Why I want my daughter to be a fighter

Like any parent, I want my daughter to have options. I want her to learn a musical instrument, play a team sport, and learn to sing, dance and speak a different language.

But most of all, I want her to learn how to fight.

That doesn’t mean I want my daughter to be a bully or to hit people for fun – far from it.


Part of me wants her to love martial arts because she’d look adorable in a Karate gi, but it’s much more than that. Obviously, for practical reasons, I want my daughter to know how to defend herself in case she ever needs to. But the most important thing to me is that she has a fighter’s spirit.

I want her to know that the most rewarding things in life are things you have to work for.

I want her to think that strength is synonymous with beauty.

I want her to continually strive to be better, and to understand that change and achievement doesn’t happen overnight.

I want her to look up to athletes instead of models in glossy magazines. I want her heroes to be women who, when they are pushed to the ground, get right back up again.

I want her to know that nothing is off-limits; that just because something is traditionally ‘masculine’ doesn’t mean it can’t be done, and I want her to have the confidence and the drive to go out and get it for herself.

I want her to stand up for herself and for others, and to speak out when she sees an injustice.

If I have my way, my daughter won’t be a damsel in distress waiting for a prince to come and save her; she’ll be able to save herself just fine.

Women in today’s society are more empowered than ever before, but young girls are still subjected to traditional – and often archaic – ideals of femininity.

Girls are dainty and pretty and treated like princesses; boys are tough and active and encouraged to express themselves physically.

But girls can be tough too, and tough can be just as beautiful as any pretty magazine cover.

There’s a lot I want for my daughter.

But if she’s has a fighter’s spirit, my job is half done already.

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