I have always been one of the girls. I have two sisters. I have four nieces and zero nephews. We, the Miller Girls that is, traffic in all things estrogen. And yet it has routinely been a source of lament for others.
I have heard for decades people say to my dad, Poor Lou, all those girls. Poor Lou, insert some vague reference to my father’s life as a parent being less-than because all his children, and now grandchildren, are female.
I suppose there is a possibility that my Dad at some point during my mom’s pregnancies was rooting for a boy but I like to think that once we arrived he was pleased we were happy and healthy. And I imagine by the time my sisters starting making more baby girls that he was used to it by then.
I have always taken issue with the idea that having a girl was sort of the second choice. Why wouldn’t having a girl be an equal delight? I mean, daughters bake you cinnamon rolls, they invite you to dinner when mom is out of town, and if you have a major surgery they are surely on the next flight home. I am sure sons do this too but I don’t know. I don’t speak boy. I am, as you will recall, one of the girls.
While this is not all that serious of a challenge in my immediate family it brings to mind that being female in this world can be threatening. Your gender can make you a target.
Yesterday was International Day of the Girl. This day was set by the UN in 2011 to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
So many girls, and I do mean female children, are subjected to unspeakable oppression, aggression, suppression, mutilation, violence and other heinous acts based on their gender alone. They are tortured, raped, beaten and forced into marriage as children. If you ask, why do we need an international day to recognize the value and vulnerability of girls, these would be just a few of the reasons.
In our country we have plenty of social gender issues but abroad in worn-torn countries the dangers are exponentially increased.
It’s inculcated into cultures and families unlike any other form of discrimination.
We need the day of the girl.
We need girls. We need women.
And women and girls need freedom of fear, persecution and the like.
It’s good to be a girl. I am thankful to have a been a girl who was raised to believe she could be whomever she wanted.
Let’s do our part to instill that same idea into the minds of every girl growing up today. And let’s do ourselves an equal justice by letting all our little boys know that girls matter just as much as they do.
It’s good to be a girl.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G