To My Daughter, On the Election

In a matter of hours life will change, again.  And not just because of the election, but because I will have given birth to my daughter.

With her birth the day before the midterms it has been impossible not to merge the two events in some fashion, which has led to a lot of reflection on the state of the world I’m bringing her into.  As a feminist I’ve fought hard for health care reform but witnessed by own party throw me and my fellow women under the bus when it came to reproductive rights and access to safe, affordable health care options. 

So my daughter will enter a world where doctors are targets of political assassinations, where violence against women is so mainstreamed even campaign staffers engage in it with very little public condemnation and a serious female political candidate still must address her wardrobe and hair as qualifications of leadership.

Despite significant advances in both the public and the private sectors my daughter will enter a world where the social safety net that emerged as a result of the Great Depression and that has been so very critical in helping lift and keep millions of women and children out of poverty is on the bring of being completely undone by, in large part, women who benefited from the security of minimum wages, child labor protections and wage and hour laws.  These “Mama Grizzlies” call themselves feminists but campaign on a very platform antithetical to the interests of women.  This will be her world.

My daughter will also enter a world where, despite an entire political party built upon values of “family” her father cannot take paid paternity leave because it’s not offered by his employer and her mother will juggle the demands of work and home almost immediately after her birth to help pay for the portion of her birth that a private industry insurance bureaucrat deemed “non-essential.”  And I’ll do that juggling for about .28 cents less money that a man would.  Still.

I wish I could say that my daughter is entering a world that is stronger, safer and more accepting of women than when I did, but I don’t think I can.  But I can say that armed with that knowledge I fully intend to make sure that should my daughter decide to become a mother that answer will change.  It has to.  There’s simply no other acceptable alternative.

photo courtesy of Tammra McCauley via Flickr


Norma G.
Norma G7 years ago

I can't believe some of the comments .
It is in the best interest of everyone to have adequate Health Care for everyone.Healthy workers make better workers.
Thank goodness I live in Canada where we have universal health care & one does not live in fear of being bankrupt by an illness.

Paul B.
7 years ago

Why are so many progressives unhappy? I see that all the time and I can't understand why given the great environment, the best in the world, but it never seems to be enough. Can a progressive ever have too many entitlements, should everyone have a car, a home, a big screen TV, cable TV, high-speed internet, a cell phone, retirement, healthcare, etc. I am sure their list is even longer. Is that the minimum we should have just for being alive and living in this country. Can't anyone see how that ideology gets abused, and will eventually lead to no producers and simply takers. You kill the motivation for advancement when you give people everything they need without haveing to earn any of it. there are people who need assistance, but when the government gives it, it gets abused, it gets used as a tool to enslave those who receive those benefits. Peopel are naturally giving and caring, and those that need help typically get it from some source. the government is not who we should turn to for our welfare, except the minimal few who have no other choice and can not fend for themselves. Who out there has not seen or heard of the abuses that some take advantage of a policy that was not designed to help. How many capable people are simply lazy and take the EASY government subsidy route. It is not a sustainable model. Why are most European countries dying, finding any means possible of getting out of that type of system. Teach your daughter self-reliance if you care about her happiness.

Sue T.
Susan T7 years ago

Jessica~your daughter is entering into the world at the right time for her.

While I have no business at all in writing this to you ....I would hope you would not taint her with your unhappiness, whether right or wrong. Please let her grow up a child.....innocent. To grow and thrive and be joyful ..... cherish her and love her and many blessings to your family.

You have a young life beginning...which many do not have the chance to have. LOVE

Congratulations again.

Sue T.
Susan T7 years ago

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

I wish her all the best in life.

Jill B.
Jill B7 years ago

Congratulations Jessica! Don't give up hope. There are democratic countries in the world where things are better for women. Things will get better.

Chris P.
Chris P7 years ago

Congratulations. The election will be a success.

Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

Hi, Mary L, I sent a star. Actually, I read the issue, and scan the comments on the way down. Usually when I get to yours, you've already stated the core of my comment, so . . .

Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

Women are currently divided split by manipulation of Fox "News". "Religious" telling them they will go to hell if they don't behave. Telling them that anyone who questions their decrees is evil; anyone who is "not-them" must be driven out. They offer thinly disguised suggestions of violence for noncompliance.

Women need to come together and tell these corporate rich fat cats, legislators, and everyone else who thinks we can't handle decision and must be told what to do, we've had enough. They don't own our bodies and they can't tell us what to do with them. They can't run roughshod over us, ignore us and they better stop cheating us on salary.

We give birth to them, we wash them, hold them when they cry, we're their first teachers. I think they flunked personhood and it's time to send them back to school.

Ed H.
Ed H.7 years ago

I'm sorry Jessica, I shouldn't have suggested that your daughter should be grateful to you for allowing her to see the light of day. Our Founding Fathers decreed that each one of us is endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the Right to Life.

God gave her the Right to Life. It would be a criminal act to take it away

Ed H.
Ed H.7 years ago

Congratulations Jessica!

Your daughter is so precious.

Don't hate us Prolifers because we would have cherished her and fought for her right to life whether you chose to "have" her or abort (kill) her.

You see we believe you "had" her, that she was your child, before you did. All pro abortion women "have" their children when they decide they want them. In their mind, a child isn't a child, a baby isn't a baby until the mother says so.

What's up with that???

Anyway, from all of us who cared enough about your daughter to fight to save her life before you acknowledged she was your child...thank you for allowing her to live.

I'm sure she will thank you someday.