Saturday, January 16, 2016

The future is fe/male

Emma Watson and her HeForShe campaign
are raising feminism awareness.
I'm slightly concerned the Super Bowl is going to fall on or near Jules' birthday every year. And it's followed by Valentine's Day. If the people in her life who like her think they can get away with Super Bowl parties and Valentine-themed birthday gifts, they better think again... But she'll likely become a better person than her mom and not only love football when the games aren't tight but easily forgo the birthday-relationship worship I apparently not-so-secretly relish. Maybe it'll make her tougher. Like the boy named Sue.

It's hard not to be extra gentle with a baby girl. Why? They all have the same makeup despite the normal variances. Long babies and babies with slightly smaller earlobes or something. They're squishy, don't have kneecaps, are guileless. I did double-takes at first but now I like how with dad home, he wipes her face free of food with more force; he isn't as ginger when putting on her shoes; he tosses her higher and makes her laugh for longer.

Last year I sat around a table of really educated women and found myself describing what a feminist is. I was being stupidly redundant for everyone probably. But it reminded me of when my brother and I were in high school and we were talking about guys and girls and dating ... and we sifted out how a feminist isn't an obnoxiously opinionated woman who doesn't care about men; a feminist is any person who believes in equal rights for all the little boys and girls. If that person also happens to be loud or shy or obnoxious or Emma Watson, it doesn't diminish or elevate the principle beyond what it just plainly is. It's not a personality trait but a belief.

And it has nothing to do with changing the rules so my T-Rex arms are in charge of restraining prisoners or missed career opportunities because I chose to have a kid.

Bro and I thought it interesting how it can be souring when women give their opinions, sometimes loudly, or are anything other than accommodating. Why can a clear voice make us inappropriate, or being submissive make us more attractive? Further, why does a man have to be extra tough or love sports? And why does the choice not to be the breadwinner tend to imply that person's mind, needs and wants are second-rate?

There's something to be said for simply growing up to be the best version of you, a sensitive leader or confident wallflower, maybe appreciating athletes instead of being one, unoffended by turns of phrase, being as little of a wuss as you can be, unabashedly wearing pink or a hoodie or clear high heels.

I was lucky to be with the women around that city patio table, women who've put their sometimes higher-earning jobs on hold indefinitely; women who're raising kids on their own; women who'd do anything for their husbands and vice versa. There are some who aren't fans of military spouses, tossing around the stereotype dependapotamus and taking all the fun out of it, because who doesn't enjoy a good Netflix marathon huh? But have they eaten the food they cook, attended the parties they plan, used the services they provide, enjoyed the free country they help protect on the homefront?

Got a lot of questions here. At least I think this much is true:

Skateboarder Chelsea Castro
Do I want to be the one to investigate things that go bump in the night? Not really. Do I want to be the one to coddle my baby child a little more? Sure! Do Cary and I both eep at cockroaches? Absolutely. Mainly, I want to live in a world, and raise my daughter in a world, where you can be exactly yourself, whoever that may be, and achieve whatever you work hard enough for, and be respected solely because you're a good person.

As returning home comes into view along with high desert life – dry heat, clear cool Lake Tahoe, Burning Man, Area 51, snow-covered sand, the real-life Simpsons house, the Vegas sign graveyard, this really cool thing – I wonder what new progress will flow after our post-holiday move back to 'Merica. Like with the first female Rangers, the new Star Wars star Rey, getting to know more female pilots I can admire as well as new friends and coworkers I can look up to and connect with as peers. The future should be limitless for us all.

"Girl or boy we fight our battles, but the gods let us choose our weapons." – Game of Thrones