It takes a village to raise a child so I’ve been asking bloggers and friends to write a letter to my girls. Each week I publish a different letter. If you’re interested in contributing, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I thought I’d try a different tact, for two reasons. Firstly, I need more submissions. And secondly, I wanted to start writing a series of my own letters to my girls. So here it goes. Letter One to my girls, from me. This week’s It Takes A Village – Girls with Nous.
Dear Pop Offs,
This week we witnessed something exciting. Prime Minister Julia Gillard stood up in Parliament and gave a rousing speech about sexism in politics. It was exhilarating. I don’t give a rat’s arse what news commentators thought about it, I don’t even give a rat’s arse what her political motivations were. What I saw was a woman who had clearly had enough of the bullshit. People everywhere are trying to intellectualise her words, but what I care about is how it made me, and many other women I know, feel. She stood her ground, trusted her gut and tapped into the psyche of Australian women. She used her courageous voice to say what many women have been thinking for years. Sexism is still rife and we’ve had enough.
You, my girls, have a lot to contend with in life. You, my girls, may have the power to grow another person. That’s a huge responsibility. You, my girls, have one life to live and if I have anything to do with it, you will grab life with both hands and devour it like a croissant fresh out of the oven, smothered in butter and apricot jam. You won’t waste time talking about what you will do one day, but are too lazy to, or what you’d like to try, but are too afraid to, or wondering about what you could do, if only you had more money, longer legs, better boobs or a brainier brain. And I definitely don’t want you to ever let the fact you don’t have balls stop you from taking confident strides towards your destiny. I don’t want you to ever just let things slide – use your voice. If it doesn’t feel right, speak up. Rock the fucking boat. As they’d say these days: Destroy the joint!
I also don’t want you to ever forget what makes you unique, both as an individual, but also as a woman. I don’t want you to let stereotypes ever hinder you and don’t want you to ever judge men with their own socially imposed, antiquated boundaries. Men are more like you than you think. Be your own person, encourage others to do the same.
If you want to play 8-ball in the pub at three in the morning while sucking back beers – then do it. Just remember to only pot the black ball after you’ve potted all your other balls. And if you want to do that while wearing heels, discussing the merits of quantum physics, exchanging sourdough recipes and shedding a tear over the latest Kleenex ad, then do it. But if you’d rather, then just watch the game, while sipping on your orange juice. You can be the captain of the soccer team and still enjoy knitting. You can run your own business, enjoy cleaning, give head, run fast, sing off key, volunteer your time, teach kids, build walls, swear, not swear – you get my drift. You can love clothes shopping and still like bird watching. And on the topic of bird watching, I don’t care what type of birds they are, as long as they treat you right and you are happy.
Girls, when you are old enough to read, and understand, this letter, I hope you nod and smile, yet also giggle a little. I hope that gender, race, religion, economic and sexuality are no longer the basis for inequality. I hope with all my heart that the fact you have a vagina in no ways stands in your path to greatness. I hope with all my heart you stand side-by-side with caring, fun, honest, intelligent, inquisitive, courageous men and women. People who are more focused at creating a world of social good, rather than tearing others down.
Girls with nous are cool. Have it, get it, protect it, rejoice it and do what you can to protect this virtue for you and all the women who follow after you. If there is an injustice towards women, if there is an injustice towards men, speak up. It is not cool to stay quiet. Doing nothing, is just that – doing nothing. And who wants to do nothing with their life? Make waves, you’ll remember the ups-and-downs more than just wading in the shallows. Use your voice.
Everyone deserves to live a life of freedom, love and joy without being repressed, even arseholes. But like the Prime Minster of our country did, just make sure you call them out on it. You don’t have to be the leader of the nation to do that, but blow me down if anyone stands in your way to pursue that option if you so desire, particularly some chauvinistic prick.
Live your life with love.
Your Mum x