Parenting Blog

Growing A Girl In A Country of Men Who Piss All Over The Soil

There are moments of pride and happiness and hope, fleeting as they may be thanks to what I am tempted to say is the current sociopolitical climate in America. I hesitated on current.

This cannot be thought of as exclusive to our time alive in America because anyone with half a brain knows that that’s a fool’s statement. Current. Yeah, right. This shit is as old as our country, as old as the country my pasty white ancestors ditched to found a new one, older still.

There are moments when I allow myself to feel proud and happy and, dare I even say it, hopeful to be part of a parenting team, a village, responsible for raising two daughters, for growing two girls, for putting into the world, into this current world, a pair of bright, courageous, thoughtful, kind, passionate, creative, badass young women. It’s a world, a country, an America, that desperately needs them but has a fucking awful way of showing it.

Those are the fleeting, hopeful moments when I permit myself to believe that our country will not crush my daughters, your daughters, all our daughters, at every turn.

Currently, most of my days are filled with many moments that stand in stark contrast to those prideful, happy and hopeful ones. Most of my thoughts now both as a dad and as just a decent human being veer down into the bunker I wish I knew how to build or over to the private island I wish I could afford. The current climate in America, while yes, nothing new, is punctuating every sentence with a big old wrinkly white male middle finger shown in the direction of every woman, but it is being brandished with a special dose of ‘fuck you’ for the young, black, Muslim, poor, old, Native American, LGBT, non-white, non-self-loathing, non-affluent woman.

We knew this was always there though, just beneath the surface of our paved Main Streets. Of course we knew because the evidence would creep out of the sewers every now and again, make the 6 o’clock news, make us cower, make us ‘hug them tighter tonight’, make us send our thoughts and prayers.

We knew there was an underbelly of misogyny that’s been woven into our national fabric but that belly is fatter than ever and is hanging over a big ugly belt buckle for all the world to see. That’s what’s current in America. Misogyny is very now. Very on trend in the United States.

Contempt for women is picking up steam in America in the very places it should be retreating back into it’s ugly crevasses, places where decisions and laws are being proposed, drafted and enacted. Thus the misogyny is becoming normalized, rationalized, and accepted on our Main Streets at a rate I will say, without empirical data, faster than at anytime in our extremely complicated American history.

Our country asks the question, “what was she wearing?” instead of “why did he rape her?”

Our country asks the question, “why should men pay for women’s healthcare?” instead of “how can we make sure more women are able to access the healthcare they need?”

Our country asks the question, “why doesn’t she smile more?” instead of “why does he think it’s okay to grab any woman he wants by any part of her body?”

I have no answers to the questions I’m not really even asking here. I’ve got only my partner and our two daughters, and a headache the size of Iowa.

While the bunker and the island are so god damn tempting, the way forward for us as a family in America right now is to keep modeling the decency we wish to see in the world, to resist misogyny and hatred together as a team, a village, and also to have more and more frank conversations around the dinner table and as we travel the many Main Streets of America, conversations that must hide nothing about our country, a current America that keeps on demonstrating, publicly and proudly, how little it values women.

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  1. Good read, Jeff. I hate to say it but this made me sad. Sad because i know that this is the “current” situation we are facing everyday. Sad realizing that I’m part of a “sick” society that due to being busy with work, family and my own personal demons, I sometimes don’t care or give it a serious thought. Scary too considering I have millennials living under my roof. We as parents raise our children to be good and responsible adults but then society has an annoying way of corrupting their minds. I consider myself lucky for having kids who, in my opinion, have good heads on their shoulders. An open communication with these vulnerable young people, instilling good values and a lot of praying can help us prepare them to move forward.

  2. It’s really all we can do, right Nena, all we can control (to an extent). We raise our young people as best we can, to respect and love people and nature, and we hope the foundation we lay down is strong enough to withstand a society too often at odds with decency. Scary and sad, indeed.

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