What Being A Father To My Daughter Has Taught Me About Feminism
In a little less than a month my daughter Penny will be turning two years old; and in that two years I have learned a lot about everything females have to deal with on a day to day. Now obviously my daughter isn’t really dealing with anything, but having her forced me to open my eyes to what goes on around me. I’ve never made a big deal about feminism; I wasn’t against I just try and be a decent human being to everyone. I don’t need a social movement to tell me not to be treat woman like second class citizens.
Whenever I would be put in situation with a group of males I would have to listen about the “bitches” they got with over the weekend; I always felt awkward because I would never have anything to say in these conversations. Not because I don’t have sex (I have a daughter so I clearly do) but because I don’t like referring to people like they are less than they are. I don’t think its “cool” and I don’t understand why some guys feel like they have a right when it comes to woman.
Once my daughter was born I would get a little more aggressive in these situations. No longer was it just some faceless girl that slept with a bro the night before. I was picturing some kid speaking like this about my little girl. It enraged me. And I would ask these guys how they would feel if someone was talking about their sister or mother like that. Most of them said they would be pissed off and try and fight whoever was saying those things. Then why do they feel those rules don’t apply to them when they are talking about someone else’s sister or daughter?
All of you have probably heard of Brock Turner before. I followed this case rather closely; my mind was being blown by the excuses that were being made by his defense and his family. More than anything I think what made me the most upset was the use of the classic phrase of “boys will be boys”. Even if you are the mother of this person, how can you try and justify awful behavior by of the anatomy he has? And that’s what they were doing, they didn’t deny it they justified it. “Yeah our son forced that girl to have sex but he’s a boy and boys will be boys.” The next defense they tried to use it “well she was drunk and she shouldn’t have been” ; now how is that possibly fair. Your son is allowed to get loaded and rape but because she is a female she can’t cut loose because someone never taught their son not to be a terrible person?
That is something I really struggled with. There is a pretty good chance that one day my daughter will be of age and will want to go out with her friends for a drink, and it terrifies me that she will have to decide if she should or not. Not because of any health or responsibility reasons but because who knows if there is some creep waiting around a corner.
It doesn’t help that our culture jumps right to victim blaming “What were you wearing?” “Had you been drinking?” “Did you say yes then change your mind afterward?” None of those questions should ever be asked of anyone. If someone wants to get drunk and walk down the street naked (while yes it is against the law) it doesn’t give anyone else the right to lay a finger on them.
So what having my daughter has taught me is that more than ever we need feminism; not for me I was lucky enough to have drawn the big straw as far as gender goes things are easier for me but we need to teach our daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters, and any other woman in your life that they can do anything they want to do. They don’t belong to anyone else. And if they don’t want to do something then don’t. If they want to go be cops, soldiers, fighters awesome; if they want to be wives and mothers that’s awesome too.
I want to fill my daughter with the strength to believe in herself. Any woman reading this, everything you just read applies to you too, it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can still do anything you want to do, don’t let anyone tell you different.