On the drive home from school this morning:

MissSix: Mom, there have never been any womans presidents.

Me: That’s true.

MissSix: Why?

Me: (sighing) That’s a hard question. Women didn’t even have the right to vote in this country until the year my dad was born. Women have been discriminated against…well, forever.

MissSix: Why?

Me: (larger sigh) It doesn’t make any sense, does it.

MissSix: No.

She then went off topic into a discussion of how old Grandpa would be now, and what if people lived until 200 years old, and if they would just sit in a chair for 100 of those years anyway.

This is the awful thing about having a daughter. There are so many extra things, sad and stupid and difficult, that she has to hear from me, her inheritance for being female. How does one explain just why women have been discriminated against, victimized, disrespected, oppressed, abused, and often with the full pardon of law and society? How am I supposed to look at her face and tell her that? How on earth do I explain to her just how much more vulnerable in the world she is than her two older brothers? How do I protect her without making her feel like she is less? How do I inform her without making her angry at the world?

It sucks.

I want her to be proud to be who she is, of everything about herself, and to feel like she is unlimited in what she can achieve and accomplish. I want to be able to deliver that message and believe it, myself. Part of me sincerely does believe that; women all over the world continue to make great strides and every year achieve more of a balanced voice on the planet. But part of me knows that actual, real equality might be impossible for people to construct. They just aren’t all that evolved, when it comes down to it. Those who can exploit to gain power, will most often do so, whether it is physical, emotional, or political. Women, because of their basic biological differences, may never be able to walk in the world unafraid of the ignorant and predatory, no matter what. And this is not a diatribe against men either – other women are just as active in anti-female sentiment and what seems to be to me, counter-intuitive actions.


I told her later that I was very very confident that she would see a female U.S. President in her lifetime, and probably several of them. She told me that she could be the President, but would rather be an artist. I guess that has to be some progress. When I was little, I never could imagine that womans could be anything more than a smiling and waving First Lady, silent and stored away most of the time.