Harriet Boorhem: Youth Today’s Online Diarist

It’s awesome and a bit scary to see your children speak out on issues about which they are passionate. I have two daughters, both of whom are extremely articulate, are passionate about many causes, and who sounded off recently about the Texas Legislature cutting funds to Planned Parenthood.

My oldest, Kat, wrote a commentary on her website, and my youngest, Leslie, posted an article from the Austin paper, adding a few choice words, which I won’t repeat here.

Both girls were raised in diametrically opposed environments: liberal, feminist with their mother and conservative, conservative with their dads. What this forced them to do was forge their own beliefs from the two, which they did very well. Lucky for me, their beliefs landed much closer to mine than their dads’ (LOL!).

This is not to say, however, that they track right down the line with my beliefs. Leslie, for instance, was heavily influenced by her church experience and holds very different beliefs from me about all that. Kat, on the other hand, is even more “radical” than I on many issues and is totally unafraid to speak out uncensored about them.

What we are very close in belief about, however, is women’s health. Kat has used Planned Parenthood most of her adult life for low-cost well-woman check-ups, birth control, and treatment for female ailments. Having had no insurance since graduating from college, PP was a godsend for her. So, to lose that resource is devastating to her. Although Leslie has never used PP, many of her friends have, for the same stuff that Kat did. What none of them has ever used PP for is abortions.

But I am not here to debate that issue. What I am here to say is how strange it is sometimes to hear echoes of my voice in my daughters’ voices……how fearful I am sometimes for them for speaking out…..and how aware I am that they are so much more politically savvy, so much more aware of what’s happening in the world, and SO much more willing to speak out about it than I was at their ages, that I often stand in awe of both of them.

It has often been said that our children reflect both the best and worst of us. I think I lucked out with my girls. They seemed to have gotten the best of both their dads and me. And though it is a little scary to see and hear them stand up, speak out, take the heat for their beliefs, when I hear those echoes, it does my heart good to know they GOT what I wanted them to get……..their OWN, strong voices.

Harriet Boorhem is the president of Promise House, which provides a multitude of services to families and homeless youth in the Dallas area, and Youth Today’s first online diarist.


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