The War on Girls: Pt. I My Beginning

I have dedicated the next few Sundays to this series entitled The War on Girls.  It comes from a list of blog posts that have put on the back burner but have wanted to write so much about on ACR. Personal things that I have experienced that I now realise effect so many in our world.  Where silence is kept I want to speak openly. To take an honest look at how our society has shaped this surreal world for us as women.  Not just in the social media age but in society and and from the places where we seek unconditional love.  The war on girls is impacted by and directly affects the male population.  With raising two boys of my own I have seen the correlation between the issues women face and the type of men I am trying to raise my boys to be.
This statement of advice that I heard recently impacted me on a personal level.  I am the first to stand up and say that I am my own worst enemy, the first to judge myself harshly.  To put thoughts in my head about how others perceive my words and actions.  An example would be a look at my blogging. I have butchered posts up to make them shorter or taken out post ideas entirely.  While I have a love of writing and at times feel moved to say what is on my heart, I let either the opinions of others stifle my voice or stop writing for the fear that if it is long no one will read it.  Be honest with me, if you do not see a lovely photograph in a the next paragraph will you get bored and move on to the next blog?  Has the world of social media  shackled our lives so much that to be engaged online we need short and sweet writings that are pretty to look at to keep our attention? Or is the truth in the matter covering up the fact that my preconceived fears of what others think may indeed be the root problem of it all?  Where did this fear come from and why does it hurt so many in our society?  More importantly how can we stop this from affecting our younger generations when the media world continues to dictate what we should feel and believe?

The war on girls and how society is failing us will be my focus for the series while I take a personal look at my own life.  To do this I want to take this introductory post and give you a look at my beginning and how it shaped who I was to become.  

Who am I?

I was born into a nomadic family thanks to my father being a USAF officer who enjoyed taking one overseas assignment after another.  I became a third culture kid (TCK) from living in a few different countries and cultures outside of my parents’ home culture during my developmental years. I was always in between cultures getting ready to leave one place and move to another while never fully feeling apart of one world.   As TCKs having this background it is  normal to experience what has been labeled by TCK author Pollock as a delayed adolescence. But more on that in later posts. 

I recognize that my life growing up as a teenager in Europe was unique to me and my situation, although a vast different experience from my husband's time being brought up in the midwest of the US.  Drinking and sex are two things that come to my mind when I think of how the US and European mindsets differ.  From living in the land of beer in Germany to the land of wine in Italy, alcohol was a was a highly present commodity in my life.  I grew up with parents that I saw drinking often, though I never saw them drunk.  While I did drink wine occasionally with my parents, that was the extent of my drinking before I turned twenty one.  I used the word 'sex' above but I really mean how the human body is viewed in Europe.  From art scene, to the people at the beach, and to the media world of magazines, television, and billboards.  A perfect example for me recently was the reaction of Americans about the latest celebrity news of tweaking in a musical event and how people in countries in Europe did not take notice.  This was the world I grew up in as a teenager and 

I went off to University straight after high school graduation to a conservative private christian university.  As a student I adhered to the rules that included no drinking, no dancing, no mixed swimming, no members of the opposite sex in our dorm rooms,  etc.  As a girl I was also held to a strict conduct of modesty at all times and the dorm rules which included strict weekly inspections.  For example, I could not go out one night because I had not effectively cleaned all the dust off my blinds. However, when I helped my boyfriend move out at the end of the school year, it was clear they never had to clean once in nine months. You see where things are not balanced. I state all this to explain the type of world view I was being molded to as a young adult away from home for the first time.  I went to a school where in my freshman classes the professors liked to point out that we could be sitting by our future spouse and peers joke that they came for the M.R.S.  not a specific degree.  I loved my theatre department and I loved that I did meet my husband there.  It just was not your typical college experience and a world away from what life was like in Europe where I grew up.

I got married after my sophomore year of university and pregnant with our first son in less than a year.  This prompted my husband to follow in my father's footsteps and join the military.  As a newlywed and a new mother I would now fill the role of a military spouse.  I had traded in my single life and my adult life for starting and taking care of our family.  Any needed girls' night outs would be replaced by play dates at starbucks and playgrounds. This was my life up till the summer after my father was killed.  That summer became a turning point for me in many different ways.  

I will be continuing this series on Tuesday as part of the #Blogtember challenge and picking it up again next Sunday.  I hope the introduction to this series has intrigued you and that you will follow along at ACR.  I have tried my best to keep Sundays to these days of when I may need to say a little more than normal. In the blogging-sphere where reader numbers go down on the weekends, I dedicate these writings to my die hard fans. Thank you to those that will read my words and hear the message within.  Remember 'you are better than you think you are'...go out next week and do something you have wanted to do. You deserve it.

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 - 2013 All Rights Reserved | 


  1. I am intrigued where you take this series. I love that you just went ahead and posted without another picture, which you are great at, but wrote what you wanted too. I also enjoy hearing about your time in college and how it affected you after as it is very different than the time I spent in college!

  2. Love this on so many levels. I can't wait to see where this series goes, it's such an important topic! And the advice is good too, we all need to remember that we're better than we make ourselves out to be.

  3. As soon as I saw your tweet, I was intrigued! Just with the title alone! And I'm interested in seeing where this goes...

    To comment on a couple of things:

    1. It was so interesting to hear more of your story. I didn't realize you were married SO young (though if I did simple math, it would make sense, haha). But still, I would love to hear more about you guys falling in love and deciding to get married that young (though in Christian circles -- conservative ones -- this isn't out of the norm).

    2. Yes, I think we all struggle with those sorts of insecurities... second-guessing ourselves before we publish something. I just wrote about my version of it this week... those moments where you wonder if you don't do all of the things that they say to do, will people still read? Like you said -- is a post even worth posting if it doesn't have a photo or a few throughout? If you open up a lot and say what's really on your mind, will people care? And I think the answer is YES! Maybe not the same people, but people will! This is your space and it's important for you to use this platform how you see fit -- to share your truth, your feelings, and what's important to you. Thanks for this Bonnie Rose and I look forward to seeing how it develops!

  4. Glad I got you intrigued. I really wanted to write more about it today but will let Tuesday's post for Blogtember work into that theme.

  5. Oh yes. We need to put our fears aside and keep going. x

  6. I know my post was more of an intro today but I'm looking forward to Tuesday's post for blogtember. I was writing out notes last night about it and realised there was no way I could refrain from writing a novel, had to be broken up into a series for sure.

  7. I love this idea so much! Can't wait to read the next post about this.
    I have the same feeling about the entire sex and drinking in society. When I lived in the US it was all... not done, I guess. But since living in the Netherlands again it kind of has become pretty 'normal'. Although some things are still pretty odd to see, for the little American inside me.

  8. Thank you Susanne, the next will be Tuesday for the #Blogtember link up. what I find odd too is I see a lot of people who act more when they cannot have something (like the alcohol). I used to joke that the only drunk Italians I knew are the ones that had american friends.

  9. The first college to regularly accept woman, Oberlin College, admitted them so long as they agreed to do things such as clean the boys rooms, do their laundry ect. Sad to see that this kind of thinking is still prevalent in colleges today.

  10. Cannot wait to read the next post!
    I am so interested in perceptions of women and experiences therein. My grandmother went to university in 1930s as she had a scholarship because she was so bright and I wish I had spoken to her more about it to learn from. She championed women and their rights and even chaired a society that helped women who worked on the streets or were forced vis human trafficking into her mid-80s and her perceptions on drinking etc was striking. She would have loved the idea of this post! Sorry if I have waffled on a bit ...

  11. have i told you how amazing you are? this is absolutely fantastic bonnie. i love how you touched on the blogging scene. how we want short and sweet posts but yet sometimes what you want to say cannot be constricted to such a short amount. i too have struggled with this. sometimes i have something on my heart that does not require a photo and takes up more space that i usually write. but that does not mean we should not write it. sadly, it may get less comments and less pageviews but sometimes it's worth the risk of still posting it in the hopes that it will help someone out. well done. i can't wait for more of these series!

  12. what a great series this is going to be. it is always interesting to look at how different cultures and societies treat women differently between each culture and also how they are treated differently than men. i also love the quote in the box. i, too am my biggest critic sometimes, its nice to know im not the only one!

  13. This is a wonderful idea for a series... I find differences in how women are seen and treated across cultures so fascinating. Having lived in Africa, I now see American views on women as quite progressive, but in Europe I would imagine that they're even more so. Can't wait for the next post. xxx

  14. You were grounded for dust on your blinds, yet the guys could get away without cleaning? Don't get me started!


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Bonnie Rose

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