I don't know if I'm "a parent" yet. I don't know what the phrase really means.
I know if I am one, then I'm terrible at it. I know that. I know whatever I am, Vanessa is 100 times that. One-thousand times that. It's not even a number.
I'm not a parent. I'm someone who tries to help a real parent. Or at least, that's what it feels like, day-to-day.
I'm not a "step-father" -- I'm the administrative assistant, of a mother.
But even from that humble position, I know I've watched a child get older, for the past three years. You start to notice shifts. You notice them changing, and you notice them staying the same. All of a sudden, some days, you look up, and they're older than they were. And it's crazy. They're the same person, but they're different people than they were.
Chris Rock was right -- you want to be an attentive person, while you're helping to raise a kid. In a way, every kid spends their entire childhood at the edge of a diving board -- they want to make sure someone is going to be watching.
I don't have the words for what I want to explain.
Maybe I'll have them tomorrow.
What am I trying to say:
There is a fundamental problem with our society. Women spend their entire lives, basing their opinion of themselves off of what men think of them.
And it prevents them from living a full and happy life.
I see girls at the gym. And they maybe shoot a basketball a time or two. And then they stop. I think it's because they don't want to get made fun of. It's the same reason a lot of boys don't do it.
But imagine if boys didn't get made fun of for being bad at sports. Imagine if they got made fun of for liking them.
It would be awful. They would go through life never really getting to know who they were, because they would constantly be editing their behavior. They'd constantly be missing out on finding out new things about themselves.
I think that's what the life-experience is like, for a lot of women. And for a lot of girls.
I think that shame feeling -- that "you'll know you're happy when a boy tells you so" mentality --
gets injected into girls' brains at a crippling-ly young age.
I think when girls are watching their YouTube videos at age 5, their TV shows at age 7,
they're seeing ads and messages that tell them "boys are the deciders"
I see women riding on motorcycles. Usually, on the back of a guy, who's driving a motorcycle.
We took two teenage girls to "MotorWorld," an amusement park full of different tracks and go-karts. I've never seen two girls have more fun.
Why should they dream of riding shotgun through life? Why shouldn't they ride a motorcycle themselves?
They do the math homework. They get the jobs.
Why shouldn't they get to drive?
Women and girls care too much about the opinion of boys. It's not their fault -- it's a flaw woven into this entire society.
But we have to start unweaving it.
I don't know how, exactly. I guess just by being fathers who love their daughters unconditionally.
"Oh, you're whoever you feel like being today? Cool. I love you as that."
I don't know what else.
Vanessa, do you have any ideas? Am I way off on this?