My mom picks the best Christmas gifts. She doesn’t just buy one really great gift every year. Instead, she listens all year to what you talk about and gives a whole lot of amazing gifts. It’s almost exhausting opening them, because each one is so exciting. This year was no different, but one of my gifts was particularly more meaningful than the rest — a femme vibes shirt.
This might look like any old feminist shirt to some, but it’s much more than that. And it’s a story that only my mom and I could know. As soon as I unwrapped the box and opened the shirt, we both just looked at each other and smiled.
I got a text from my mom one morning that read, “what does femme vibes mean?“
To be completely honest, I thought it was a trick question. The term had been around for a while. It’s mainly used as in the LGBTQ community. Recently, it’s been used as a girl power cry. So I texted that as short and sweet as possibly.
“Are you sure it’s not a gang thing?” the text back read. I literally laughed out loud.
My mom works at a school and told me that one of the students was being pulled out of class because she was wearing a “femme vibes” t-shirt. To be completely honest, it pissed me off. It blew my mind that someone would pull a child out of school for that reason. I could only text back one thing…
“Stand up for her.“
After talking to me and hearing the side of the teachers, my mom decided to make a difference. She brought up what I had said about the phrase and said that she didn’t think it was right to punish this little girl. In the end, it didn’t matter what my mom said. The little girl was taken to the principal’s office until her mom could come bring her another shirt.
My mom sticking up for that little girl made me extremely proud.
While one voice couldn’t stop the principal, my mom used her voice to stick up for the voiceless. What she said might not have sparked a change in the principal, but the child saw someone tick up for her and so did the other adults. Because of her, someone will think twice before they jump on the bandwagon and punish a child for something that is unfamiliar to them.
In the end, it was the little girl’s mother who came to the school and told the principal off. The girl got to wear the shirt and she had people on her side. That’s a win-win in the name of girl power, if you ask me.
I think people forget that the youth of our country is our future. When you tell a child that they can’t do something — whether you give a reason or not — it gives them a false sense that what they think is wrong. If no one would have stood up for this little girl, she might have gone her entire life thinking that the term “femme vibes” is wrong. Not on my watch.
I don’t know this little girl. I have no reason why she chose to wear that shirt that morning or whether she continued to wear the shirt. (Although I really hope that she did.) This is a great lesson learned to not only youth in the country, but to the adults as well.
Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.
Take a second to think about the movements and conversations going around you right now. Do you take the time to understand them or do you let other people influence you? Better yet, do you just ignore them at all?
No matter what your answer is to that last question, make it a point to be better next time. Educate yourself and take the time to look at different perspectives. Because it’s not your life that depends on it — it’s the future of this country.