4.11.2014

why i'm scared to have a daughter

Our anatomy scan is Monday and I've been starting to feel anxious. The bulk of my friends and family seem intent that the baby is a girl, if not only to make me squirm and cry how I just need boys. The thing is, all I want is a healthy baby. We would be thrilled with either sex, of course, but in my heart I am downright scared to have a girl. I don't feel capable.

It's because women still fight to earn the same wages as men.

It's because teenage girls are still sluts and whores and bitches when they try to be in control of their own bodies and lives.

It's because we've never had a female President.

It's because we've never had a female President but I can find fifteen t-shirts or onesies on any given day proclaiming the wearers desire to be a princess.

It's because on any given news channel you'll read stories of companies trying to take away women's rights.

It's because of the man in the next bed over during my most recent hospital stay who declared "look at all these attractive women doctors, you know all they had to do was wink to pass med school."

It's the conversations of those around me at my sister's dance competitions judging not by skill and performance, but how "pretty" one doesn't or doesn't look up on the stage.

And it's the conversations of those around me at my sister's dance competitions pointing out how "big" the legs of one girl are, how the "bigger girls" should be more covered up. And it's the fifteen year old girl, half naked, gyrating around on the stage to a song that keeps repeating "do what you want with my body" while no one bats an eye.

It's the fact that beauty spas for toddler girls exist and include make-up artistry.

It's the fact that not liking pink isn't even an option despite the fact I have never liked pink, and I'm pretty sure I'm still a girl.

It's the fact that people around me declare girls who aren't in pink aren't dressed like girls, like a color can somehow define you.

It's the fact that my father exclaimed at dinner last night how women shouldn't be allowed to fight in the military, even if it's their dream and desire to do so.

It's the fact that girls are still universally seen as weak and, if they try to assert their strength, are placed back in the bitch category.

It's the fact that now an innuendo-laced establishment exists where half-naked women sell frozen yogurt.

It's the fact women who breastfeed their children are still being accused of showcasing an inappropriate sexual act.

It's the fact that you have to like shopping and glitz and glamour and fashion to be a girly girl and if you don't, you're somehow less than a girl. You become a tomboy, like you're suddenly no longer a girl.

It's because girls play princesses and boys play in the dirt. If you're a girl who likes sports and don't mind getting your hands dirty, you get homophobic slurs thrown at you.

It's the fact that I select my physicians by experience and expertise and my mother still points out how the female ones don't wear any make-up.

It's the fact that I can't turn on the local news network without seeing infomercial after infomercial on how to better one's natural appearance through surgery or pills -- all geared for women, of course.

It's the pressure and societal standards that scare me. It's because I know what it's like to come home from fifth grade as the only girl in the class not invited to a birthday party because I don't act like a girl.

It's because I know my daughter will be able to do anything and because I also know that society will try to strip her of those rights.

It's because whatever my daughter likes is her choice and her decision.

It's because I want her to experiment with her hair or make-up or clothing if and when she wants to, not because someone tells her she "needs a little make-up" -- just as I would for my son should he ever decide blue hair suits him nicely a la sophomore year.

I want her to decide what she wants to be when she's an adult, not a onesie, even if she decides she wants to be a darn princess.

It's because my husband doesn't think he owns our daughter's sexuality and because this new trend really creeps us both out.

It's because I want my daughters to grow into women who enjoy sex as men are supposed to, without them feeling shame or as if it's taboo and indecent.

It's because I want my daughter to be as free to play sports or catch lizards or like Spiderman as she is to play princesses or carry a purse without insult or comment.

It's because I want it to be her decision whether or not she wants to stay home and start a family or pursue her dream career -- not a sense of archaic obligation.

It's because I want my daughter to be free to get whatever tattoos she wants -- or doesn't want -- without someone telling her to act like a lady.

It's because it's a whole lot of lead by example that I don't want to fall short at and the pressure is enough to make my knees buckle.

It's because I don't want to shelter my children but I'm not sure how to protect a girl from our society and that scares me.

12 comments:

  1. I totally get this. This is why I am terrified to have a child ~in general~. If it's a boy, you have to make sure he grows up not being a jerk. If it's a girl, you have to make sure she grows up not letting anyone be a jerk to her. But hey --remember when you were scared to have a boy? Any baby would be eternally lucky to have you as their mother.

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  2. All of these reasons are reasons WHY I think that you should have a girl. You are one of the few people who can show the world (and I wish there were more mothers like you) what a girl SHOULD be like...I think a girl in your guidance would be one of the most empowered people out there. I don't know, thats just me.

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  3. I agree with Analilia 100%. I was going to post something similar but she said it perfectly.

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  4. If God willing you are blessed with a daughter. .. I think she is going to be one lucky girl to have you guys as her parents.
    I hope I can be good mom to ours too..

    And I pray that you have a healthy baby... rest all is going to be awesome :)

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  5. I'm so excited for you today to find out if that little bun is a boy or a girl! Good luck with the scan :)

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  6. I agree with Analilia down there... You are going to make THE most amazing mom to your daughter. You're a phenomenal role model and an amazing person with a heart of gold. Let's not forget, Ethan is going to be SUCH a great big brother to her!

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  7. Having a girl is very scary. However, I think strong marriages and parents who think about parenting....are the ones that should have daughters....to raise them right and give them the tools they need to become strong independent women!

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  8. Lindsay, I'm coming over here from the link you put on Ot & Et's recent post about feminism. First, I'm so sorry about your loss. We experienced a pregnancy loss two years ago and the pain is still there. It hurts more than anything has ever hurt before. Sending you hugs from one momma to another.

    Really why I'm writing here is because I think this post was brilliant. And I agree wholeheartedly about all of these women issues. Gender stereotypes are so obnoxious. We let our (soon to be) 4-year old little guy be exactly who he wants to be and like what he wants to like...regardless if people consider them "boy things" or "girl things". I'm over it. When someone at Sephora told him the other day that he couldn't have lipstick because it's for girls, I immediately told him that lipstick was for grownups and that's why he couldn't have any.

    The women who all commented before me are on point. I'm off to read the rest of your blog and add you to my reading list.

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