I plan to have a family one day.
When I have a daughter, I plan to instill in her wisdom, kindness, generosity, independence, and intelligence.
When I have a daughter, I will guide her in her relationship with God. I will teach her to “do justice and love mercy” as Micah 6:8 instructs.
When I have a daughter, I will teach her to love others and treat them the way she would want them to treat her.
I will teach her to be open and honest about her own sexuality, and will freely answer any questions she has, regardless of how embarrassing.
But most importantly, I will warn her. About Christian men who think like this. I will remind her that no matter where she goes in life, and what she accomplishes, there will always be people, men in particular, who do not believe she has the right to exist as an independent, free-thinking woman.
I will remind her that there will always be men who are comfortable in a system that gives them power over women.
I will tell her that she has a right occupy public spaces without being harassed by strange men who believe they are entitled to her attention simply because they possess a Y chromosome.
I will warn her against thinking that tells her sex is merely something that a man does to a woman.
I will tell her that there will always be men that believe they were put on this earth to “penetrate and conquer” rather than “nurture and cherish.” There will always be men who, rather then take a long look inward at what internalized beliefs of masculinity would drive a man to sexually violate a woman, would rather place the blame on “society’s failure to protect women” or the failure of women to understand that they are only put on this earth to “receive” and “accept.”
I will teach her that backwards thinking like this is not meant to encourage healthy relationships between men and women, but to silence women, to shame them, to discourage them from taking control of their own bodies and yes, ENJOYING sexuality on THEIR OWN TERMS.
I will teach her that it is this very type of thinking that drives men to control women, whether it is in a relationship, marriage, workplace, on the street, in schools, and ESPECIALLY in the pulpit.
I will teach her that she was created in the image of God, who is bigger than any small-minded, misogynist, backwards, oppressive thinking that tells men that their masculinity is achieved through force, control, and power.
To all the Jared Wilsons and Doug Wilsons of the world, there will always be people who think like you. Always. But my future daughter will rise above it to be the strong, magnificent, incredible woman that God has made her to be.
Despite PEOPLE. WHO THINK. LIKE. YOU.