What will you tell your children about 2016? What will you tell your daughters? What will you tell your sons?
Will you sit your daughter down, and tell her that 2016 was a year to remember? That it will be written about in history books? Will you tell her that you were scared, or that you were angry? Will you tell her that you had a voice? Will you tell her you posted memes on facebook and twitter? Will you tell her that you stopped the conversation, stopped talking to your friends or family because their opinions were different than yours? Will you tell her you called your representatives? That you were a force to be reckoned with?
When you talk about womens problems, will you tell her to keep her mouth shut if a man forces himself on her? That it’s better not to anger him? Will you give her a whistle? Tell her to yell “fire” instead of “rape” because no one will blink if she does the latter? Will you tell her to cover up the body that you grew? Will you tell her that men “just can’t help” themselves? Will you tell her to fight like hell, give her a weapon and pray to whatever god you believe in that she never has to use it? Will you tell her about the man who could just grab anyones pussy because he’s famous? Or will you tell her that it’s ‘normal’ for boys to talk about her body like that behind closed doors?
Will you look your daughter in the eyes and tell her that even though you can’t take organs from a dead body without their permission, she can’t have an abortion, that her body belongs to the will of people who have never faced that problem. Will you tell her that there is no real separation of church and state?
When she tells you about her first boyfriend, will you tell her “not until your 30!” When she’s hot from running around outside with her friends, will you make her wear more clothes than your sons? When she comes home crying because a boy made fun of her, will you tell her that it’s because he likes her?
If she says she doesn’t want children, will you tell her that her life cannot be fulfilled without them? If she has children will you tell her that her career and personal prospects in life are no longer relevant?
What will you tell your sons?
Will you tell him that he doesn’t need to clean up after dinner, or help with dinner, because that’s his sisters job? When he comes to you about his first girlfriend, will you smile and laugh and say how cute it is? When he cries, will you tell him to suck it up? Be a man? Grow some balls?
When he’s old enough to understand, will you tell him that he holds all the power? Will you tell him, that he has a choice? Will you tell him that he can be an oppressor, or choose to fight against it? Be the strongest ally for his sister? That even though he doesn’t know her struggles, he can acknowledge they are there, and chooses not to partake?
What will you tell your children about 2016? Will you tell them that you had a voice? Will you encourage them to have a voice? Will you stop the vicious cycle, or will you continue it?
What will you tell your children about 2017…