naturally difficult for her, cheer her on and let her figure out how to tackle her own goals and dreams.
A b*tch owns her choices, pushes ahead, and goes for what she wants. Which would you rather be? A doormat whimpering in the corner? Or a b*tch who's eating that cake with a smile?
Who is your daughter?
Face it. Your daughter is who she is, whether that's quiet, bossy, demure, loud, or tough. Accept it and love her for her flaws, no matter what. My daughter is very blunt and doesn't sugarcoat what she thinks. While it sometimes surprises me to hear this little person's two cents served up straight, I admire her and know where I stand with her at all times. She's not like her sensitive Mama and that's fine.
When we accept our children as is — rather than how we imagined them to be — we give them the permission to live authentically, and this should be what we want for our kids. A happy, true life. No one needs to pretend to be someone he or she is not. Allow your girl to be who she is with no apologies necessary.
B*tches know who they are — and not only do they accept that, but they love themselves whether they're crazy as a bedbug or quiet as a mouse. You want your daughter to love herself, not hide out in a corner, hoping no one notices who she is, flaws and all.
I have lived most of my life halfway between a doormat and a b*tch. I have always walked to the beat of my own drum and expressed how I felt, but I've also felt bad for who I was at times, apologized too much, and doubted my own potential. After my divorce, I am becoming more and more of a b*tch, and I'm glad. It is a long time coming.
I refuse to let my daughter spend a day being sorry for who she is, and so should you. Raise your b*tch and raise her proud. We need strong female leaders to find a backdoor and say, "Screw the glass ceiling. I've got my entryway and I found it all by myself."
More great reads from YourTango:
Dear Moms: If Your Kid's Whiny, You Only Have Yourself to Thank
The Life-Changing Lesson My Dad Taught Me After My Divorce
4 Reasons Promising to Love Someone "Forever" Is a Load of Sh*t
NO, Asking to Be "Dominated" Doesn't Make Me Less of a Feminist
5 Stages of "New Person Sex" Every Divorced Woman Goes Through