The thought of having children in the future with the man I love fills me with both joy and horror.
The horror is not about what you may be thinking, the sleepless nights and temper tantrums do not worry me, no.
It is the world I will be bringing them into that horrifies me.
If I had a daughter, I hope that she will grow into a beautiful woman, successful in all that she does and I hope that she finds happiness wherever and with whoever she chooses.
Though I know that on her journey to settling down, she will face some horrors. She will be subjected to the lustful eyes of teenage boys, and even perverse men.
She will go to house parties and drunken gatherings, with or without my permission, and will have to push off the unwanted intoxicated advances of the boy who has loved her innocent beauty since their first year at school and submit to her life long crush and he leads her to a vomit smelling bedroom for what he wants her to want and her friends tell her she’s be wanting.
Peer pressure – society’s excuse.
I know that there is a chance that she could be stripped of her dignity and her innocence because of that little pill someone slipped into her drink. She could walk home to be surrounded by a man willing to take advantage of the lateness of the hour, the darkness of the sky, only for the police and jury to blame her outfit on what happened to her. She asked for what they did to her because of what she wore.
I know she will work herself to death to climb the career ladder to the height as some of her male peers will fly to only being paid the same as her male junior.
Once she does settle down, she will face daily sexism and misogyny in the work place, in the street, on social networking sites, on web forums, even in the memories of her past relationships.
Because she is a woman.
If I had a son, I hope he will grow into a handsome man, successful in all that he does and I hope that he finds happiness wherever and with whoever he chooses.
Though I know that on his journey to settling down, he will face some horrors. He will be subjected to the lustful words of teenage boys telling him that objectifying woman is ok as he is watched by the perverse men.
He will go to house parties and drunken gatherings, with or without my permission, and will have to push off the unwanted intoxicated advances of the girl who loved him since their first day of school. He may be pressured by his peers and told that it’s cool to take that drunken girl to the vomit smelling bedroom for what he thinks he wants and she is too messed up to say no to.
Peer pressure – society’s excuse.
He will wake up either feeling guilty about what happened to the semi-naked passed-out girl sprawled next to him or guilty for not doing anything and disappointing his mates. He may even wake up and tell himself that if she was sober, she’d be ok with it and that it was his right, and will be his right to do with a woman whatever he pleases.
I know that there is a chance that he could be stripped of his dignity and his innocence because another man believes he has the right to abuse his physical power. He could walk home to be surrounded by a man willing to take advantage of the lateness of the hour, the darkness of the sky, only for the police and jury to laugh at his claims.
He will grow up with the potential to either abuse his physical power as a man to abuse and intimidate his female peers in the work place or in his relationships. Nurtured by the media and today’s society with the belief that as a man he has the right to use this power to whatever means.
Or he will grow to become a respectful man who is too afraid and embarrassed to be labeled an abuser and woman beater if he defended himself against the physical and emotional blows dealt by his female lover. #ViolenceIsViolence
Because he is a man.
This is the world we live in:
A world where girls and women are sexually assaulted and then told that their clothing choices are to blame for their suffering #RapeIsNeverTheVictim’sFault
A world where men are nurtured by the media that objectifying woman is ok.
A world where women are faced with stream of sexual remarks and catcalling by strangers daily.
A world where men are gossiped about and objectified by woman (hunk calendars etc).
A world where women are paid less for doing the same job as a man.
A world where men who suffer domestic abuse by the hand of their female partner are shunned by men and laughed at by woman.
A world where women are sent rape threats for speaking out about sexism against women and misogyny.
A world where #NotAllMen are sexist misogynists, rapists and domestic abusers and where #NotAllMen face such ordeals, sexism and abuse themselves.
But a world where #YesAllWomen face daily sexism, misogyny and abuse by our men, some men, but how are we to know which group you lie within?
I’ve been luckier than most people when it come to sexism and abuse of any kind, but I can’t help but worry about what could happen to any children I have.
All I can hope is that if I do have a daughter, I will teach her to be strong and respectful towards men, and if I have a son, I will teach him to be compassionate and respectful towards women. As that is all I can do.