“Learning is always rebellion… Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before.”
—Margaret Lee Runbeck
Today’s story is contributed by Pamela P.
Everything Dad said I couldn’t do, I did. I was determined to prove him wrong, to be my own kid.
Athletics — “girls don’t do that,” said Dad. Other “no ways.” Boys. Bikes. Electronics. Pants. I did them anyway. All the things that “girls didn’t (or shouldn’t) do,” I would jubilantly embrace.
My family is Chilean; we came here when I was 3, fleeing Pinochet as political refugees. America didn’t soften Dad. He was — and is — the stereotypical Latino man (and dad). Overprotective. Authoritarian. Rigid. Sexist. And racist, too.
Dad was obsessed with sheltering his “little girl” from the ways of a land strange to him, but so comfortable, a perfect home to her. He was doing his best (I know now) but he was also driving me crazy.
(You can probably tell, I resented my father growing up. Today I am exactly what he was not — an artist, a progressive, an activist — he embodied everything I would come to abhor.)
My parents would later return to Chile (the States weren’t for them). My sister and I, as adults, stayed on. READ MORE