This is Barb, I’m flying solo today for the first time. I’ve been thinking about what to write for today, so I asked the Girl Child what she thought, and she told me I should write about her. So sure, let’s do that.
I mentioned in my intro that I have a teenage daughter, that’s not the whole story though. First, I also have an adult son, who wasn’t in that section because he has his own place and doesn’t live at home anymore. I’ll have lots to say down the road about the weirdness that is figuring out a relationship with a kid who isn’t a kid anymore, but for now I’ll just say it helps that he turned out pretty great considering his mother is a train wreck of a human being.
Second, I sometimes have two teenage daughters instead of one. Girl Child has a Best Friend, and the two of them are so close it’s not unusual for teachers to confuse one for the other. Best Friend spends a lot of time at my house, just like Girl Child spends a lot of time at hers. It just seemed logical that Best Friend’s mother and I both became Mom to the girls.
I’m very lucky that the girls are really good kids. They’re smart, ambitious, and have no time for anyone’s bullshit. Unfortunately, this has not shielded them from how stupid the world is. If anything, it puts a target on their backs.
If there is anything this world hates more than smart, tough women, it’s smart, tough teenage girls. According to society, girls are supposed to spend all their time and energy obsessing over boys, clothes, and makeup. Girls who don’t do that, who care about bigger things, are somehow “defective”. What do you mean you have plans for the future beyond catering to some mediocre dude who can’t operate a vacuum cleaner? I have seen how this world tries to snuff out the light that shines from my girls, tear them down, make them smaller, weaker, and more compliant. Girl Child has even been told, directly, to dumb herself down and stop getting such high grades, because otherwise boys won’t like her, and she won’t be able to get married and have babies. Because obviously that would be the worst thing ever, right?
I have to resist the overwhelming urge to throat punch a lot of people, both because it won’t help and because bail is expensive as fuck.
So what do we do? How to fight back against a world that wants our daughters to shrink themselves down? The only thing we can, be the obnoxious, loud asshole you want to see in the world. Be prepared for anger, disgust, and hatred aimed in your direction. Be prepared for trolling, threats, and apoplectic rantings about how you are everything wrong with the world. Face the vitriol and keep doing it anyway.
I know some people will hate this post and think I’m a whiny pain in the ass. It’s uncomfortable to look at things like this, way easier to keep ignoring it and let it be someone else’s problem. And if that’s your perspective, you’re probably not going to like this blog at all. There’s going to be a lot more talking openly about the things “we” don’t bring up in polite society.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.