Edited with an addendum below
Tonight I read a fantastic post on Sweet Juniper and after reading through some of the comments I got angry. I know. Anger is bad. Anger is something I try very hard not to possess. But tonight I can't help it. I'm angry.
I know these people are good parents. They are doing their best and trying to protect their children from all the evil in the world. And I know worrying comes with the territory. And I respect that. To a point.
But as a woman who loves men and boys and has a son, I want to scream in the faces of parents who are teaching their daughters to fear boys. To fear "the evil penis". To fear themselves and their bodies.
There are bad guys out there. Tonight I busted one of them who found his way into my chatroom and tried to come on to several of my girls. This makes me angry and sad and after dealing with the situation, we discussed it and then moved on.
There have been bad guys in my life, men who have compromised me sexually and otherwise. Men who embarrass themselves with their shameful harassment. But that is not an excuse. That is not a reason to be afraid...
We must deal with it and move on.
I don't want to hear your excuses for why you shoo boys from your daughters, from yourselves. Because we all have a reason to belittle the opposite sex, and in my opinion men have just as much clearance to do as women do. We are a bunch of fearful neurotic crazy-paths, after all. We're hormonal and we're complete and utter hypocrites.
How does a women who calls herself a "feminist" fear that her daughter will be victimized? Doesn't "feminism" rally behind the strength of women? Doesn't a feminist believe in her own strength as a woman? And that of her daughter as well?
It all goes back to fear. And fear is the sword that separates us. Men from women. Woman from herself.
And maybe I'm the crazy one. (It wouldn't be the first time.) Maybe my being fearless is being naive. And stupid. But more than that I think it has to do with my parents who taught me never to be afraid. And who gave me the greatest gift by doing so. They raised me to feel empowered as opposed to victimized. To face life and not to hide from it, or hide my children. Who are we to tame our children before they even understand what it means to be wild? Who are we to limit their experience with our own closed-minds? Why must our own experience foreshadow what may come of our children's? And don't we remember what it felt like to be a child? Please tell me we do. Because if I'm not mistaken, every single thing my mother told me not to do I did. Twice.
The most fulfilled life is a life lived. A child who is prepared not by fear but by trust. Love. Openness.
I DO NOT want Archer to be afraid. Of himself and of boogie-men and strangers with candy. And if I ever have a daughter I do not want her to be afraid of her body. Or of the "penis." Or growing up. And I want to scream because I know their are parents who are using fear as a way to manipulate their children, because they think that's what is best for them. AND THAT IS SO FUCKING BACKWARDS!
Because Barbie is THE BITCH!
Because a little boy flirted with my little girl. And he was seven-years-old and my daughter is five! FIVE!
Because penises belong to men and men are BAD and they do bad things and objectify women.
Because little boys grow into big-bad-men
Because I was molested as a child and I don't want it to happen to my children.
Well you know what? Fear is the worst kind of molester. Fear rapes the spirit. And the mind.
Little girls are not victims. And little boys who turn their heads when little girls walk by are not evil or perverted or bad. And shame on our society for saying so. Shame on our society for its political correctness and obsessive fear.
A while ago I wrote about going home to San Diego and how two children were expelled for kissing on the playground. In Kindergarten.
Welcome to today-- where being afraid is the only way to make it through elementary school.
Fear is the enemy. And it's trite and cliched but it's true. We are fucking our children up. We are cutting their spirits with our scissors. We are binding them with Caution Tape. With our fears and our lists and our 10 o'clock news. With our horror stories and nightmares and jaded self-importance.
And if this should fall on deaf ears than I'm taking my child and I'm moving us to France or the Moon or someplace other than here... Where little girls aren't being raised in cages. And little boys are allowed to be HUMAN.
The world is not a terrible place. It is only a victim of bad publicity. Protection is our duty as parents but fearlessness is our greatest gift.
Edited to add, in response of comments: If I see another statistic I'm going to be ill. Can anyone name ONE positive stat off the top of their heads? 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. 1 in 4 women will be raped. Etc. Etc. Infinity.
Please! Tell me one of you knows a positive stat, because I sure as hell can't think of one. And THAT makes me sad.
It makes me sad that we go around throwing statistics to back-up our philosophies instead of opening up our eyes and examining all angles. Everything is relative.
Fear perpetuates itself and statistics are catalysts for negativity and fear. When you go into a marriage knowing you have a 50/50 shot, does that help your marriage? As a woman, knowing you have a 1 in 4 chance of being raped, does that help you? Does it help you understand men? Or fear them? Does it help you love yourself? Or feel weakened? For me, it makes me feel weak and spiteful.
Weakness and spite are not qualities I want for myself or for the people I love, especially not my children.
My point is that, fearlessness is not pushing your child in the lion's cage or into oncoming traffic. It is not showing a child he/she the roof and saying "jump." It is merely educating the child that lions may bite, that cars may speed, but that not ALL cars will hit you. Not all lions will eat you alive. This to me is fearlessness, FACING the issue, instead of being afraid of it.