Mom’s list of ‘don’ts’ for her daughter goes viral

Shortly after one dad’s feminist-friendly list of “rules” for dating his daughter went viral online, one mom’s list of “don’ts” for her daughter quickly follow suit—and women everywhere are giving the Facebook post the applause it deserves.

The word “don’t” may sound restrictive, but the mom’s letter to her daughter is anything but. Writer Toni Hammer shared her list of “don’ts” on Facebook last week, and it’s an empowering piece that should be required reading for women of all ages.

“To my daughter,” Hammer wrote beneath a picture of her grinning daughter. “Don’t apologize when someone else bumps into you. Don’t say ‘sorry to be such a pain.’ You’re not a pain. You’re a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect.”

She continued on with other “don’ts” that hit the nail on the head, as you can see in her post below:

There are so many things I would like to applaud in this letter to young girls, lessons that, even having grown up in a very progressive, feminist family, I wish I had learned earlier. Women apologize more frequently than men do, frequently for things that they shouldn’t need to, and that’s a habit experts say can harm a woman’s leadership trajectory at work or put her in an unnecessarily subservient position.

The world frequently tells women they aren’t funny, or that they should soften the blow of rejection for guys that ask them out. They’re told by strangers on the street to smile and, as moms and employees, they’re consistently putting others’ needs first. All of those societal norms little girls grow up with often keep women from putting their own needs first and allowing themselves to be whomever they’d like.

So here’s a huge hat tip to Hammer for helping her daughter grow up to be unapologetically herself—whoever that turns out to be—and sharing that wisdom with the rest of the world, too.