Lanterns: Dear Daughter: Here's Why I Didn't March For You

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Dear Daughter: Here's Why I Didn't March For You

Dear Daughter of Mine,

You are so young and precious and innocent. You pass your days amidst sippy cups and Cheerios, Minnie Mouse, your beloved dolls, and toy kitchen.

But someday—sooner than I’d like— you’re going to grow up. And you’re probably going to hear a lot about something that’s happening right now.

You’ll learn about the unprecedented election of President Donald Trump, and you’ll learn about the thousands and thousands of women who came out to march all over the country in protest.

They were very loud. Some screamed; others gave speeches. Many carried big signs; others locked arms together. Some even wore “funny” outfits.

What were they upset about? I’ll tell you, sweet one.

They’re mad because we women don’t make as much money as men. They’re mad because we women don’t have full rights over our bodies. They’re mad because we women have to pay extra taxes for things that Mommy will tell you about later, while men don’t pay taxes for other things Mommy will tell you about later. They’re mad because men are abusive to us women.  They're mad because men harass us. They’re mad because people don’t care about our intelligence. They’re mad because we don’t all get paid maternity leave.

They’re mad because you and I, dear daughter of mine, are second class citizens.

And you might wonder why Mommy didn’t go and march for you. You might wonder why there are no Facebook pictures of us two out there together, like so many of your future counterparts’ mommies posted.

That’s why I’m writing you this letter.

Baby bird, I didn’t march for you because I didn’t need to. I didn’t march for you because you were blessed enough to have been born into a country and an era where you already enjoy all the freedoms and rights (that yes, other guys and gals fought for years ago). You live in a country where you can vote, where you can fly to outer space, run major companies, run for president, and even run the first successful female-led presidential campaign in history.  You live in a country where you can live a full life as a mom and a professional—or whatever you choose.

I’m writing this letter to tell you that what some people are yelling very loudly today (and will continue to yell very loudly for years to come) are lies.

Terrible, horrible, no good very bad lies.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, women don’t make as much money as men. First, let Mommy explain what “wage discrimination” is. It’s when a fully capable, trained, and talented woman makes less than her fully capable, trained, and talented male coworker in the EXACT same position under the EXACT same conditions. But that is demonstrably NOT what’s happening in this country. What’s happening? Well, for starters, women tend to choose careers that don’t pay as much, which affects the median income everyone’s talking about. Women also choose (and that’s an important word, honey) to do things like take a few years off of work to stay at home with their kids, and so when they go back to their jobs—their counterparts probably got a few raises in the meantime. Men also tend to work longer hours and are more likely to push for a raise.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, we don’t have full rights over our bodies. You are technically (we’ll chat about what you’re allowed to do later) able to do whatever you please with your body. No one’s stopping you, or any other woman. But these ladies think that being a woman gives us gals the right to decide what happens to other people’s bodies—bodies that are biologically, genetically, and scientifically separate bodies even though they’re growing inside of us when we’re pregnant.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, women have to pay a special tax for products that we biologically must use. There is no special, bespoke tax for these products. On a state by state basis, they’re lumped in with a ton of other products that the government taxes.  And it’s certainly not because they’re for girls. It’s also a lie, honey, that because of sexism, men pay no taxes for things that they use exclusively.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, we women are the only ones who have to worry about harassment and abuse. Yes, some women do get harassed. (Someday I’ll tell you about how Mommy walked to work every day in Mexico to cat-calls of “ayyyyy güerita.”) Yes, some women do get abused. But so do men. You don’t know this yet, but today “boys make up half of those who are sexually exploited commercially in the United States.”  You don’t know this yet, but today, “a man is the victim of domestic abuse every 37.8 seconds in America.”  You don’t know this yet, but today, “in the 71 percent of nonreciprocal [meaning, where violence is inflicted by only one side] partner violence instances, the instigator was the woman.”

It’s a lie that because of sexism, people don’t care about our intelligence.  In fact, for the past 50 years, women have led the pack in education.  “Women today get the majority of college degrees in America. It doesn’t matter what kind — associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral — women beat men in all the categories.” Pretty impressive in a society that “doesn’t care” about their smarts, if you ask me.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, there aren’t more female leaders. Yes, there was a time when women were soley relegated to the roles of homemaker or secretary or assistant, but that’s just not the case today. Just ask Meg Whitman (CEO of Hewlett-Packard), or Susan Wojcicki (CEO of YouTube), or Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM), to name a few. Remember what Mommy told you about women choosing other careers? That’s part of it. Not all women are choosing careers that lead to leadership. Want to be a leader? Pick that path. No one’s stopping you.

It’s a lie that because of sexism, we don’t all get paid maternity leave. It’s simple economics, honey. Maternity leave is expensive. Believe me, I know—I paid for part of mine when I had you. It has nothing to do with suppressing women. But that cost has to go somewhere—which is why not every company can offer it. (And it shouldn’t necessarily be the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay for it, either.) There are things you can do, though, like working hard and landing a job at companies like Netflix or Amazon or Spotify, which have privately decided to give their employees well over the paid average.

Finally, it’s a lie that any of our human rights as women are going away just because someone whose politics these ladies don’t agree with suddenly became president.

No honey, I didn’t march for you, but let me tell you what I WILL do for you.

I’ll teach you money isn’t everything. But I’ll also teach you that if it’s important to you to make a lot of money, that you’ll need to work hard and choose the right career.

I’ll teach you about amazing women like Marie Curie or Madame C.J. Walker and the incredible lives they led—and I’ll also teach you about bad women, like Margaret Sanger, who told women the lie that they can kill their own babies, and who believed that not all races are equal.

I’ll teach you to respect your body. It’s a beautiful creation—and I’ll teach you not to cheapen it by dressing like it means nothing.

I’ll teach you that vulgarity doesn’t make you stronger; it cheapens you.

I’ll teach you that raunchiness doesn’t make you impressive; it makes you look like a piece of meat.

I’ll teach you that we are biologically and physically and emotionally different from men, but that doesn’t mean we’re less. It means we’re special, and you should celebrate that.

I’ll teach you that you should always be kind and honorable—even though there are people (even our leaders) who might not always say the nicest things.

I’ll teach you how to disagree strongly and firmly—but honorably.

Most of all, I’ll teach you to be a woman of noble character, like the one in like Proverbs 31—an amazing, hardworking wife, mother, and businesswoman who rejoices in all of her roles.

No honey, I didn’t march for you. But thank goodness, I don’t have to.

 

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, M-F, 3-5. ET). She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree

Written by Mary Ramirez

11 Responses

This is great! I agree completely. That march was based on exaggerations and flat out lies. Glad to see a strong conservative woman speak up for the truth!

Thanks Crystal! I meant every word-- and I am going to save it for my daughter to read in about 15 years. Crazy times we live in, huh?

You should be aware that many of your arguments are factually incorrect. In addition, your link to boys being equally likely to experience abuse isn't working (maybe because it's not true). Rape and sexual assault disproportionately affect girls and women and even though we may be as likely to report perpetrating physical violence against our partners, when they abuse us, we are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed. Women who are murdered in the US are most likely to be murdered by a partner. Here is the citation for an actual research article that can help clarify your misconceptions: Reed, E., Raj, A., Miller, E., & Silverman, J. G. (2010). Losing the “gender” in gender-based violence: The missteps of research on dating and intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 16(3), 348-354.

Hi Mary. Thanks for capturing the zeitgeist of women who claim this is not their march. I promise that all of the things we fight for will be made available to you and your daughter, and her children too... if that is what she chooses. I feel that your piece takes an approach that the women (only women) who marched are suddenly too mad. In reality, we have been working independently for years to advance our country in regards to many causes that were represented at the march on Jan. 21st. So this has been building, and the hateful rhetoric of our newest president was what united these groups into a massive event- joining us together to organize. This has inspired women, men, trans, intersex (etc) who may have not been politically active before to show up. Going forward: This time we are supporting each other's causes- pooling resources and people power to the highest priority action item. We can be better. Our country deserves it.

One of the beauties of living in this country is our freedom of speech to express our opinions. I will applaude it when I agree, research it when I am not as informed as I could be and defend it even when I disagree. I will NOT support it when the method of expressing an opinion obviously belittles or insults someone else in an attempt to get others to listen to the opinion. If the only way to get a point across is to use language that would receive an R rating in a movie (a standard our culture seems to accept) then either the point is not well thought out or it's not actually about the stated issue. I am an educated, informed woman that has chosen to love God and love others as I love myself. I do my best to live that way and apologize when I don't. I have encouraged my daughter to do the same, but have also always told her that SHE is responsible for her own actions, should think through her decisions BEFORE she acts and be prepared for the logical conclusion to those decisions & actions. Some lessons she has learned by watching those around her and some lessons she has learned "face first". I have also taught her to be prepared to explain any strongly held belief in a manner that respects others and herself. She pointed out to me over the past few weeks, that making fun of a person or disrespecting a person because he used vulgar words or reduced women to their genitalia, by using that same vulgar word and wearing hats depicting it, seems a little counterproductive. I was very proud of her, not just because I agree with her, but because she took the actions of the "Women's March" to its logical conclusion. She actually said, " I hope they know that they are hurting their cause more than helping it by flashing the crowd and focusing on other parts." "How sad that they think this is the best way to make their point!" She is 16, articulate and willing to express her opinion. Somehow she got my point over these last several years and I didn't even have to flash her my boobs or wear a "pink hat"!

I'm afraid your straight white rich privilege is showing. YOU are OK. Your daughter will probably be OK (unless of course she turns out to be gay or transgender), but you seem painfully oblivious of your own privilege and at the same time ignorant of the fact that not everyone enjoys these same rights. Fortunately we are marching for you and your daughter too, like all the women who have marched for decades and given you the vote, civil rights and so many other things. Also everyone seems to have missed the reason for the 'R-rated' language. We were taken into the gutter by our President as he boasted openly about sexually assaulting women, calling them disgusting names, regarding their bodies as things to be rated on a scale. If there is anyone to 'blame' here it's him.

Please explain the "White Privilege" you mention here.

I read this blog post a few days ago, and have been mulling it over ever since. Essentially my take away was "because it doesn't affect me, it's not an issue." More chilling was the gaslighting (a common technique used to make the other side question their own memory/perception). Stating the protesters were "lying" and "yelling" because YOU don't see the issue. By all accounts the protests were peaceful, respectful (the Boston PD even issued a public thank you to the protesters for their civility) You are trying to portray the "overwrought" woman who is too hysterical to listen to reason. That just doesn't jive with the reality. Five million people all over the world, and on every continent (including Antarctica!) came together in peace to protest. No arrests, no destruction of property. Because we live in a world where the "mommy track" in the work place is a very real issue. Where a black man can be laying on the ground with his hands in the air and still be shot. Where a woman can be raped while unconscious (with witnesses!) and the rapist gets away with a slap on the wrist because a male judge doesn't want to "ruin" his life. Where the President of the United States can brag about trying to sexually assault a married woman and it's dismissed as "locker room" talk. Where people who have permission to enter this country legally are held at airports or turned away from their flights because they are from the "wrong" country. I didn't march either, but I am thankful for those that did.

M. Sauseville, I sense that your comment directs away from the point that Mary is making here. Her point, at least the way that I read it, is that being a woman isn't participating in the grievance industry but rather by presenting a noble and moral character. While I believe that Mary and others like Mary see that there are injustices that occur to women, they do not see a systemic problem in the country. That is much of what the protest represented. While Donald Trump's "locker room" talk as reported has been disgusting at best, it does not point to a systemic problem no differently than BJ Clinton's Oval Office shenanigans and wide raging accusations of rape pointed to it. Moreover extremely rare instances of black men being murdered by police officers does not represent that entirety of our system. Much of the grievance industry and organized protests are not a reflection of majority views in the nation. They are a smattering of special interest groups fabricating angst and applying it to recruited misinformed hosts to carry a radical message intending or shifting power from the people to government. "Power to the people" does not create more freedom and liberty... it creates more injustice. Thank you for your interest in bettering America.

I marched against hate. I would guess at its core you would agree that hate against anyone is wrong. In that vein...I marched for myself, my daughters and your daughter as well as you. Hate has no place in our great America.

Susan, what "hate" do you speak of?

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