"#DearDaddy" By CARE Norway Calls On Men To Help End Misogynistic Violence, Because It's Not Going Away On Its Own — VIDEO
Grab the tissues, because the powerful new video "#DearDaddy" by CARE Norway is about to open the floodgates. It's no secret that sexism starts from the minute you're wrapped in a baby blanket at the hospital color-coded to the gender you've been assigned at birth, and it only gets worse for women from there — varying degrees of "worse," of course, but the underlying sentiment remains the same. It's a simple fact that almost every woman experiences the effects of misogyny in her lifetime, whether she's one of the 20 percent of women who experience sexual assault in the United States or a victim of everyday sexism such as slurs or street harassment.
Taking the form of a letter from an unborn child to her father, "#DearDaddy" puts a narrative to our experiences — and, more importantly, it calls on men to help end violence against women, pointing out how even seemingly lighthearted "jokes" can have very real consequences. " 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... and many other things," the narrator explains. "It's just for fun of course, something boys do... Perhaps you did the same when you were younger."
This "boys will be boys" mentality, however, merely reinforces harmful attitudes toward women, and in the video, not everyone grows out of it. "By the time I turn 16, a couple of the boys would have snuck their hands down my pants while I’m so drunk I can’t even stand straight, and although I say no, they just laugh. It’s funny, right?" the narrator asks.
As the girl grows into a woman, she goes on to experience sexual assault and, later, domestic violence — two horrifying crimes that disproportionately affect women in patriarchal societies. The narrator concludes with a plea for her father not to tolerate casual sexism, because it often leads to more. "Don’t let my brothers call girls whores because they’re not. Don’t accept insulting jokes by weird guys by the pool, or even friends, because behind every joke, there is some truth," she says. "I will be born a girl, please do everything you can so that won't be the greatest danger of all."
Admittedly, there's something insulting in the fact that women need to be "humanized" in order to illustrate why misogyny is wrong. Reminding men not to rape women because the victim is "someone's daughter or sister" is a frequent refrain in discussions of sexual assault, but while that may be effective, it speaks volumes about patriarchal culture that the victim's humanity on its own isn't "enough" to prevent violence. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to resort to reminding others that women are, well, people to get our point across. Then again, in a perfect world, we wouldn't be arguing against sexual assault at all.
Unfortunately, this humanization of women is still necessary, and "#DearDaddy" does a fantastic job of driving the point home. Check out the video below:
Images: CARE Norway/YouTube (2)