What it feels like to be a woman in a patriarchal society.
What it feels like to be a member of a subordinate group in a a country founded on equality.
What it feels like to be a decedent of "the weaker sex."
He does not understand what it feels like to be followed three blocks by a group of people spewing physical threats at you. He does not understand what it feels like to have a stranger grip your waist when all you want to do is go home. He does not understand the fear his own flesh and blood feels walking anywhere at night, or the verbal attacks I face at any hour of the day, regardless of what I wear.
And speaking of what I wear, consider this: If a biological male feels most comfortable walking down the street in a dress, this person should be able to do so in peace without obscene vulgar language being spewed at them, true?
Therefore, if a woman feels most comfortable walking down the street in a tight, short, low-cut top, she should be able to do so in peace without obscene vulgar language being spewed at her. No, men might not be able to control their eyeballs, but they can control their tongues.
Instead, we must walk home at night the with that horrible feeling we never seem to tell our fathers about. That feeling of clenched fist, tight jaw, quickened steps; that pit in your stomach that says, please, just leave me. Please, just let me get to my destination. Please, just don't touch me.
And so, I have recently made it my mission to make my him understand.
I think that it is important for a father to understand his daughter's experience, and I can't help but wonder:
If every father truly knew how hurt and damaged their daughters were by the behavior of certain men, and how frequently their "little girls" were afflicted with this pain, wouldn't they be angry too? Wouldn't they want change?
We have tried to seek change through our own anger, and anger is indeed a very powerful force. But I feel it isn't enough. We need something greater.
And the only force more powerful than hate is empathy.