Feminist / Women’s Issues

Save the Last Dance for … Political Correctness?

By | Beverly LaHaye Institute, Blog, Commentary, Defense of Family, Feminist / Women's Issues | No Comments

Sorry, young ladies in Staten Island, but because father-daughter dances are triggering and scary, you won’t be able to have a special night with your dad.

The New York Department of Education passed a policy last spring that demanded schools scrap any “gender-based” activities that do not serve an educational purpose. Apparently the father-daughter dance violates those guidelines and fell under the horrible practice of a “gender-based” activity. The school postponed the dance, which was supposed to be held this Friday, until they could figure out the legal ramifications.

It might sound like a small thing — a school dance being canceled — but it is anything but trivial. Ridding schools of a father-daughter dance points to a larger issue: the politically correct culture that we used to joke about all those years ago has become today’s actual default culture. Jokes about the ridiculous rules and regulations political correctness would usher in are our current reality, and our children are paying the price. They are living with the ramifications of a world where the mere mention of a time-honored tradition like the father-daughter dance — which is needed in today’s world more now than ever — sends adults into a tailspin.

Fathers have an enormous influence on their daughters, whether they are in their lives or not. Dads who are involved in the lives of their daughters in positive ways are key to high self-esteem, self-worth, grades, college education levels, and overall intellectual well-being.

Studies consistently show that fathers who are more involved in their daughters’ lives, who have loving relationships with them, who were supportive and had positive interactions with the girls’ mother, and who were involved in care giving during the early years, encouraged greater self-esteem in their daughters and added stability to their lives.

The influence of a father on the life of his daughter is no small deal.

For fathers who are less involved with their daughters, who are not there at all, or who exert a negative influence, their daughters have higher rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and substance abuse.

The National Fatherhood Initiative rightly points out that there is a national father crisis in our nation, where one-in-three children do not have their biological father living in the home with them. There are huge ramifications for these children without fathers: seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, more likely to suffer abuse, twice as likely to drop out of high school, four times as likely to face poverty, and twice as likely to suffer from obesity.

We need fathers in the lives of their children, and we need them to be the best dads they can be. When a school pulls the rug out from under dads who are trying to do the right thing in the name of equality, it’s a slap in the face to them and to their daughters.

Even in a culture in which dads are increasingly absent, we see beautiful examples in which good men from the community or church step forward to fill the gap. A biological father isn’t the only man that can fill the role of a father at a dance or in our hearts, but the role will be filled in one way or another.  We must all work to make sure it’s filled well.

I am so grateful that my daughter has beautiful memories of getting dressed up and being showered with flowers, compliments, and attention by her proud father — my sweet husband — at her father-daughter dance. These are occasions where Dad teaches his daughter how a young man is supposed to treat her and provide her an example for how she should expect honorable men to respect her later in life. It’s an opportunity to set a high bar in showing her how it feels to be loved and honored, teaching her she deserves the best. I want that for every young woman in this country. It is something we should be fighting for instead of tearing down.

The transgender activists are foolishly attempting to eliminate gender from the equation of the natural world, where being male and female have deep meaning and unique responsibilities. Stripping males and females of their God-given, inherent gifts and talents has consequences far more reaching than postponing a father-daughter dance.

Men are constantly being told by leftists that they are not wanted, that their importance in the lives of women is overrated and, frankly, not needed.

That’s not true. We need men in this world to step up and be the men they are called to be, to be honorable and just and loving. We want them to fight for their daughters and for the women they love.  Yes, I have taught my daughter to be strong and self-reliant.  My husband, thankfully, has taught her that, as she considers a mate, life is sweeter with a man who will love her unconditionally and selflessly.  We need our daughters to know what it looks like to be respected and have a man treat them honorably. We want those fearless and courageous men to stand up for what is right and not be afraid of what the culture will say about them. The health of our daughters depends on them.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to view it.

Shalane Flanagan: A Great Role Model for Women

By | Blog, Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events | No Comments

Shalane Flanagan was virtually unknown outside of the elite running world until yesterday, when she won the New York City Marathon, the first American woman to do so in the women’s competition since the late 1970s. And she did it by running a minute faster than the second-place finisher, Kenyan Mary Keitany.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, a minute faster in the racing world is incredible. To beat an opponent by even 15 seconds is an eternity, but to beat a seasoned racer by an entire minute is almost unheard of today.

Flanagan is an interesting woman. She has won medals in the Olympics and set records at world competitions. She and her husband are foster parents as well, providing a home for teenaged twins. She also took time off after a back injury in late winter of last year and was unable to run the Boston Marathon.

She told ESPN in April that she was able to take her first vacation in seven years with her husband and foster children and that “when given lemons, you make lemonade — let’s celebrate the fact that I have time to do this with them. It’s one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.”

As a wife, foster mother, and professional athlete, Flanagan realized she needed the time to heal and take a break from the insane pace of her life. It’s an example of listening to her body, listening to her family, and taking the steps to heal what needed to be healed, instead of continuing to recklessly put pressure on those aspects of life that needed rest. She is working for balance.

As women, we can take so much from Shalane Flanagan’s story, without any kind of political angle. She is a much-needed and welcome addition to the world of female role models. As a noncompetitive runner, I have had the thrill to observe the moment in a race in which we see the first “lady runners” sweep by us toward the finish line. It is a moment of great pride in which both men and women yell our affirmation.

As New York struggles to recover from the latest terror attack, the city once more rises with great dignity and goes about its life with aplomb. Flanagan is part of that healing. The rest of us are blessed to cheer her success with sustained applause and the shout of “GO Lady Runner!”

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.