Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I don’t know how well I can write this. Rather, I know I can write it well – I just don’t know if I could write it well enough to get through to you.

For as long as I can remember, I have chosen the path of non-engagement when it comes to discussing social or political issues with you.

The reason is this: You’re a troll.

I’ve known this for most of my life. When I was a kid, your trolling would be pretty harmless- except for the part where I felt like my concerns were dismissed. But yeah, before I could start forming my own opinions, the trolling was more like “teasing.”

You know, like how you used to take pictures of me when I cried and call me “trompuda,” or “Fabiana” after my cousin Fabian who was always sulky.

But then you started trolling in areas that undermined my confidence with my peer group. Like delaying the getting of deodorant after I hit puberty and requested it because it was funnier to pretend you didn’t know what “Secret” I was asking for.

I’m not sure when you started believing in your own bullshit. Or maybe you always have and you’ve somehow pulled the wool over mom’s eyes all these years. She says you don’t really believe the things you say. You just like to get under people’s skin.

But, no, Dad. I don’t think she’s right. I think you’re more than a troll.

I really hate admitting this because it’s a source of shame for me…

Dad. You’re racist. What’s more – you’re a chauvinist. And a victim blamer, but only if the victims are women, or black, or poor, or gay. The only victims you don’t blame are the ones you see in the mirror.

Do you have any idea how much that hurts me? Do you have any idea how disappointing it is to know that your father, who loves you and has given you so much to be thankful for, is the type of person you block on social media?

It really confuses me, dad, because you’re otherwise quite charming. Like, nobody would know you’re any of those things unless the topic came up. I don’t even think you know you are those things. I think you think you’re a good person, like…truly.

We had a conversation tonight- one that I should have known better than to broach because it concerned gender equality, harassment, and boundaries.

I was so angry with you when we said goodbye. You were laughing, nervously because you knew I was upset with you,…and you said “I love you,” before we hung up.

I should have ended that phone call long before I mentioned the thing my supervisor said that rubbed me the wrong way. I should have ended it with “yep, long drive home – long day tomorrow. Talk soon.”

But no. I told you what he said to me and how it made me feel.

And you told me my feelings were wrong.

And then the conversation went downhill.

Oh my GOD, Dad. I didn’t know. I mean, I knew, but I didn’t know you’d actually say it out loud. I didn’t know you would say out loud the things that people say who are called very nasty names by people I admire and agree with. I didn’t know you’d drank that kool-aid, too.

How our conversation derailed to the point where you uttered the words, “well if a woman is being groped by hundreds of men without giving them permission then she’s probably putting out the wrong message.”

Thud went my heart.

Dad, if anybody else had said those words, I would have gone into a raging rant the likes you would never have seen.

But instead, you broke my heart, Dad.

You broke my heart.

I love you, but I think I need a little space right now.

Your daughter,

phi.

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