An open letter to my future daughter
I am writing this to you on International Women’s Day 2017. We’ve come a long way us women. Thanks to some brave and influential women, you’ll be able to vote, you’ll be able to go to school and university if you wish to and you’ll live in a world where a woman can run the country.
We’ve still got a long way to go, however, and as a 20 year old woman, I worry about what the future will hold for you. It is still deemed acceptable to whistle and shout at a women as she walks down the street, to pay a woman less than a man, to ridicule a woman for being on her period and to think you have a right to do what you want with that woman’s body, simply because she is a woman. I haven’t been out for a while due to this. Getting groped in a club shouldn’t be the norm and I fear that you will have to grow up facing this. We are lucky where we live in comparison to the hardships women face across the globe, but that doesn’t make these things rights. The glass ceiling needs shattering, you deserve the same rights and opportunities as anyone else.
I want you to know that there is so much more to life than being popular, pretty and cool, no matter what anyone may tell you. You’re so much more than that. I always want you to know, if you want to eat the cake my god eat it, a number of the scales does not determine your worth. I want you to know that your body is yours for you to do what you want with, when you want. I hope you put your happiness first, always, surround yourself by people who make you happy and walk away from people who don’t. I hope you’re brave, a lot braver than I have been and probably will ever be. I hope you go out and get muddy and dance in the rain and get up early and grab breakfast with the girl you’ve just met from class. I hope you grasp every opportunity and never feel ashamed or shy. I hope you never settle for second best and I hope you’re brave enough and strong enough to fight any misogyny you may face.
My biggest wish is that when you have bad days, and you will have bad days, you know I am always there. I hope to be there for you like I know my mum has and always will be there for me. I hope you never go to bed and cry yourself to sleep. Knock on my door, no matter what the time, no matter what you have done, you’re never alone.
You’re a long way off yet (don’t worry everyone) and a lot may have changed by the time you come around but certainly my sentiments in this letter won’t have done. Remember, you may be whoever you want to be, regardless of what society dictates. Your happiness is far more important than any label. But remember, so is everyone elses. If it’s not all inclusive, it isn’t feminism Fight for your rights, but remember your privilege and always be kind.
Always and Forever,
Your future Mum. For now, so as not to panic anyone unnecessarily, let’s just stick with Jamie.