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What High School Dress Codes Teach Our Daughters

“Stand up straight,” I tell my daughter, for the tenth time in an hour. I notice when she rolls her eyes. By the time she’s staring straight ahead again, I have seen myself reflected entirely in her behavior at her exact age of 14. I’ve heard the echoes of my mother instructing me to stop slouching, to stand up… » 6/16/15 1:50pm 6/16/15 1:50pm

What Do Men Want? Obedient Wives and Independent Daughters, Apparently

First, the “good” news: Some 34 percent of hetero men want a wife who is independent. Bad news: If you had a daughter with that dude, his preference for this trait in your offspring would nearly double to 66 percent. Is this logical as the known universe, or should we all hook paws and (independently) drive ourselves… » 4/29/15 3:50pm 4/29/15 3:50pm

Should You Ditch Fairytales and Teach Your Daughter Science Instead?

Here's a thought: Instead of filling your daughter's head with nonsensical fairytales, how about filling it with real-world facts—science!—and see if you can't foster a love for a subject that's still and notoriously more encouraged in boys. This is the subject of an essay by Wendy Thomas Russell at PBS NewsHour, and… » 2/06/15 4:50pm 2/06/15 4:50pm

Why I Will Never Tell My Daughter to Give You a Hug

I feel grumpy. It's probably too late for me to be up. There's a house full of people, some kind of party. I go to my parents' room to lie on the bed, and my Grandpa Pat comes after me. He wants a hug and a kiss. I don't feel like it. I like him, but I'm always a little shy: he's got that big barrel chest and smells… » 10/23/14 4:00pm 10/23/14 4:00pm

What Former Sluts Tell Their Daughters About Sex

You're a mom. You've had a daughter. You want to tell her the truth about sex. You yourself were "promiscuous" back in the day (or maybe still are, whatever that means). What to do? So inquired a recent online thread that highlights some interesting ideas about how we talk to girls about sexuality, including our own. » 9/15/14 4:00pm 9/15/14 4:00pm

Parents Hope Their Sons Are Geniuses and Their Daughters Aren't Fat

Another reason to feel bad for today's little girls: one day, the straight ones will grow up to face a dating selection consisting of doted upon nightmare boys raised by parents who used the power of the internet to validate their sneaking suspicion that their lil' All Star might be a genius. Meanwhile, the girls'… » 1/22/14 4:45pm 1/22/14 4:45pm

Being a Good Person Versus Being a Nice Girl

"Be a good girl?" "Smile, sweetie." "She's such a nice girl." They're all phrases most women have heard in their lives, whether they're on the receiving end of them or have heard them being said to another woman. "Good" and "nice" are adjectives that have a lot of baggage for women, which is why it's so refreshing to… » 7/31/13 5:00pm 7/31/13 5:00pm

Your Afternoon Cry: Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Tips for Her Daughter

No, thankfully Caitlin Moran isn't dead. She's alive and — for the most part — doing quite well. There's just one thing: Her daughter is about to turn 13 and the stress of it is making Moran possibly smoke herself into an early grave. And it was with that in mind that she penned this funny, touching essay for The… » 7/26/13 12:20pm 7/26/13 12:20pm

What I'd Like for Father's Day: An Open Letter to My Daughter

No ties, please. No cufflinks or gift certificates. No presents at all, really.

Kid, if you're struggling for some last-minute token for Father's Day, here's what I'd really like — this year and for years to come:

I want you to know there's no end game. The sports you play, the colleges you get into, the accolades you… » 6/15/13 3:00pm 6/15/13 3:00pm

Drive Your Mom Wild With These Mom-Pleasing Tips

You know what all the other girls will be doing for their moms this Mother's Day — the brunching, the mimosas, the cards, the pedicures — YAWN! We here at COSMOMPOLITAN know you're not like those other girls; you're a fun fearless female offspring who wants to make this Mother's Day one that will have her gossiping… » 5/10/13 4:00pm 5/10/13 4:00pm

Daughters of Communist Party Leaders in China Might Finally Benefit…

As you've watched the Chinese Communist Party leadership age over the last two decades, you've probably kept yourself awake at night fretting about who will produce the next generation of Communist propaganda. Well? Will the Politburo of tomorrow be full of more stodgy and corrupt old dudes, or, by some unforeseen… » 3/19/13 6:40pm 3/19/13 6:40pm