The mid-term elections are over, the I voted sticker profile pictures have all been changed to Thanksgiving portraits and the heated political debates have returned to their regular level of divided opinions. Yet, the conversations around humanitarian rights are far from over. It is 2018 and we are still battling the injustices of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, ethnical backgrounds, and so on.
If you are raising little girls, now is not the time to recuse yourself from the conversation. As fathers to our future women, denouncing politics is unacceptable. Now, more than ever, our girls need your voice.
If you have been paying attention to the news, then you are aware that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is currently working on a proposal that will make it even harder for University rape victims to come forward. Why does this matter to you?
Women have continually been the victims of sexual assault and gender inequality. Women have been disrespected, dehumanized, and undervalued. Your daughter will grow up in a world where she is challenged, casted out, and ignored just because she is a girl. She will be called a liar, she will be sexualized, and she will have to maneuver through a world that will undermine her worth. All because she is a girl. As her father, and most important male influence, what will your role be?
Yes, women are finding their voices and we are louder than ever. We are marching, we are speaking up and we are breaking down the barriers that continue to hold us back. We are shattering glass ceilings, we are challenging the masses and we are paving the way for our future female leaders.
The wheels of equality and respect for women have been slowly moving forward over time. In the last few years we have given them a determined shove towards the finish line, but unfortunately there is still no end in sight. We are still fighting battles that we will have to pass down to our daughters; your daughters. Will you fight with us?
“I don’t follow politics,” should not be a response from the fathers of our daughters. Your little girls’ future rights will evolve around your involvement in politics. Your defense against bigotry, inequality, and arrogance will be the response that she will depend on as she grows. Your intolerance to disrespect towards women will be the validation she will need to steer past the racket of unnecessary noise.
As your daughters’ greatest example of a man’s relationship with women, she will look to you for guidance. What kind of father will you be when she’s ready to take on the world?
Will you encourage her to be a part of the movement, or will you remain silent?
Will you push her to succeed in a world that will tell her she can’t, or will you ignore her challenges?
Will you stand up to a society that will try to break her down, or will you stay in the shadows?
Will you inspire her to speak her truth when she is called a liar, or will you fade in to the background?
Will you motivate her when the world tries to put out her flame, or will you allow her fire to dwindle?
Will you invite her to share her own opinions, or will you silence her?
Will you validate her fears and her concerns, or will you push them off to the side?
Will you give her the courage to tell her story, or will you shut her out?
It’s difficult to understand a perspective that you can not relate to, but I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of your little girl. Listen to the obstacles that women face and imagine your daughter taking on those obstacles. Believing that the world will fight against your child is a tough pill to swallow, but that’s the reality our daughters will face.
What if your child was told no, she could not have that job because of her gender? What if she was denied the same pay just because she was not the same sex. Could you face your child after she was denied the right to play sports because she is female?
Imagine a world where your daughter must walk to her car, looking over her shoulder while she clutches her car keys. How would you feel knowing that the man who raped your little girl is standing in front of her in a court room, trying to break her for a second time because he was given the right to cross examine her? Can you picture your baby girl being blamed for her own nightmares because society has sexualized her body well before she was even born?
Can you see the pain in her face? Can you feel her fear? Do you understand the discouragement? Will you stand up to a world that will try to devalue your little girl?
Will you help us change the course of her future?
To the Fathers of our Daughters, will you be a part of the movement?
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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.