I talk a lot about writing strong female lead characters into my novels for a reason: I want my daughters to see women who have fought their way through places that are typically male dominated, and came out on top.
If you want to know what a strong female is, read this letter. It is from one of my readers. Thank God for people like her who serve to keep the world a safer place.
As a college grad who then went the enlisted route in the Navy I think it’s important to teach girls they can do anything. My choices weren’t very popular when I enlisted in 1979. The country still had the Vietnam mentality. I knew traditional roles and paths for women weren’t for me so I took the plunge with my father, a WWII vet, cheering me on. (I should add I have 3 older sisters who all did the marriage right out of high school thing.)
I found myself in total shock when I hit bootcamp. I was sure I’d made a HUGE mistake. Three months later I left bootcamp knowing I could accomplished and survive anything life threw at me.
I went into military intell, was the first woman in the Navy to get orders to S.Korea since some time in the 1950’s (that was harder than bootcamp) and spent 4 years at one of the 3 letter agencies in D.C. where I wrote reports that went directly to the White House.
After 8 1/2 years I left active duty, got divorced and raised a daughter completely on my own. I worked in insurance law because the education the military gave me far surpassed college education. Military training translated into a job I never thought about and didn’t think I was qualified for.
Keep telling your daughters they can do anything they want because it’s true. It’s an important message for all kids today because of the “snowflake culture” and “safe space” mentality that makes them believe the world should compromise for them instead of them compromising to fit the world.
I honestly believe this is damaging our youth who never learn how to operate in a world that can be tough and unforgiving. They don’t learn to take in ideas that are at odds with each other and come to their own conclusions.
My father’s way of teaching us how to swim was to take us out over our heads and throw us in. Now I understand he was never far away and would never let me drown, then, not so much, but the lesson was learned, you have to save yourself because there might not be anyone around to do it for you.
I’m thankful I was raised by a man who never coddled me or let me believe I couldn’t accomplish something because I was a girl. He will always be my hero.