Save our girls
When I was in Chicago for the YearlyKos Convention, I took the bus to the convention site. On Thursday I took the bus and a young girl, no older than 11, boarded the bus. She had thick braids, an attitude, and pimples on her face. There were no places for her to sit so she had to stand. She was wearing a somewhat loose shirt but her black pants were very extremely tight and at the small of her back, her underwear bunched up so that you could see girly cartoon characters.
The symbolism was disturbing; a little girl’s stifled innocence fighting its way through the intense pressure to be a grown up.
To be sure, I am not suggesting that the girl on the bus was sexually promiscuous or unable to achieve her goals. I do think though we as a community are perhaps remiss in misappropriating statistics of sisters doing well in college and beyond and retroactively applying them to younger girls. However, success defined by socioeconomic measures alone is unable to capture the entrenched cultural factors that consistently diminish the sanctity of innocence which should be associated with childhood. And when I try to protect my nieces and cousins in my own family, I often find that I am unable to find the words to reach them. My frustration often leads to silence or super protective uncle. Ashley, Aja, Kyla, Tiffani, I love you and I hope one day you will understand that I am hard on you because you are my heart.
Moreover, I was reminded of the various campaigns to save our boys. I agree with the goals of these campaigns but perhaps we are doing so at the expense of saving our girls. And until brothers step up, sisters will continue to bear a disproportionate amount of responsibility for the community. As a result, too many sisters are robbed of their innocence.
Stay up sisters,