Today I am traveling abroad and currently in Turkey. Your mother called me as I was standing next to a group of women in traditional Arabic gowns with their faces covered. Your mother wanted to tell me today was International Women’s Day. I did not know what that was and in typical fashion, stuck my foot in my mouth and said, “Is this a new thing?” You can imagine her reaction (rightfully so).
So I then proceeded to remove one foot out of my mouth and insert the other one by saying, “Okay baby, OK! I’ve never heard of it, there are so many of these things, I can’t keep up!”
Mind you, I am standing next to a bunch of women dressed in black head to toe with only their eyeballs exposed…I actually find nothing wrong with this, as who am I to judge an entire culture? After I smoothed it over with mama, I went ahead and walked towards the gate, so I could catch my flight to Athens.
International Women’s Day: What is this thing? I Googled it, read the Wikipedia page, and a bunch of other articles, and now I know enough to not sound like an idiot the next time this comes up. But what do I know about being a woman in our society? That is easy to answer! I know nothing about it. I have heard stories, read articles about movements, and in many cases have joked about it. I sometimes think that it will back fire. You see, it is part of our nature to have an opinion, come to conclusions, belong, and be acknowledged…bottom line is I acknowledge I have been dismissive and ignorant about matters in our society in which we all must participate in and be part of the solution. I’m not sure the current approach we see with the various movements is the right way but perhaps it is – I’m not sure.
Well, I don’t know what to tell you and thank God you are only 3.5 years old so I have time to educate myself, share my opinion with you, and devise strategies and tactics to address situations and make plans. For now, my sweet angel, I will tell you this! You were given this life and along with it comes rights, privileges and responsibilities.
You must earn most of what you wish you were entitled to. You will feel life is unfair in some cases. You will have to try hard to achieve something that “should be given to you” (or so you will think) but I will be there every step of the way watching and when you want, I will help!
However, if ever in your life, you find yourself in a situation where someone did not respect you equally, did not pay you equally, or violated you in any way, I will knock that motherfuckers teeth down their throat and they will not do it again! I promise you!
In the interim, daddy is going to educate himself, understand things better and come up with a better plan. But just so you know, whoever messes with you will never, ever do it again to anyone else! I wish my letter was more sophisticated and inspiring, but daddy is a bit behind in some things… ask mama, she will tell you all about it. Grow up my love and I will make sure you are ready for what is out there when the time comes. We’re in this together!
Photo by Hallie Duesenberg