Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dear Avery

Dear Avery,

My only daughter, I love you, and I'm so sorry for what we've done.  Two months ago, you turned 5, and today we have given you President Donald Trump.

I don't know what to say really.  I tried.  Many, many of us tried very hard to prevent this from happening, but the tide that came in was pretty strong this time, for whatever reason, and when it rolled back Donald Trump and 60 million Americans with the right to vote their mind, whatever that might be, were the only ones left standing.  I disagree with them emphatically, Avery, but I will say this for them; they were very, very angry.

You know how mad you get when you get left out of games?  Sometimes you're not old enough, or not tall enough, or you're not a boy, and you don't get to play.  You know that deep angry sense of wrong you feel when you sit with daddy and we watch the boys race their bikes in France on TV, and there aren't any girls, save for the ones that have to kiss the boy who wins when he wins?   I imagine, to a certain degree, that's how those people who voted for Donald Trump feel and have felt for a while now.  Left out.  Left behind.  Wronged.   I try to put myself in their shoes, and though I disagree, I think I understand - at least I understand where they started.

The hard part for me - and certainly the hard part for you, my daughter, is all the other things that their anger carries with it.  I don't see how you'll have any way of not taking from this the hard lessons, that men are somehow better than women, that a girl can't be president, that if a man with enough money forces himself on you someday, you'll have to just take it.  You have little choice but to accept the truth, the awful truth, that women are not yet equal to men in this country.  We are not yet ready.  We have not had enough strong, competent women lead us yet to vote one into the highest office in the world.  Hidden behind all the veiled accusations that we hurled at Hillary Clinton, about her emails and her health and her wealth and her pantsuits, right there just below the surface, there was one word: woman.  I am so sorry and ashamed that we have to raise you in a country and a world where that is true, but it is.

I promise you, my love, that we are wrong.

I promise that we will someday be better than this, and you'll be able to walk down the street with your head held high, confident, equal, and assured that no one, regardless of their social status or office, can ever touch you without your consent.  I promise you that you can race bikes too.  That you can run faster than the boys.  That there is literally nothing, NOTHING, that they have a right to do that you can't do too, do better, do more, do however you want, and that someday - not today, but someday - no one will be able to take that away from you.  I promise you that this is all a big mistake, that eventually cooler heads will prevail, that next time around the 100,000,000 Americans that had the right to vote, the responsibility to vote and send the right message to our daughters about right and wrong - but didn't - I promise you that they'll turn up and vote for you someday if you want them to.

Be strong, be tough my little one.  You will need it.

Up, up, up.

12 comments:

  1. Well done on this writing piece. Let's all go ride our bikes.

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  2. Wow, Dave, that truly is a heartfelt commentary on the status of women (and minorities of all types) in this country. So very thankful that she's too young to understand now & hope that we'll have learned from this by the time she does. Incredibly thankful that she has great parents too!

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  3. Couldn't have said it better. Hats off to you sir.

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  4. Thanks Dave, very well put. I've already shared this on. From one battleground stater to another. Up Up Up! Kirk

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  5. Moved to tears. Someday we shall overcome. Hope to see it in my lifetime.

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  6. I understand the sentiment, but this is a very shortsighted letter. As a father of three myself who DID NOT vote for Trump, I find it irresponsible to imbue a young, impressionable mind with an expectation that has absolutely no real facts in evidence. Did Trump say some nasty things? Yes! Did Clinton's loss mean that women can never ascend to the Presidency, absolutey not! The true message should be that if young people want their country to be a certain way, then they have to PARTICIPATE, not just show up and breathe in and out. The fact is both candidates were completely WRONG for this country and shouldn't have been our choices in the first place, but our collective apathy created the situation. We are ALL resonsible. Stop apologizing to your children, that is the height of defeatism. The lesson that should be taught is how we go about effecting REAL change, not through hashtag slactivism, not through safe spaces, not through whining, not through global apologies. This country and its people need to show the next generation how to take it on the chin, but keep moving forward to the achieve what we want, not to shrink from the first bit of opposition that stands in our way. This letter is teaching the child that the person she sees as her champion is really a shrinking violet without the will, the courage, and quite frankly, the balls to keep fighting. Frankly, I'm disgusted by this type of cowardly surrender.

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    1. I'm pretty sure the definition of cowardly would include anonymously posting a heated response on someone's heartfelt tribute to his daughter.
      He wasn't even close to saying that she shouldn't participate and create change. More so that he was sorry we hadn't come further as a society (thanks to kind folks like yourself) but that she should stay tough, believe in herself, and eventually, the world will be mature and compassionate enough to handle it. I'm assuming that'll be something you won't recognize.

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  8. Edit: Typo

    Always a way with words. I hope I can be every bit of the father that you are one day. We can, and will, fight to make it better.

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