Mar 2, 2017

To All the Little Girls

"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton, 11/09/2016

I have two nieces, one nearly three and the other nearly nine months, and every day I'm grateful that they're too young to be conscious of the world as it is today. Someday, I'll talk to them about the 2016 election. But by then those will just be some stories relayed to them by their eccentric auntie who just doesn't get what the world is like in 2030, with its second female president -- who is, by the way, the third black president -- and its easy access to birth control and work opportunities for young women.

That's my hope, anyway. It's my wish that by the time my nieces are old enough to roll their eyes at my stories that there will be a reason for it other than teenage angst.

But wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which fills up first. (That's a bit of wisdom from the girls' grandpa that I'll be sure to relay to them.)

The truth is that the future doesn't look so good now for women. The truth is that the present turned out to be less hospitable to women than we assumed it was. The truth is that, in the United States in the year 2016, we thought we could elect a female president when we couldn't. The truth is that we underestimated the deep-seated misogyny that existed in our culture. The truth is that we did that after underestimating the deep-seated racism that existed in our culture. The truth is that the combination of misogyny and racism led to a President Donald Trump.

And the truth is that too many of us were lulled into a false sense of complacency on both fronts that allowed too many of us to ignore what was coming.

This specific post, however, is for women -- and to all the little girls of this moment in time who will someday become women.

To all the little girls who will someday become women, don't forget that you have not, throughout history, been considered equal.

To all the little girls who will someday become women, don't let anyone tell you that you are equal until you see evidence of your equality.

To all the little girls who will someday become women, don't forget about the other people who have not been considered equal.

And to all the little girls who will someday become women, fight to make this a better United States of America than the one we left for you.

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