If you’ve even spent a little time over on my Facebook page you know monster…er, baby #2, is arriving in July. As nervous as I was to become a father for the first time, it pales in comparison to the wave of WTF that came over me when we found out we were expecting a girl this time round.
It didn’t take long to realize with my son that I knew nothing about raising a boy (even being one), but I KNOW that I know zilch about raising a girl. Hell, I proved that the time I (jokingly) tried to write about the female anatomy.
But in all seriousness, I’m excited about becoming a father to a little girl; a future feminine warrior, because let’s be honest, that’s what she’ll most definitely grow up to be if the women in my life have anything to say about it. But I want to have something to say about it too.
I’m a fairly sensitive guy, and pretty proud of it. I may or may not still cry when I watch some of my favorite movies (Fox and the Hound), or whenever Sarah Mclachlan comes on TV to tell me I could be helping all the animals in the world. But see, that’s a myth I would like to dispel right off the bat; being emotional, or showing emotion, in no way makes me feminine, or girly, or any other label society wants to attach to emotions. Emotions make me human, and that’s it.
So, if we take the emotional component, and even more the physical component, out of words like feminine and masculine, how do I define it, let alone teach my little girl what it means to be feminine? Maybe I don’t.
During my short time in this writing/blogging adventure I have met some wonderful writers, who’s talent is only outweighed by how nice and generous they are. One of those people is Julie Anderson from The Feminine Collective. I met Julie via social media when she reached out to me about one of my articles, and we struck a friendship ever since.
Julie (a former supermodel) and her fellow co-founder Marla Carlton (a former international model) both lived the exciting life of high fashion and world travel, but have since started a new journey in life; starting an amazing California-based nonprofit centered around raising awareness and educating the public about issues facing women and children, as well as assisting at risk women and children.
They do this by gathering some of the best writers our there (women and men), who through stories, articles and poetry, help give a voice to the women and children who have large been ignored by our society.
The creativity and heartfelt writings now have a new home as well. In January of this year Julie and Marla released The Feminine Collective: Raw & Unfiltered Vol 1. This book is described as, “a collection of essays and poems about relationships, authentic, honest and at times self-deprecating and humorous. First published on FeminineCollective.com from 2014 to 2015, the women (and a few men) bravely share their unfiltered realities in an exploration of the relationships women have with themselves, their loved ones, and with their daily pursuit of having it all.”
I was so honored when Julie sent me a copy for review. Once I opened the book, I could not put it down. Each story after the next was moving, inspiring, and many just straight-up hilarious.
I may struggle with with raising a daughter; raising a son as been no cake walk, but knowing there are those out there like Julie and Marla who are doing everything they can to not only foster creative writing by giving new authors a home to publish, and in turn redefining the word feminine through selfless actions, helps me know that at least there is hope out there as the next generation of young women are being born.