December 31, 2014.
I’m not sure the first moment I started calling myself a feminist. Probably after reading Susan Faludi’s Backlash in 1991. I was a feminist in my head. A lot of my behavior was still pretty douchebaggy. In 2014, I became a feminist in my heart. The birth of our daughter on August 17th was singularly the most transformative moment in my life. The cause of all women became my cause in that instant. Sex trafficked girls in India and on SE 82nd Avenue. Sexually harassed women in office buildings and Wal-Marts. Battered women seeking shelter. Girls who are told to shut up and be pretty. All of it. The world has to change for Cozette.
Ten years ago I published a chapter entitled `Getting it’: Women and Male Desistance from Hate Groups” in the book Home-grown Hate: Gender and Organized Racism. It was about how the former members of racist groups all had a common story about why they left the world of hate; a female. It might have been a teacher, or a foster mother, or a girlfriend, or a daughter. When they found a woman that they loved, they understood that just because she is a female she is a target, similar to their targets of hatred. They developed empathy. They became feminists.
This has been the year of my daughter. Is started in Las Vegas because I wanted to take Andrea to see the Beatle’s Love show at the Mirage on New Year’s Eve. (I was going to propose but I hadn’t found the right ring yet. A few days later we were engaged.) The year was full of anticipation of our coming little girl. We took pictures every Thursday of the progress and posted the whole thing in this YouTube video: Andrea and Randy’s Little Project
Andrea’s mother and sister came up from Mexico to help out and increase the feminine energy in the house (that included Lita the Cat). Cozy’s birth was hard and dramatic (future blog post alert) but was something close to spiritual. My wife was a lioness. I didn’t know any woman could be that strong.
Of course being the parent of a newborn isn’t easy (see every blogpost before and after this), but I have never known such joy. Fortunately, I have a job where I can take a little time off for those precious first moments and then, later, translate the whole thing in the classroom. I also have a job that makes me a target for others, and so I have to really focus on the beautiful life I have and not the haters. I feel insulated from the bad energy in the world.
2014 has been stellar. We landed on a freakin’ comet and marched for racial justice. Who knows what 2015 has in store, besides endless political arguments on Facebook? If all goes as planned, Cozy will celebrate her first birthday on Isla Mujeres in Mexico. We will get first words and first steps. I will go nuts trying to baby-proof this house. Maybe we will even start making our own baby food.
But I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the friends who have offered advice and encouragement in 2014. You don’t know how much that has helped. There is so much goodness in my world. I know the coming year will have its challenges, but this little family unit is tight. Happy New Year!
“No, you’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes. Oh, the good outweighs the bad even on your worst day.” Thank you, Yeezus.