Wednesday, November 9, 2016

To my daughters, after the election:

Over the past couple of weeks, I had envisioned this letter to be different than it will be now. You are too little to understand the magnitude of yesterday's presidential election, but as it turns out, maybe that is for the best. I really wanted to tell you how excited I am that the only world you'll ever know is one where a woman can be president. While that isn't the case now, most of what I wanted to tell you will still hold true.

I want you to know that I voted for the first ever female candidate to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. And it was such an amazing feeling. I did it for you, and I did it for me, and I did it for every woman who has fought for equality. Now, of course I didn't vote for Hillary solely on the basis that she is a woman. In fact, I did not vote for her in the primaries. I voted for her in the election because I agree with so many of her ideals, including equality, unity, inclusion, and compassion. Her opponent on the other hand had quite a different platform. In my opinion, he is rude, vulgar, vile, and arrogant. His personality is, essentially, the exact opposite of your dear mother's. I am appalled that someone with his (lack of) experience and troubled track record would even be considered for office, and I struggle to understand how he landed there in the first place. But that is not the point of this letter. Donald Trump was chosen as the 45th President of the United States, and I really do wish him the best. I sincerely hope he will be a great leader for our country over the next four years.

I had wanted to tell you that the greatest glass ceiling in the United States has been broken. But unfortunately, it hasn't been -- yet. So instead, I'll tell you that it will be one day; I'm confident in that. And maybe now you'll be old enough to really see it happen. Maybe you'll even get to vote! And still, there were other glass ceilings shattered in this election and in the past decades. Hillary and so many other great women are paving the way for girls in your generation and women in mine to do incredible things. 

Because, my girls, you really can do anything. You can climb ladders, you can break glass ceilings, and you can move mountains - if you want to. Your achievements don't have to be grandiose. You can quietly impact those around you and in your community in a positive way. You can make a difference in the lives of others near or far. You can promote inclusion, kindness, empathy, fairness, and love. You can be good friends, good neighbors, good people. I know you will. You can devote yourself to motherhood or to a fabulous career or to an important cause. You can do it all. Of course it won't be easy; it won't be without hard work and sacrifice. You will have opponents and there will be obstacles in your path. But the pride you'll feel when you achieve your dreams will be so worth it. 

And most importantly, I want you to know that whatever you choose to be or to do, I'll be right there beside you. I'll support you in every way I know how. I wanted to tell you today that a woman has been chosen for president and to express my pride in that event. But instead, I'll tell you now that maybe YOU can be the first ever woman president. Reach for the stars, they'll be within reach.

Love always,

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