I hope I never have a daughter.
If I did, I’d be worried sick all the time of her walking alone at night wearing skirts. I’d be sorry for all her hormone-related woes – her sadness, her fears, her body image trouble, her fertility, the purity of her body and her mind and her soul. I’d be helpless in securing her future happiness, because it doesn’t lie so much in her own career path or intellect as much as it does in her meeting and being with a decent guy who would never hurt her.
What am I going to do if she turns out to be below-average in her looks? How can I lie to her face every day, this person that is partially me, and tell her that no, looks don’t matter, that inner beauty does, and she’s beautiful on the INSIDE and that’s all that matters?
What am I going to do when she’s going through puberty, and asks me why suddenly all the boys are starting to pay more attention to her? Do I dare tell her the truth about what men want? That the older she gets the less she should learn to trust them? That at first glance she’s more often than not just a piece of meat out for grabs?
What am I going to do when she goes to college, and goes to parties and gets drunk, and hot-blooded males start to make sexual advances toward her and she can’t tell the fine difference between the Polite No and the Tentative Yes?
What am I going to do when she goes to work, and meets men who are more senior in the firm, who have families but like what they see (God forbid this must mean she’s not butt ugly)? How can I teach her to walk the thin line between the use and abuse of her female power to climb the corporate ladder?
What am I going to do when she’s trying to settle down, and her biological clock is ticking, but she thinks it’s a sin to believe that because feminism has taught her that it’s important to be independent and successful, ON HER OWN, so that she doesn’t “need” to “belong” to anybody? And never truly will?
What am I going to do when she has children, when she’s pressured by a male-dominated society to go back to work after merely a couple weeks of maternity leave, and leaves her child in the care of a total stranger? How will her child possibly bond with her, know her, love her?
I hope she doesn’t have a daughter, either.
I hope I have a son. Because then he can work as hard as he likes, eat as badly as he wants, and sleep as little as he needs—looks and youthfulness matter less to him than money and social status. Because then he can bang as many women as he likes, because that would make him a rock star among his peers and win him respect. Because he can be single for all his life and still have a blast and die happy. Because he can run shirtless down a street and wouldn’t end up with child as a victim of sexual violence or just shit outta luck. Because he doesn’t need to lean in anywhere. Because he wasn’t made from some asshole’s ribs.