“Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life-sized.” Margaret Atwood
I’m pulling for everyone affected in the Manchester attack, and in all acts of violence everywhere, mind you, but I want to take a second to appreciate the resilience of little girls. One would assume that by targeting a teen pop concert, that is the primary (though not only) target.
I hear it all the time, people talking about young girls in one stereotypical dimension — catty, shallow, live inside their phones, vain, mean, so breakable… but what a bunch of bullshit. You see what you want to see. The friendships I had as a young girl were extraordinary, but not unique to me. At that age you have a capacity for love and empathy that far outweighs any propensity for smirks and sidelong glances.
This tragedy, not the first or last attack on innocence, will show us the open faucet of love and support that young girls have for each other and the world, and the strength they have to stand in the face of an impossible horror. But it will also be an example of how innocence IS NOT something we lose with age, experience, or proximity to evil. It’s that ache you still feel when you read headlines about an 8-year-old among the dead.
The strength I see in young girls is contradictory to our image of them as petals and peaches. They may be sugar and spice, but they also have layer upon layer of delicate steel, so just watch what happens next.
Believe me, I recognize that little girls and people all over the world are hurt, exploited, used, raped, kidnapped, and killed every day, and the strength I describe is not singular to Manchester. What I’m saying is, the strength of little girls is universal, ubiquitous, and without fault.
Love them and learn from them.