To my son:
I will teach you to be strong. I will teach you to provide. But I will also teach you that it’s okay to be gentle, and I will tell you that when you provide, ensure that you are generous with your love. Embrace your masculinity. But don’t worry if you don’t. Being feminine is good too. Cry if you want, and if you don’t want to, that’s fine as well. Before sports games, write poetry. It will serve you well. Remember that being strong doesn’t always mean being tough. Know that some women might like it when you open the door for her, but other’s might not. Remember to be a gentleman but always respect her independence. Never continue anything if a person says “no” or “stop” Never be afraid to tell someone “no” or “stop” if you are uncomfortable. Be kind to women. Be kind to men. Be kind to everyone. Know that it’s okay to have your preferences, but that everyone is beautiful in their own ways. Be tolerant, but don’t be a push over. Stand up for yourself when it is needed. Know that it is also okay to let things go if they are not important. Live your life with honor, with love and with integrity. And even if you don’t, I will still be proud to be your mother.
To my daughter: (if one day I have one)
I will teach you to be feminine. I will teach you to be well mannered. But I will also teach to be strong. I will teach you the names and battles of feminists of suffragettes so you know how far we’ve come. Know that you don’t have to be cynical to be intelligent and that yelling isn’t always the best form of communication. Know that you are allowed to be soft if you want and if you want to be tough, that’s ok too. Wear pants. Wear dresses. Wear whatever the hell you want. Just make sure you that if you choose to wear something, wear it with pride. Respect men. Respect women. Respect yourself. Respect everybody. Be kind, but be fierce when you need to be. Don’t be afraid to say stop. Always respect someones right to say stop. Know that feminists can be girly and love make up. Know that liking those things doesn’t make you superficial or shallow. Never say that you’re “not like other girls” Don’t get sucked into the hate, support your sisters. Live your life with honor, with love and with integrity. And even if you don’t, I will still be proud to be your mother