It’s been a rough week. With an “alleged” attempted rapist being nominated to the Supreme Court, and an “alleged” serial abuser and rapist as our sitting President, it’s never been clearer that things aren’t that much better than they were 30 years ago. As a feminist mom, I had really hoped things would be better by now. Better than they were for me, better than they are. When I found out I was having a girl I was equally excited and terrified. People asked me if in the age of Trump am I scared for my daughter Juniper. The answer was an emphatic YES, I’m extremely afraid but no more so than I was 5 years ago. Because things have always been hard for women.3378796-612x612.jpg

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It’s not quite as simple as saying I’m scared. Many of my friends are at the point where they don’t want to bring children into the world, son or daughter. Millennial’s are waiting longer to have children and in general less are interested in having children than any previous generation. Many of my feminist friends feel they would rather wait and hold out hope that things will change in the future. Some even think that it just won’t be getting better at all and that they wouldn’t want to put any potential children through it between the political climate and the economy. I feel the opposite. As a feminist mom I feel like it’s even more important than ever we don’t stop bringing children into the world. We will raise our children to be strong and resist the oppressive regime that is being built around us.

No more the meek and mild subservients we! We’re fighting for our rights, militantly!Never you fear! So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!Our daughters’ daughters will adore us. And they’ll sign in grateful chorus”Well done! Well done!Well done Sister Suffragette! – Mary Poppins

I do feel sick to my stomach thinking of every moment in my own childhood and adulthood that I was taken advantage of because I was a female in a male dominated world. Every time a man/boy crossed a line and I pretended I was okay.  Since I’ve learned more about feminism, the patriarchy and come to identify as a feminist I now recognize more things that I accepted before when I shouldn’t have had to. I know that it won’t change our world just by having children, I’m no Dugger after all I’m not trying to single handedly overpopulate them. But I’ll sure as hell be raising my daughter to reject anything other that full equality and hope that will help turn the tide. Being a feminist mom means that I take that as part of the job.

I remind myself the hardships that have come before that show that we are making progress. Of Anita Hill standing up to Clarence Thomas with no support and having him still be confirmed and how different it was handled by the public today. There is change, because this time we are all saying no more together. Last time not enough of us were willing to cast of the shackles of yesteryear, not enough were willing to say this is wrong and always has been. I wish it had been different for her. That we had all made the same noise.

But because misogyny is deep within us and especially as white women, our privilege colors our thoughts and gives us a bias against one another.

Being a white feminist is a thing after all. It was shown when we failed collectively as women because we didn’t give the support to her. That we are starting to recognize these flaws and question why we wouldn’t believe another woman is a positive. And that is change. We are starting to ask, what if it was us? Our daughters? There is a million reasons to not report, just look at the research. Or how about even read a few of these stories.

 

This time we as women are horrified that this is happening again. This time my sisters stand with me and we are stronger, and angrier. We are telling our stories. We don’t owe them to anyone but we are tired of staying quiet. This time it’s less and less people willing to go along with pretending it’s not a problem. There is change, it’s subtle but it’s there.

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And I know I’m not alone in wanting and being ready to make this change. I went to a concert the other night for the band First Aid Kit. They played the song You’re The Problem Here. A thousand women yelled and cried and sang together that we were done being nice. That we are important. That our bodies and our stories matter. I felt the anger of all the women before me and all the women to come and I saw these two sisters stand on stage and say enough. That what happens to women around the world isn’t their fault. That rape, assault and harassment is no ones fault but the perpetrator. I was reminded that though I am tired, and my mother is tired the young have the energy to fight back if we give them our strength and our support. So I will tell my daughter.

I love you. I will protect you as much as I possibly can. Not everyone will. Not all people are good. But know if anything happens if anyone hurts you it isn’t your fault. You never have to do anything you don’t want to. You are allowed to fight back and I’ll be there by your side no matter what happens. You are not wrong for wanting love, fun, attention, affection and experiences. The world is a wild, harsh and brutal place but can be filled with moments of intense beauty. And you are that beauty. You are the brightness. You are the future. You are important because you are a person, a human being, a soul. And everyone deserves respect and kindness and to be believed ALWAYS.

And to any who say “what if it was your brother, or your father?” I say I know from experience that when it is someone close to you, you have a choice. My choice will always to say “investigate, find out the truth, if they are innocent of this horrible crime then they will be proven so”. Because 97% of accusations are true. I am a feminist mom and I believe women.