March 8th was International Women’s Day, and March is Women’s History Month. Obviously, you’re my sweet boy, my son who didn’t get the chance to become the wonderful man I know you’d be. Still, men can (and should) play a vital role in bringing about changes to the common worldview that women are somehow less than men. And if you were here, I would try my very best to teach you how to value and treat all the women in your life, including me, your sister, your grandmothers, your aunt, your cousins, your friends, and all the other women you’d interact with.
You see, son, there was a time when women were viewed as lower beings who should basically serve men, bear their children, and otherwise shut up. Women were not allowed to vote or go to college. We were generally viewed as dumb, weak, and unworthy. We have also been subjected to men telling us what beautiful means across centuries, rather than accepting that ALL people are beautiful, just the way they are.
Similar in ways to the injustices faced by people of color throughout history, women have been viewed as second class citizens. I don’t have experience living in brown skin, but I have lived in this woman’s body for 35 years and so can relate in a small way to what your dad has experienced as a black man, and what you might have and what your siblings may experience as African-Americans.
What I want you and your dad and your brother and all men to know is that women are equal. Women are worthy. Women are strong. Women are smart. And women deserve the exact same respect that you give to other men, no questions about it. Women deserve equal pay and equal opportunities. Women should be spoken to respectfully and never touched without permission, no matter how they’re dressed. Women can do most things men can do, and just as well. Women can do many things better than men, and there are a few things that ONLY women can do (like grow and birth babies).
I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. We are ALL people. No matter our gender or race, our sexual orientation, our religion, our political views, our shape or size, we are all the same. And if we expect to be treated in a certain manner, then we should in turn treat EVERYONE ELSE in the exact same way. There should be no discrepancies or glass ceilings. There should be only love and respect and equality.
I know you understand this lesson, my sweet love, because I know where you are that all people are equal and that there is no heartache or injustice. So we will strive for the same here where we are and we won’t rest until we have reached the goal.
I kiss you.
Love you forever,