I don't really know what to say... I mean, how do you introduce yourself to a complete stranger?
I am not always a good person, but that does not mean I am a bad person. No, mostly I am in the middle. I am a balancing act. I am still figuring out what is right and what is wrong. I suspect I always will be. I am a person, not good or bad, but simply human.
When I was 12 boys slid their hand up my thigh and slapped my butt. I smiled and took it because I didn’t know it was okay to say stop. I didn’t know that I could say no. So, when the principal calls telling me my daughter is suspended for punching a boy who wouldn’t stop touching her, I will cook her favorite meals. When she tells me how she cursed at the boy who wouldn’t move his hands off her knee even though she asked him to, I will smile and pull out her favorite movie to watch together. I will celebrate the fact that she accepts her body as her own and knows she has the right to say no. I never want my daughter to think her body belongs to men, because it is her own and my god should she be proud. I will teach her it’s more than okay to say stop, something I wish I had known when I was that age.
When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty.
You might think: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the UN? I’ve been asking myself at the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make this better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel my responsibility to say something.
It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are.
I want men to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human, too and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.