A love letter to my future (in honour of the Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women)
Historically, women and girls have faced discrimination.
Many people will tell you that you cannot do certain things because you have a uterus.
Many people will tell you your worth is found in your physical qualities; you must look a certain way to be admired, that all you are good for is to clean and procreate.
Sometimes you will tell yourselves these things, too.
People will grasp at you with greedy eyes and dog whistles as you walk down the street. You will not do anything to provoke them except exist.
You will be unable to go to certain areas of town at night for fear of being featured on a late night news special.
You will try not to be like those “other girls.” You will feel pressure to be “one of the guys” or think “like a man.”
You will be condemned as a horrid hairy-armpitted liberal feminist for suggesting that maybe women and girls should have more equality and rights to education.
You will be more likely to be sexually abused, raped, trafficked and enslaved.
You will feel the weight of the world on your shoulders AND your heart.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to be a part of the human race.
Do you think lions or wolves or prairie dogs abuse their mothers or sisters?
Do baboon fathers slap their little baboon daughters and leave bruises on their tiny baboon faces?
Do tiger shark children not want to swim home at night?
Sometimes, we see the darkness and we ignore it because we don’t have time or we’re afraid of making waves.
Sometimes we just want to give up.
But dear one, I want you to know that you are valued.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
You are everything.
You can clean and cook and swear and love and fail and read and study and teach astrophysics and engineer subterranean systems and paint landscapes and hold hands and write sonnets and skydive and wield machetes and sing opera and spit gangsta rap and breathe fire and grow gardens and whatever else the hell you want to do.
If someone hits you, don’t let them stay in your life.
If someone hurts you, don’t let them stay in your thoughts.
If you want to stay home and take care of your kids, do it.
If you want to be a CEO of a multi-national corporation, do it.
If you want to do both, by all means, please do.
You can do anything you set your mind to do.
You will face obstacles.
You will face challenges.
You do not have superpowers because of this.
But you are pretty damn powerful.
Violence will always be in your history and ancestry and on the peripherals of your everyday interactions.
But that doesn’t mean that a better world isn’t in your horizon, love.
A change is going to come.
I love you.
I’m proud of you.
You are a warrior.
You are a queen.
You are loved.
And you don’t have to be a certain size or speak a certain way to achieve this.
You just be.
I love you, dear one.