Dear Daughter I Never Had, I'm Glad I'll Never Have You
To the daughter I never had,
I'm glad I'll never have you. This way, I won't have to worry when you turn 21 (or pretend you're 21 with that fake ID card smh) and one night, end up drunk at a party where when you're unconscious, predators see you a sex toy, ripe for their picking. In their eyes, you're an object. After all, who told you, Miss Promiscuous, to get so shit-faced drunk at a party full of strangers? Those guys next to you? They could party all night, act like fools, and not for one second, would they need to worry about waking up, bruised and bloodied from rape or other acts of sexual assault, next to a dumpster like Brock Turner's victim.
I won't have to feel every cell in my body retch, and shout in disbelief until my throat bleeds when I read a letter like this, where you will be referred to as the vehicle for 20 minutes of action and where Ex-Boy-Wonder is a victim of alcohol consumption and your sexual promiscuity.
I won't have to cry with you when the system fails you, when you're the one they blame, and the one who had forever traumatized you and ruined your life in 20 minutes due to his animalistic actions, gets a mere slap to his "naughty" wrists. Six months of prison time! Remember Shanesha Taylor, the struggling mother who left two children in a car while she interviewed for a job? She was sentenced to 18 years of supervised probation!
"Teenager Kalief Browder spent over three years in Rikers Island because he was suspected of having stolen a book bag. A few months after he was released and the charges were dismissed, he killed himself." (ABC NEWS)
I won't have to read comments like this one with anger, and wonder if I had indeed failed you as your mother:
I will, however, hug you and never let you go, and applaud and admire your strength and courage to write this powerful, viral letter, exposing the troubling double standards that exist in our society, and the quickness in which we sweep male transgressions under the rug, noting merrily that "boys will be boys!"
So many strangers and friends of your attacker will turn on you and blame you, the victim. After all, how could you even think about punishing this "ribeye-loving, happy-go-lucky, and easygoing swimmer-star-athlete of Stanford?" Hide your kids, your wife, your daughters and sisters if Brock ever shows up at a college campus, lamenting the evils of binge drinking, promiscuous girls, and flaunting his white-privileged affluenza ass. (Ethan Couch, we remember you too.)
Very respectfully, Mr. Daniel Turner, you simply DO NOT justify or rationalize the actions of a conscious sex offender, even if he's been "a good cook and model American citizen all his life." You apologize to the girl your son attacked. You show remorse as you look in her eyes and see her as a human being for once. You educate your damn son, who may I remind you, ruined this woman's life with his deplorable actions over the period of 20 minutes. You go after the industries that continue to objectify women. WE ARE NOT SEX OBJECTS and it's NEVER OKAY to violate any woman's body. I cringe, thinking about all those late nights after work or dinner with friends, when I rode home in a D train to Coney Island in Brooklyn. If someone attacked or raped me, will I be blamed for falling asleep? For having large breasts, for wearing a skirt, and for looking promiscuous because I had red lipstick on?
As women, our feet touch glass as we continue to navigate a patriarchal society where people sympathize with the likes of Brock Turner, adore and tolerate the chauvinistic likes of Donald Trump, and justify/rationalize the actions of bullies. I will be glad to never have a daughter. She will not have to be stalked by strangers on the street, told to "smile, beautiful...", worry about being attacked and raped when she walks alone at night or goes out on a blind date, and blamed when she's a victim. I will not have to console her when she tells me how she's paid less than her male peers. I will not have to rip out my hair, hearing about how she's had to fight long and hard for a well-deserved promotion. Your mommies, we know.
Parents with daughters, I admire you. I don't know how you do it. If I hadn't miscarried my daughter she'd be four by now, and I know I'd have many sleepless nights as she grows.
I have one son, and many worries.
I worry that he'd become a bully. That he'd smoked weed. Or he'd develop CTE as an athlete. That he'd have bad friends. Or he'd break his limbs by doing something stupid to impress his friends. But I won't worry about him being raped at a party. Or groped on a packed bus. Stalked on the streets. Followed home at night. Underpaid and undervalued at work.
Thankfully, he's just a toddler now. So in the years to come, I will, to the best of my abilities, teach him to be good, to respect others, and to be accountable for every one of his actions.
In 20 minutes, you can save a life. In 20 minutes, Brock and Dan, you can also ruin a life.
To the woman who Brock attacked, you are my hero.
Thanks for reading and please share. #BoysWillBeAccountable