If he's a boy, we'll need to have frank talks about affirmative consent, both for his protection and the protection of the women he interacts with. If she's a girl, we'll have to teach her how to keep herself in safe situations without instilling the idea that potential sexual violence could ever be her fault. In perhaps my most hormonal moment of this pregnancy, I was waiting on the examination table in the doctor's office. My husband was with me, and we didn't know the sex yet. I admitted, getting a little teary, that I felt afraid of having a girl. I was scared of the inevitable day when she would call me to tell me someone called her "the C-word" on the internet for voicing her opinion (an experience that I still remember quite clearly). Or looking at her, smart and ambitious, and knowing that some day, a less qualified man would beat her out for an opportunity. Being the mother of a girl would mean having to acknowledge that some day, when I wasn't with her, a stranger on the street would call out about her body and she'd feel unsafe. And there's nothing I can do to stop it. My husband, patient saint that he is, gave me a hug and told me that if we had a daughter, we would raise her to be strong enough to not only handle these things, but to effect change in this world.
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