Which leaves me with this question: where is the line between helping your child be a socially competent citizen who can have a tooth filled or a vaccination without a struggle and teaching your child (your girl) directly, or through example, that her pain is less important than her ability to withstand it? The answer is not in the way that I was taught to experience pain.
These beasties became a way to talk about the terror of growing up, and most of them also became symbols of female empowerment. A woman to be simultaneously terrified for and of. Victim and monster.
“She didn’t realize how difficult it would be to describe a ghost over the telephone”
This essay was a chance for us, individually and collectively, to speak back to some of those expectations and mandates placed on women.