For friends and family and anyone who has been within a 3 mile radius of me, it’s no secret that my little girl is turning 1 tomorrow.
I was considering posting a personal letter for Daisy but decided to keep that for her. It’s personal after all. Instead, in light of the roar of the feminist movement that I have been hearing and seeing, I thought I would discuss what I hope the future holds.
During the last 12 months I’ve noticed that my feminist views have become stronger. They’ve always been there. But now I need to do something about them. It isn’t about man-hating. It isn’t about disliking other women. It’s about wanting equality.
I’ve always had a very strong sense of right or wrong, I believe I had a strong moral compass. But, having a daughter has lit a fire inside of me like no other.
Hearing the voices of people like Oprah at the Golden Globes; Joeli at Pregnant then Screwed who is fighting for and with women who have faced maternity and pregnancy discrimination; Anna Whitehouse (AKA Mother Pukka.) and the Flex Appeal; pushing, leading the way and discussing how flexible working is the future for ALL. Men, women, kids, no kids – life doesn’t fit around 9-5. These are just some of the amazing women, strong women, who are banging their drums and making sure that voices are heard.
I hope that when Daisy is an adult the path has been paved. She can walk along the path that so many amazing women (AND men!) just like those I mentioned before, in this and previous generations have trodden, prepared and paved for the new generation.
I hope that women aren’t feeling forced into resigning from their posts within the BBC (or in fact any organisation) due to the gender pay gap.
I hope that fathers are able to take adequate parental leave to be able to bond with their newborn child.
I hope that 54,000 women annually do not lose their job because they are pregnant.
I hope the future is full of every opportunity.
I hope Daisy and other children her age meet people from every culture and background.
I hope they have the opportunity for a wonderful education and for that to go on for as long as they wish.
2017 was a tough year. It saw so many regressive decisions and approaches that will affect the future of the next generation more than any. I do not feel comfortable sitting here and just accepting that, when that is the future of my child. I refuse to accept that the future is bleak for them because, look…
The world will be OK. It’ll take a lot; but it will be. How do I know? Because faces like that one are the future. And I, and so many others I see, hear and speak to, are willing to push back to protect that.
Daisy, and every other child, you are brilliant. You are clever. You are strong and you are worthy. Do not let outdated societal norms and attitudes tell you otherwise. You matter and we will fight for you.
Happy 1st Birthday, my wonderful baby girl. Your future is so bright.