This isn’t my typical funny post. I have been driving and thinking with the help of coffee and iTunes. Just a summary of where my kids have centered me in all the madness and how I actually feel about a lot of it.
I sold my “man” card. Slowly over the years I have actually given it away. Pink tutus. Painted nails. Knowing all the characters in Sophia the First. Yeah that baby is gone. But what good was it anyway?
Maybe being a father to four girls has swayed me to the dark side. Maybe media coverage has me on the feminism radar. The NFL isn’t helping. Maybe Emma Watson is really hot and therefore I value her recent opinion and subconsciously attach it to thoughts. Thanks Emma, it is already uncomfortable to think that you were a little girl in Harry Potter and then you go and grow up all good looking in Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Whatever the reason, the gender issue has been at the forefront of my mind. I put some thought time in on the issue and I hope my fellow fathers do the same.
The strongest people I know are women. I have a grandmother who has a reputation for making weaker people cry when they cross her. With nothing more than her honest brutality, I envy that skill. That trait passed through me and into my third child perfectly. I am greatly excited to watch this hurricane reform and clear a path. This great mother I mention also raised twentyfive percent more children with six times less help than I currently have at my disposal. That fact alone borders the impossible. She was Santa’s saving grace for many years and taught me selflessness. I’ve watched childbirth through Supermom. Those points all go to women. I got a bug bite on my manscape and thought about bed rest or going to the ER for a morphine drip. Milton wrote about that circle of hell. The unending jock itch.
The smartest people I know are women. If not for women how would I know that I am wrong? This is probably because women can remember minute detail of everything that was ever uttered in conversation. They may not remember context all that well or the fact that you were joking and didn’t mean it but they have your words burned in there. Mention a little weight gain and see if you live that shit down. Ever. The answer is no. No you don’t. Still they are smarter than men. How many stay-at-home dads do you know and what is that compared to women? They know how to lock down a sweet gig.
The most caring people I know are women. The nurturing is innate. Men have to get acclimated but women seem to pick it up from birth. This character trait is why I ended up with an adopted dog named Chester Sparkles. It is also why Mr. Sparkles wasn’t euthanized a few months later. Women are caring. There is a reason that an ointment that we have is called “Mama’s Kisses.” They have healing power. I know women whose depth of empathy actually makes them cry when you describe someone elses pain. No joke there. That is heart that I don’t have.
I think of all these things and I think of my girls. My beautiful and happy girls. They have clear pieces and parts of myself mixed thoroughly with their mother. Thank God. My hairline would wreck them in Middle School. I feel like the reaction of the world to them is also a reaction to me. I ask myself questions about the struggles they may well encounter.
Do I think they will be every bit as capable as a man at anything they ever chose to do? Of course.
Do I think they deserve equal pay and equal treatment? Absolutely.
Do I think that I am giving them away when they marry and they become subject to someone else? Hell no.
Would I hesitate to bury someone who harmed them and spend my prison time with the satisfaction of knowing my protection of them was complete? Not for a second.
Would I have felt this way about societal opinions before they were born? I want to say yes but that may not be true…
It is hard to imagine how you will feel but if you have children, you know the feeling. You want to shelter them and beat down their bullies and right all the wrongs before they happen. You want to keep them from feeling bad things you have felt. It is a miniature you. The helplessness and future injustice stings my eyes while they are asleep, naive to the world outside their window.
I feel like my girls are a form of me. I’m not even female and yet this makes me feel judged. It makes me angry. There are definite differences in gender but we tend to make them disabilities.We dont show them options that they should have. There is a sexy nurse Barbie but no Doctor. Legos are all in boys styles and colors except for specialty girl sets. We train the special right out of them.
Women are better than men.
I think we need to review how these “man” cards are issued. Sometimes I think holding a “woman” card might be more impressive.
Ps. Women are still terrible drivers. That is just good science. But that story is for another day.