Monday, April 23, 2012

fight like a girl

dear daughter,

So many adventures this month and so many things I have yet to learn... 

As for you, you are learning everything.

This isn't how you do it?

cousins & bffs

She got the hang of it!  Of course Grandpa had baseball eggs for her.
 You enjoyed egg hunting at Easter so much.  You are a lucky girl you got to have one egg hunt at Grammy & Grandpa's and one at Grandpa & Gigi's.  Of course you were stylish for both occasions. 

You are curious, stubborn and precocious. You LOVE books-- thumbing through them alone or reading with us, we hear "book, book, book" which you speak and sign simultaneously and enthusiastically. Of course, I couldn't be more tickled about this obsession and fuel your fire with lots and lots of books at home and we go to the library.

Of course, Dudley likes to read with you.

Dudley and your cousins are your bffs.  You love to wave at kids and babies out and about.  You now say lots of new words-- bye (which sounds like "die"), book, Dudley ("Dee"), baby, cookie, Elmo and grandpa. 

We don't go anywhere without this guy.  Luckily, we've attained a Dudley clone in case the unthinkable occurs.

This month started with a bang for you because you LOVE to watch basketball and cheer Go GO GO and raising a fist to say "Rah" for "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" for the KU Jayhawks.  You were a proud fan-- they got all the way to the championship game-- so glad you were asleep when they broke our collective hearts losing to Kentucky. 

During the NCAA tournaments (mens & womens) there was a lot of press for one of the female college players- the most famous female basketball player in college right now- Baylor's Brittney Griner.

She can dunk, and she does, a lot.  Tongues in the media have wagged consistently about her "deep voice" her "unfeminine looks" and the need for her to prove to the world that she is a woman (and at what level her femininity is) by submitting to hormone level tests.  As a feminist this irks me, as a mother of a daughter, you, it sends me into a rage. 

I want you to grow up in a society that thinks Brittney Griner (at least her talent level) is awesome.  She should not have to be "complimented" by comparing her play to men's play nor "dissed" for her looks/voice/style of play not being female.  I hate that you exist in a world where it is still in any way socially appropriate for it to be an insult that you "play/run/throw/catch like a girl" but it is supposedly a compliment given when a woman is told that she plays like a man.

At this point women that are athletes are revered (with magazine covers and commercials) if they look like Anna Kournikova and ridiculed if they look like Serena the way Serena can wipe the court with Anna.  At some point in time being "strong" became solely equated with being mannish.

I don't want you to fear sweating.  I don't want you to fear running faster or hitting the ball harder...that this would somehow compromise your worth as a woman, that it makes you unfeminine or undesirable.   

Walmart is currently selling a onesie in your size that states:  "I pretend to like sports, when I'm with daddy." As if you need to pretend to like sports for male approval, or that you need to pretend to like them at all.  Right now- you LOVE to watch sports. And I don't think you are doing it to impress your uncles. 

Now the tough part, the "be the change" part...

I am not immune or some sort of example I have made remarks about how women look in the past, one of my favorite things to dissect at awards ceremony is fashion.  But now that I have a daughter I don't want to do that in the way that I have done it before.  I don't think there is anything wrong with expressing my taste on fashion-- but I refuse to remark on women's bodies or their level of femininity anymore.   Including myself.  Your grandmother was an awesome athlete.  She used her body to do awesome things.  She taught me and your uncle Matt and your aunt Tay that our bodies were awesome, that we could jump and run and dance and shoot and dribble and drive.  In order for me to teach me that you are awesome I need to treat myself awesome too.  That means no more remarks about what I consider to be my flaws. 

You, and how you feel about your body is more important to me than the state of my thighs. 

I love you,


title courtesy of bomshel-- fight like a girl

1 comment:

Ashley H said...

It's so awesome that you're raising your daughter to be well rounded... definitely isn't easy with today's society.