Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gender Splendor


We are overjoyed to find out that you are a girl! 

Truth be told, we'd be overjoyed with news of your boyhood as well. So let that be your welcome---we consider you perfect no matter what you bring into the complicated world of gender. At the ultrasound last week when we found out you were a girl, the doctor jokingly told us that yes, you are indeed a girl, but that he could not guarantee how you act when you are twenty. Well, I look forward to the curious adventure of watching you evolve in every way, including gender. 

Now that we know you are a girl, your Papa and I are imagining some more specific ways that it will be fun to be with you, to guide (and follow!) you, to offer you a roadmap that we have developed in our own lives regarding girls, girlpower, and yes, I'm going to say it---empowerment. We are having fun imagining teaching you the things we learned and taught at Girls LEAP ( back in Boston as well as at Impact ( both in Boston and now here in Colorado. At both of these organizations, I have taught girls and women about setting limits, about speaking up, about defending themselves. I have loved--really loved--being with girls in this setting. It has meant the world to me to be part of a process of girls coming to love and trust their bodies and their voices. It is a process of true exuberance. It is joy. 

I've had more than my share of musings on gender oppression (I won't make you read my masters thesis from Goddard, Peach!) and I feel happy to say that I am comfortable with the model I can offer you for a woman who can and does use her voice, a woman who walks with confidence, a woman who will not be silent. I bet we'll have some fun, Peach. I'll teach you and I'll learn from you. Seems like a pretty splendid deal to me. 

And you are learning some "moves" already! My sensei has said that he'll be happy to have me keep coming to karate class right up until labor---I just can't spar anymore. So I've been going to class faithfully and it's fun to know that you are by now actually hearing and experiencing my loud "kia!" from inside! 

Here are some pictures of me and Deborah Weaver, the founder and director of Girls LEAP. Deborah is a dear friend who I hope you will meet someday. She is powerful and kind. She is a sister. To me and perhaps someday to you.

Worked with Deborah for 7 years with Girls LEAP.

Deborah was a mentor, friend, boss, role model. 

Here we are modeling our "strong stance" and our "no!"

And here Papa and I are just hassling Deborah a bit.  Now, Peach really couldn't go wrong if
she got my leg strength and Mark's smile, eh?

In the words of Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is Powerful. Indeed. 


  1. I am so happy to hear that you and Mark will be bringing a beautiful, strong girl into this world! you will be fantastic parents-i'm thrilled!

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Although I haven't e-mailed directly, I've been following your blog while I eat lunch at the Girls' LEAP office every few days, and got feeling all warm and tingly inside hearing that you'll be bringing a baby girl into the world! Congratulations to you and Mark, and thank you for sharing this journey with us through your blog!