For A White Woman Raising A Choctaw Girl, Philosophy Is Key

My daughter isn’t fond of the discipline of philosophy. She thinks, I suspect, it contributed to my developing schizophrenia. Nevertheless, she and I have been doing philosophy since she was little. For me, as a Euroamerican raising a Choctaw girl into a Choctaw woman, philosophy has always been key.

Ever since she was a little girl, I treated my daughter as a respected interlocutor who may have ideas, thoughts and amazing contributions all her own. Together, we joined in love and understanding, questing together in dialogue, learning about the world and each other.

These days, my daughter is a woman. I am extremely proud of her for so many reasons. I would defend her with my life, as would her father. And we both really, really mean that.

And so, I defend her right to like comics, Harry Potter and video games. I defend her right to watch movies and wear makeup. And I defend her doing this all while keeping her Choctaw identity.

Native Americans have joined the majority of the world in having cell phones, flat screen TV’s and cars. They are not stagnant people. They are not living in the past. Instead, many of them bring their distinct cultural understandings to the modern world.

My daughter does this and I’ll defend her right to do it.

My daughter is still my best philosophy guide, whether she knows it or not; whether she likes philosophy or not. So when she speaks up about Courtney Love, LGBTQ rights, drag queens, transgender folks, body image, and more, I listen up. When she adopts a critter into her life, I happily become the grandmother of that furry, scaley or slimey animal. When my daughter speaks, I listen. When my daughter acts, I defend her.