To my Son,
I’m glad that you were born a boy. Even though I was told by countless strangers, who scrutinised my pregnant figure and felt they were allowed to feel my stomach, that you would be a girl. It’s funny how things turn out.
I’m relieved that, at school, you’ll never have to have the first ever sanitary towel bin installed because you started your periods early. It’s nice that that the whole school will never have to know your menstrual cycle. I’m glad that you won’t be called a slut for developing too early, and have to hide your changing figure under baggy clothes.
I’m glad that if you ever have multiple partners you’ll be considered a hero, rather than a four letter slur. I’m glad that, simply by wearing the fashion that you choose, this won’t be considered a come-on by much older men. I hope that you won’t be rated out of ten, that you won’t be referred to as ‘fair game’ and that no-one will criticise your figure after you have had children of your own.
I’m pleased that you won’t have to give up breastfeeding to return to work; that you won’t have to express milk, hiding in toilets and cupboards, as the multi-national company you work for can’t offer you a proper space to do it. I’m glad that you won’t weep as much for missing your little baby as you do for yourself, after being asked by a male boss in an open-plan office why it is that you need somewhere to do that anyway.
I’m glad you won’t face a de-motion at work, after attempting to balance a career and family life by working part-time. I hope you’ll never be told that you won’t receive a promotion unless you choose work, meaning you’ll never see your child.
I’m glad that you’ll be referred to as a ‘silver fox’ as you age, rather than at best a ‘MILF’ and at worst ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. I’m glad that you won’t necessarily be judged by your hemlines, how much make-up you wear or whether your choice of accessories instantly brands you either elegant or trashy. Apparently you won’t ever appear on worst-dressed lists but will instead be called ‘eccentric’.
Statistically, you’ll earn more than your female friends ever will. You’re more likely to become a CEO, a Politician or a Lawyer than they are. You’ll be able to travel alone to places I never could, you’ll be able to drive in countries that I never can, and you probably won’t be laughed at if you ever suggest that you want to become a professional sportsman.
I hope that, if true equality ever does come, it won’t be to the detriment of your gender but the advancement of how your female counterparts are treated.
I’m glad you were born a boy; but I hope, in your lifetime, you’ll never need to understand why.