BlogHer Role Modeling

I was excited to finally meet my co-panelist Vicki Forman. She lives and breathes and writes (and teaches) literature. She has the strength and talent to describe her own harrowing parenting experiences without resorting to melodrama, or detachment. She is a role model for any person with writerly aspirations.

She is also raising a strong, independent preteen girl in our body image-obsessed and materialistic society, and I wanted to get her advice, wanted to ask how she innoculates her daughter against toxic media messages. Her response: she surrounds her daughter with strong, principled, women; with role models.

As I think back on our panel, on the sheer brain power and bravery in that room and on that stage, I see the women my daughters know and are getting to know. I see Karianna in the front row, Liz Ditz on the side, Lisa Stone behind her, Gwendomama running the mic.

And then I see the women who sat in the audience with my nine-year-old daughter while she watched me take a public stand about my parenting, my beliefs. I see Jenifer Scharpen, SJ Alexander, Liz Henry, Debbie Notkin and Laurie Toby Edison. I see them sitting next to one very lucky little girl.

For now, I am not worried. We've got my daughter's back.

I wish all girls were as fortunate.

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  1. Shannon, it was so fantastic to meet you in person at the conference! You did an excellent job on the panel and what a blast to go out afterwards. Looking forward to following your blogs!

  2. You are making me cry again!

    The openness, honesty, and support at that panel are all things I wish I could have experienced at age nine - your daughter is lucky indeed. (And she's always been wise beyond her years, at least from what I've seen.)

    Again, congratulations for an amazing panel. I have been awed at the communications I've had with the people in that room since that day. I've been amazed at the grace these women have. I've been thankful for how much these women can teach me.

  3. Shannon,
    I realized that I shared this item in my google reader but forgot to comment. Your own grace, intelligence and humor will be more than enough for your daughter, and I am honored to call you friend.

  4. @jordan: we had the very bestest time ever, didn't we? So glad to be able to say "Yes, I KNOW JORDAN!"

    @Kari: If no one cries, then I have not done my job.

    @Vicki: Wow. Thanks! Likewise.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.

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