Dear little girl, You are ok, what you are doing is ok. That warm, wondrous feeling you experience when you squeeze your legs together, wiggle your toes, and use your fingers to rub where your pee comes out, that is an orgasm. And it is magical. Your body, sweet baby girl, is yours. Own it. Love it. Appreciate it. Others will tell you that your pleasure isn’t as important as other people’s pleasure; that is a lie. Your body is yours to share when and with whom you want, on your terms. Those rules are yours to set, to change, and to declare. Say them loudly, clearly, with confidence, as the world will try to bend and break those rules. That, little girl, is not your fault. Your body, your sexuality, changes. How you will feel about touching it, loving it, appreciating it, celebrating it, challenging it, sharpening it, all of this is fluid. Much like that warm liquid that comes out as your body shudders in pleasure; its pure. And it’s yours. You will, likely, have a lot of different kinds of sex in your life. Sex with yourself, sex with others. Most of the sex, perhaps all of it, that you have will be recreational. You might decide that you want to have a baby someday and the sex that you might or might not have to get that baby inside your body will be, during that time, purposeful in an added way. But most of the sex that you will have in your life will be for fun, for pleasure, try to treat it that way. The most important thing I want you to know about your body and your sexuality is that it is a gift. Don’t take it for granted, and don’t squander it. Keep it safe, tend it well, and enjoy every minute of it. Love, Your grown up self
for their fucking actions! I am the mother of sons; I never envisioned this. I always thought I would have daughters. Raising feminist daughters, THAT, I used to think, I knew how to do, but how the hell do I raise feminist sons? That book we are writing every day, a new, literally and figuratively. My sons are 8 and 10 years old right now and they are more feminist than most grown ass men, and women, that I know. They call out everyone on pronoun usage, including their parents, on the regular. They talk about how women and girls are often missing from their classroom learning in their public classroom in Texas. They confidently say no when someone wants a hug and they don’t want to give it. In turn, they ask before they touch people and offer a fist bump or high five if folks don’t want to hug. We’ve been talking to them about justice, violence, sex, gender, emotions, and equity since they were babies. From the books we read them too often claiming that princesses are girls and need rescuing from heroes who are exclusively boys to dressing them in clothing that promote equity, emotional intelligence, and kindness, to taking them to a wide range of protests and actions and explaining their role in the change we want to see in the world. We answer questions honestly, especially when they are uncomfortable. We talk about science when talking about gender and sex. We talk about economics, bias, and access to education when talking about why there are people asking for spare change on street corners and how brave that is, to ask for help when we need it. We apologize when we are wrong, the parents raising these white boys. We say we are sorry to them, to each other, when we’ve overstepped, overreacted, yelled. We ask for forgiveness, and we let them decide if they are going to give it. When they whine about mac and cheese, Legos, and video games I remind them these things, like all things in life, are a privilege. I remind them that as white boys growing into white men they need to get their heads around how easy their lives are for them, how people are going to assume that they are educated, that they are qualified, and that they are deserved and how this is wrong. And I tell them to stop being greedy. Sometimes they listen; we are still working on this one. When Brett Kavanuagh was being confirmed as our next Supreme Court Justice and Dr Ford was bravely telling the world of the pain he’d caused her I baked a cake. I called this cake a “Trigger Day” cake and at dinner that night, together, we talked about assault, consent, and how different it is to wear a woman’s skin than a man’s. I told them that there have been boys and men that have hurt me, and that I will never fully recover from those scary, dangerous times those people did not listen to me. They told me how sad that makes them. We talked about listening to people, asking for permission, and respect. Then we ate cake.
If we are lucky, as little girls the grown ups in our life talk to us very early on about inappropriate touch and our bodies. Too many of us are not so lucky to have grown ups that care for us that way in our lives, but either way, talk or no talk, most of us are broken by the uninvited sexual touch of others at some point in our lives. They are brothers, boyfriends, fathers, uncles, employers, boyfriends, and health care providers. They are coaches, neighbors, priests, counselors and babysitters. They are too many to name, and they break us. -20% of us will be sexually assaulted in our lives. -25% of us will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. -65 % of us will experience sexual harassment in our lives. These numbers are based on reported cases so the numbers are likely much higher. The #metoo movement is giving a voice to us a collective, a battlecry, a slogan that too many of us have needed to too long. The sense that enough is enough and we won’t tolerate this shit anymore is mounting. But to what end? How does this really change? Women, we need to act, always in the defense of self. Our individual selves and our collective selves. We need to support one another in these acts of defense in word, deed, and intent. The world has not been created to keep us safe, to enable us to act in defense of self, because to do so, it has been told to us, is a zero sum game and in that game, men loose. They lose face, confidence, access to our bodies at any time they want it, and the lose the social protections they’ve enjoyed. So it’s time, ladies, for us to make the rules to the new game in town, our game: in defense of self. Ourself, women-self. These rules will protect us, punish those who hurt and hunt us, and will promote a culture of consent. Are you in? Let’s go.