A few months ago, I found out I am pregnant. As I sat and watched the two lines appear on that pee stick, my thoughts went haywire. First, “Am I reading this right?,” followed by “OMG! I can’t believe we did it!” (my husband and I had been trying for months, after being on a post-birth control hormonal roller coaster) and finally, “HOLY. SHIT.”
As in, holy shit, my poor vagina is going to be in shreds in 9 months, and holy shit, I’m going to be responsible for another human being. A tiny little human being who will rely on me for all of her physical and emotional needs for the foreseeable future.
And ultimately, holy shit… now I really get the importance of being a women’s rights activist: I am bringing a person into this world who deserves a level playing field and who needs to understand what it means to respect womankind. It seems to me that this will be my biggest challenge — and hopefully biggest reward — in my journey through motherhood.
As it turns out, I am having a girl, so the pressure to succeed in this realm is on. I have a wishlist for my daughter a mile long, and on top of that list is self-respect and self-esteem (quickly followed by super-human intelligence, talent and beauty, natch). As a woman, she will face uphill battles littered with obstacles that will chip away at these, from the myth that girls aren’t good at math and science, to the dangers of sexual assault, to politicians telling her she can’t be trusted to make decisions about her body, to discrimination in the workplace. And that’s just naming a few. But armed with confidence, positive feminist role models, and the understanding that her vagina is not a disability but rather a ticket to Awesomeville, I have no doubt my kid will kick ass.
I am grateful beyond words for many, many reasons to become a mother (labor and delivery notwithstanding). Chief among them is a reason to re-energize and renew my commitment to women’s rights. My daughter’s future depends on it. I plan to be that mama who totes her kid to feminist conferences, the NYC Pride parade and pro-choice rallies. What’s more beautiful is that I won’t be the only parent doing this — there is a new generation of feminists on the horizon. So look out, Romneys and Santorums of the world… we are multiplying and up to the challenge of taking you on for years to come!