Teach your children well

PHOTO BY DAN WYNN/ESQUIRE MAGAZINE
GLORIA STEINEM and Dorothy Pitman Hughes fought for their rights in the 1970s, and folks will continue to fight back against demagogues.

When Donald Trump was elected president, there were rumblings of over-stressed parents worried about how they would break the news to their daughters.

Hillary Clinton lost, and the subtext therein was that America, by default, was a seething wasteland of misogyny.

The question was presented, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What do I tell my daughter, now that a pussy-grabbing misogynist is the most powerful man in the world?”

Simple. You keep on doing what you were doing before.

You continue to empower your daughters. You teach them to be strong, opinionated and not to take shit from anyone. If you’re a dad, you don’t go around with a shotgun acting like some Ozarks hillbilly – you teach your daughters how to use said weaponry.

For hundreds of years, women have been fighting for their rights. Nellie McClung did so for her right to vote. Gloria Steinem became a voice of the Women’s Right movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. You don’t stop that tradition of raising independent women just because some donkey (not in the Democratic sense) was elected to office.

In addition, you raise your sons to have respect for women. The moment they start itemizing women is the moment you give them a cauliflower ear, regardless of their age. God knows, we don’t need any more Brock Turners or Jian Ghomeshis in the world.

In all honesty, we shouldn’t get all worked up and anxious over a man with a dead guinea pig on his head.

Has that ever stopped people from teaching their children well? Has the Cheeto Jesus altered your parenting skills? He shouldn’t have. You should be empowering more than ever if he’s been given a position of power.

Now, one of the big problems with today’s society is some folk tend to react in an excessive manner. That tends to be infectious. We’re all guilty of hopping on the hang-em-high bandwagon.

In the instance of Ghomeshi, we all know he’s a creep. He admitted so much before the news broke of his indiscretions. That may be an understatement, but what the presiding judge, William Horkins said, after the lowering of the boom, had plenty of veracity.

However, he was misquoted. And those already in a lather took that misquote poorly and went into torch and pitchfork mode.

I get it. I do. A lot of people wanted to see Ghomeshi hanged. We were all guilty of being swept up in the undertow of social justice warriors.

Still, we have to also understand there are high profile men who do get caught in the crosshairs of some vindictive people who just happen to take advantage of the vices said subject has. As much as people don’t want to admit it, humans have this fancy tradition of exploiting other people’s weaknesses.

Patrick Kane is the first example that comes to mind.

But let’s avoid travelling down that rabbit hole. The original purpose was to highlight that we, as a people, don’t change course. We teach are children well. We empower them, but not to the point of making it hard for them to deal with failure.

Or to deal with the misogynist jackasses that get elected to office.

 

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About the author

Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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