I’ve always known I would have a daughter someday. With my brothers, father, uncles and their friends, I was surrounded by men who shaped my understanding of the world. A classic workaholic, my father taught me the importance of playing by society’s rules, doing what was necessary to get ahead. As a former nerd, all he wanted to do was fit in and be one of the guys.
My father and his friends had a term for girls: “Psycho bitches from hell.”
At the age of three, he taught me how to catcall. He trained me to whistle at women in the grocery store and yell things like, “Hubba Hubba!” The woman would usually tell me how cute I was.
“You’ll be a real heartbreaker someday,” she would say.
My dad would wink and nudge me, rewarding me for sexual harassment and complicit masculinity. This is the world I grew up in.
But it wasn’t supposed to be. I was supposed to be a girl. My mother was going to call me Natasha, Tasha for short. I wonder what life would have been like as Tasha, even though I’ve always hated that name.
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