So last week I had to face one of my biggest fears....I am a feminist...and I'm having a baby girl! My education has taught me about the trials of women throughout history. I have taught younger women about Woman's history and shared my knowledge of the world that was and the world that is. I often read the statistics and information presented by NATO and woman's organizations about world wide issues facing the female sex today. As well, I have seen the documentaries and scholarly works produced about past and current horrors faced by women and girls in our world. The anger I felt when I learned of how may years rape has been ignored as a war crime, or when I read the yearly stats concerning violence against women and children in North America, or when I learned of the horrors of events of the former Yugoslavia have stolen from me the blind happiness that having a baby girl brings to most people. I know how it feels to to see a women scared to go home with her children, and to struggle to have something comforting to say to a girl who may have experienced rape.
More everyday experiences have allowed me to hear how women are talked about when they try to do something as simple as run a race..."that one has a nice chest...look at that bootee" . What the hell makes someone think women runners are there to be judged? Guess what...they came to run! I have known what it is like to not be able to go for a walk with your dog in a plain old jogging suit without roofers yelling about how bad you look. Why would a women dress up to walk her dog?
Yes this is a rant, but perhaps you are beginning to see that as I received the ultrasound at the hospital the other day, and as the doctor said those words..."It's a girl"....I watched Mark beam with delight as I smiled gently...a thousands thoughts running through my head. How do I ...of all people ...raise a girl?!?
I sat next to my auntie at the London Cancer Clinic yesterday, both of us knowing what the cat-scan would say,... my thoughts began to change and the fear eased....slightly lol. I realized that I was sitting with one of the most incredible women I have ever known. A women full of courage, strength and vast amounts of compassion. Thoughts of my mother came back to me, and if nothing else she was willed, determined, intelligent and an exceptionally caring nurse. May my daughter respect me and remember me with even half the love I hold for these women. I realized that yes I had know about the horrors, struggles, and pain of women throughout history.....but I also learned and taught about their courage, strength to create change, their incredible capability for survival, and their compassion.This is what I will give my daughter... to share my knowledge, strength and experience...to tell her about the the amazing women that have been and that ones that are still.
I have been blessed with a partner and father for this child that will be an exceptional example of a man, father, and helpmate. Just as his father is. His mother will be a fine example of the fortitude, knowledge, and kindness I so respect and admire. My life is filled with friends who have faced and continue to face the challenges of life with courage, respectability and love. Together they will help my daughter to learn and conduct herself in this world with respect and dignity. I may be facing one of the greatest challenges of my life, and all the fears that come with being feminist and having a girl....but I have come to realize that with family and friends, who are fine examples, and with their shared knowledge and experiences....i might raise a women ...who will not only make me reexamine my perspectives ....but one who might just change the world x