What we are really afraid of are predatory, ignorant straight men
by Stephanie Hunter of Denver Colorado
I’ve stayed silent long enough.
Let me break this down for you. I have a daughter. She’s 6. She has the loudest laugh and the spazziest dance moves you’ve ever seen. I’m not scared by a bathroom.
In just a few years she may develop an eating disorder. She may be pressured to suck dick, or spread her legs, or sext, or chug booze.. All before she is the age of 13.
Does this shock you?!? Good. That’s the point. Statistically- all are true.. How does this happen??? Every second- every day- she is surrounded by images, songs, commercial, and more that mold her.
I have a 6 year old.. She swims in the bathtub with goggles. Creates waves that create puddles all over my floor. I laugh at her joy. She asks to fall asleep in our bed. She still snuggles me on the couch, and when she falls asleep I carry her to be bed covered in fairy lights. She’s scared of the bogeyman.
He’s real. He’ll rape her while she’s walking to her car. It will be her fault- she shouldn’t have been walking by herself of course. He’ll grab her ass while she’s serving him a drink. She’ll smile and ignore because she needs the tip. He’ll pay her less than her male counterparts. He’ll make condescending remarks about how she will make “cute babies”- before he hands her his hotel room keycard.
Again, all statistically true. Ask the female in your life if she’s ever been scared to walk to her car. Had to hold her purse a bit closer, keys in hand, lock the door immediately. Ask her how many times she looked over her shoulder. Ask your sister, or mother, or wife how many promotions she was passed over for, how many men have leered or cat called her, how many small concessions she’s made just to be seen as equal.
My daughter is 6. She loves ponies, and swimming, and daddy. She runs like the wind and rides her pink bike for hours. Begs me for one more cannonball. One more circling of the block.
She lives in a world that is built for men. Rewards men. Glorifies men. A patriarchal world where men can make statements like “I need to protect my daughter from “freaks” in bathrooms” but that also doesn’t point out the hypocrisy of not protecting them from assault, gender pay gaps, objectification, and abuse.
I hate to break it to you. Your daughter is less likely to be preyed on in a bathroom by a “freak” and more likely to be viciously raped before the age of 35.
By someone who looks probably a lot like you.. Completely normal.
Scare you? It should. It scares me. My daughters least worry should be the Target bathroom.
Because she needs to be prepared for the world we’ve made for her. And it’s a terrifying one.
But by all means- go protest a Target. Because that’s the real problem right?!?
My daughter is 6. We have so much to do. I have to raise a warrior.. To save her. From you.