I just wanted to thank you for looking after me so well even though I’m not yet born.
I know you already try harder than Superman. You won’t even let Mommy eat sushi. But I need to ask you a favor.
Warning: it’s about boys.
Because, you see, I will be born a girl, which means that by the time I’m 14, the boys in my class will have called me a “whore,” a “bitch,” a “cunt,” and many other things. It’s just for fun, of course, something boys do, so you won’t worry, and I understand that.
Perhaps you did the same when you were young, trying to impress some of the other boys. I’m sure you didn’t mean anything by it. Still, some of the people won’t get the joke, and funnily enough, it isn’t any of the girls. It’s some of the boys. So by the time I turn 16, a couple of the boys will have snuck their hands down my pants while I’m so drunk I can’t even stand straight. And although I say “no,” they just laugh. It’s funny, right?
If you saw me, Daddy, you would be so ashamed, because I’m wasted. No wonder I’m raped when I’m 21. 21, and on my way home in a taxi driven by the son of a guy you went swimming with every Wednesday. The guy who always told insulting jokes, but they were, of course, only jokes, so you laughed. Had you known that his son would end up raping me, you would’ve told him to get a grip, but how could you know? He was just a boy telling weird jokes, and in any case, it wasn’t your business. You were just being nice.
But his son, raised on these jokes, becomes my business. Then, finally, I meet Mr. Perfect, and you’re so happy for me, Daddy, because he really adores me. And he’s smart with a great job, and all through the winter, he goes cross-country skiing three times a week just like you. But one day he stops being Mr. Perfect, and I don’t know why.
Wait. Am I overreacting? One thing I do know, I’m not the victim type. I’m raised to be a strong and independent woman. But one night it’s just all too much for him. With work, and the in-laws, and the wedding coming up, so he calls me a whore, just like you called a girl in middle school a whore once. Then, another day, he hits me. I mean, I’m way out of land, I can really be a bitch sometimes, but we’re still the world’s greatest couple and I’m so confused because I love him and I hate him and I’m not sure if I really did do something wrong, and then one day, he almost kills me. It all goes black. Even though I have a Ph.D., a fantastic job, I’m loved by my friends and family, I’m well-brought-up, but nobody saw this coming.
Dear Daddy, this is the favor I want to ask. One thing always leads to another, so please stop it before it gets the chance to begin. Don’t let my brothers call girls whores, because they’re not, and one day some little boy might think it’s true. Don’t accept insulting jokes from weird guys by the pool, or even friends, because behind every joke there’s always some truth.
Dear Daddy, I know you will protect me lions, tigers, guns, cars, and even sushi without even thinking about the danger to your own life.
But Dear Daddy, I will be born a girl, please do everything you can so that that won’t stay the greatest danger of all.