Dear dad

Recently, a short film was made for the organisation Care.no that has now been circling the web, getting both appraisal and critique.

Let me make one thing clear before continuing in my writing: I am on the pro-side here, I really love this film and cried like an idiot when I first saw it because for me, this is highlighting such a crucial issue that concerns us all. Even if you do not want to call yourself a feminist, listen up: you probably still have someone you care about in your family, circle of friends or other who is a girl or a woman and has been, or will be, through some ridiculously hateful, harmful and unfair moments and events, just for being a girl or a woman. The least you can do is acknowledge this.

And take five minutes of your life to watch the whole film:

Now, the contents of this film may be upsetting, they may be disturbing, they may make you angry, sad, frustrated. But if you are one of those viewers who instead gets defensive about what you have just watched, then perhaps you should reconsider for a moment. This film is not intended to point the finger and blame men or dads, or you. The point they are trying to make is this: There is a big damn difference between growing up as a girl and growing up as a boy, and all of these differences are something that we have made up ourselves. They are socially constructed in the way we act towards girls and boys, in the way we speak to girls and boys, in the way we acknowledge girls and boys, in the way we encourage girls and boys, in the way we treat girls and boys and so on and so forth. Thus, it is each and everyones’ damn responsibility to make an effort and change this unjust system. If you happen to be a dad who raises a daughter and you feel offended by this film. Well, ask yourself then, why are you offended? Why does this film which is trying to make a difference for your daughter and the way others will treat her throughout her life, offend you? This is not intended to blame you as a father, but rather raise your awareness of issues that your daughter most likely will go through. And as a dad, as a parent, it is your responsibility, to make sure that you do all that is in your power to do in order to protect your daughters, and your sons.

Why should this offend anyone?

Well here is perhaps a short answer: I’ve noticed that every time you start a gender-discussion pointing out some of the unequal issues concerning women and men, there is always someone, somewhere, (often a man) who starts rampaging and going on and on saying: What about men? Well… what ABOUT men? Everything is not about you, you know. Being the norm for so long, I understand how this may be frustrating for you, but equality and “women’s issues” does in fact concern you as well. And when someone points out that for instance men rape more than women, or other such issues, instead of getting upset shouting that you are not a rapist even though you are a man, well, take it easy. If you are not a rapist, or whatever the issues is about, then obviously, the issue is not about you, per se. So why get offended? Listen up instead, listen carefully and try to understand that the issue does concern you as well, even though it may not specifically be about you. As people living in a society, all the issues that have to do with gender concerns each and every one of us. And therefor, each and every one of us have the power to make some change.

So, if you happen to be a dad, raising a girl, this film should inspire you. I hope it does. For all our sakes.

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