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Dear Daughters

If you are gender stereotyped, encouraged

to wear pink, play with Barbies instead of

trains, dream of being a princess instead of

a priest, to be nice instead of bold, quiet

instead of outspoken, accommodating

instead of demanding...

If you are given the message on repeat that

your body is there for others - to judge,

scrutinise, touch, evaluate, compare and


If you are labelled bossy, bitchy, brassy,

blonde, uptight, ditzy, frigid, pretty, loud,

or pretty loud...

If you are sexually harassed, cat-called,

date-raped, coerced, or God forbid,


If it's enshrined in law that you at 14, 24,

or 40 matter less than an embryo..

If you become depressed, anxious, bulimic,

anorexic, as you obey the instructions to

make yourself smaller and smaller till you


If you abandon a brilliant future because

you didn't see yourself reflected where you

wanted to go...

If you partner up and fall into what seems

to be expected instead of what you want...

If you find your bookshelves, music collection

and government full of male voices...

If you find it normal and unremarkable

that the divine feminine in you is ignored,

trampled and disregarded...

If you experience the most sacred hour of

giving birth as a time to be poked, prodded

and dictated to by the patriarchy, and are

then told not to complain because you have

a "healthy baby'...

If you're told "No-one wants to see that" as

you try to feed your baby...

If your voice is ignored, interrupted,

unwelcome, silenced...

If you receive the message that it's safer

not to try in case you fail, and failure isn't


If you find yourself pitted against and sepa-

rate from other women...

If you feel shamed for bleeding, orgasming,

sprouting hair, flesh and breasts...

If you are saddled with memories of life-

times of violence and cruelty...

If you tune out from your own dreams and

desires because it's just too painful..

If it turns out everything in the Earth is not

yours because you're a woman...

Then my daughter, I didn't do enough.

Being your mother makes me brave.

Knowing that you will be left with what I

couldn't change makes me want to fight as

long as I have breath.

By Zoe Challenor

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