We need to talk about how the world talks about women. Our words are powerful, and when they reinforce the idea that women are lesser beings, they can have real consequences. No video has explained this better than CARE Norway's public service announcement "#DearDaddy." The video is a disturbing five minutes, but one that every person of every gender should watch ASAP.
This powerful video is in the form of a letter from an unborn daughter to her father. The daughter in the video discusses what her future will look like, and though there are so many happy moments, the fact that she is born a female also makes her susceptible to danger. The boys in her class use sexualized insults to demean her. Most boys think it's a joke, and go on to treat women with respect later in life. Some, however, see the fact that she has been labeled a "whore" as an excuse to take advantage of her, and by the time the girl is 21, she is raped by one of these boys.
The girl in this video pleads with her father not to laugh at these so-called "jokes" - jokes that ultimately make the world feel a little less safe for women. Demeaning a woman with words does not mean that a person will sexually assault someone, but it does make the people who will feel validated in their actions, and creates a part of a culture that subtly accepts violence against women.
This video is an important reminder that we need to end the sexist language that ultimately makes boys believe that women are not worthy of their respect. It's a small step, but a vital one.
Watch the entire video below: