It was Wednesday night and I was laying in bed, typing away at an Instagram post until I got kicked out. (The girls like reading their bedtime stories and falling asleep in our bed. We take them back to Liv’s bed where they’ll sleep until morning.) I migrated to the top of the stairs but their nightly chatter was headbutting my thoughts. I found peace in the kitchen downstairs and continued to write. And write. I just kept going until my fingertips began to lose their tactile sensation. The words flew out even if it didn’t flow. What was supposed to be a sweet sentiment about why I want to honour International Day Of The Girl turned into an hour and a half of self reflection. I love my girls. I love having girls. I don’t ever want them to feel they are inferior or that they were a disappointment because they are girls.
These were the thoughts that went on that night (and since I became their Mama):
When the girls were younger, I would get comments about having two daughters.
They said, “oh, girls…” in their sympathetic tone.
Sometimes they say, “Poor Jin.”
Occasionally, someone will tell me I need a boy.
Comments like these tell me that my girls aren’t good enough for this world. They tell me that they don’t deserve to speak their mind. They shouldn’t be able to learn or have aspirations. My girls will hear these sorts of comments for the rest of their lives. And I will continue to hear that my girls aren’t good enough just because they have a vagina.
J and I encourage our girls to shoot for the moon not only because they deserve it but because all kids do. Kate amazes me every single day with the exquisite detail she puts into her story writing. Liv tells the funniest jokes that will have me rolling on the floor with that silent laugh that sounds like I’m getting an asthma attack. She stands up for her sister when she isn’t being treated fairly. And they both drive me up the wall with their inquisitive drive for scientific experimenting.
So, I will not be apologetic for reacting emotionally when someone tells me I need a boy because it’s pretty straight forward: my girls can do everything boys can do.
For International Girls Day, I choose to celebrate all the things that women have fought for and to continue to empower girls and boys to achieve gender equality.
How did you feel this #DayOfTheGirl? If you have a daughter, or several, did you ever receive the same comments as us? I’d love to hear your thoughts – feel free to leave them in the comments below.