Warning: The following video contains strong language and themes that may be unsuitable for younger children.
This video by CARE Norway is a couple of years old now, but is still poignant.
#DearDaddy is a letter to a father from his daughter, narrated while still in the womb. Exploring the effects of names that girls are called on a daily basis, and how this innocuous sexism can spiral out of control.
The girl can be heard telling her father how the son of a man who told sexist jokes grew up into becoming her rapist, and how her fiance ended up with his hands around her throat.
Name calling is not the same as rape, but this video carries a powerful message, when according to the World Health Organisation:
1 in 3 women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner.
The full transcript of the video is below. Did the video go to far? Let us know what you thought of the video in the comments.
Dear Daddy. I just wanted to thank you for looking after me so well, even though i’m not yet born. I know you already try harder than Superman, you might even let mum eat sushi, but I need to ask you a favor. Warning: It’s about boys.
Because you see I will be born a girl which means that by the time I’m 14 the boys in my class will have called me a whore, a bitch, a c**t and many other things. It’s just for fun of course, something boys do. So you won’t worry and I understand that. Perhaps you did the same when you were young, trying to impress some of the other boys. I’m sure you didn’t mean anything by it. Still some of the people won’t get the joke and funnily enough it isn’t any of the girls, it’s some of the boys. So by the time I am 16 a couple of the boys will have snuck their hands down my pants when I am so drunk I can’t even stand straight. And although I say no they just laugh, it’s funny right. If you saw me daddy you would be so ashamed because I am wasted.
No wonder I am raped when I am 21, 21 and on my way home in a taxi driven by the son of a guy you went swimming with every Wednesday. The guy who always told insulting jokes but they were of course only jokes so you laughed. Had you known that his son would end up raping me you would have told him to get a grip. But how could you know, he was just a boy, telling weird jokes and in any case it wasn’t your business. You were just being nice. But his son, raised on these jokes becomes my business.
Then finally I meet Mr Perfect and you are so happy for me Daddy because he really adores me. And he’s smart with a great job and all through the winter he goes cross country skiing three times a week just like you. But one day he stops being Mr Perfect and I don’t know why. Wait. Am I overreacting? One thing I do know, I am not the victim type. I am raised to be a strong and independent woman. But one night it is just all too much for him with work, and the in-laws and the wedding coming up, so he calls me a whore, just like you called a girl a whore in middle school once.
Then another day he hits me. I mean I’m way out of line, I can really be a bitch sometimes. We’re still the world’s greatest couple and I’m so confused, because I love him and I hate him and I’m not sure if I really did something wrong and then one day he almost kills me. It all goes black, even though I have a pHd, a fantastic job, I’m loved by my friends and family, I am well brought up. But nobody saw this coming.
Dear Daddy, this is the favor I want to ask: One thing always leads to another so please stop it before it gets the chance to begin. Don’t let my brothers call girls whores because they’re not. And one day some little boy might think it is true. Don’t accept insulting jokes from weird guys by the pool or even friends because behind every joke there is always some truth.
Dear Daddy, I know you will protect me from lions, tigers, guns, cars and even sushi without even thinking about the danger to your own life.
But Dear Daddy, I will be born a girl. Please do everything you can so that won’t stay the greatest danger of all.