After centuries of belittling stereotypes, repressed potential, and squelched ambitions, ancient matriarchs set out to prove that a woman’s potential for success and achievement was equal to that of a man. They fought a hard battle and they won. They changed the world. They opened doors of opportunity for women that never before existed.
And so, dear foremothers, we thank you.
Thank you for giving us the freedom to be all that we can be—for breaking down barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and giving us wings to fly. Modern women rank among the top CEO’s, surgeons, astronauts, politicians, military commanders, and leadership in every field.
Young women today have no notion of the limitations you had at their age. We tell them from birth that they can be and do anything they desire. We reinforce this throughout their childhoods, asking repeatedly what they “want to be when they grow up,” and praising their ambitious responses. When they reach adolescence, we provide aptitude tests, career counseling, SAT’s, and college campus tours to help them discover their optimum career choice.
After college, we plop graduation caps on their heads and send them forth to conquer the world. We reassure them that the tens of thousands of dollars in student debt will pay off one day as they develop their lucrative careers. During these same years they often marry, take on a mortgage, a car payment, and an Art Van “same as cash” deal that inevitably converts to a high interest debt when unexpected setbacks occur.
Behold the American dream! This is how it began for many of us, and this is the course we still chart for our young women today. We encourage them to set ambitious career goals from childhood, go to college, and enter the exciting journey into adulthood shackled with debt that promises to one day bring prosperity, happiness and fulfillment.
There’s just one little problem. There’s one rather important detail that we somehow left out of the equation. We failed to mention that once these talented young ladies establish their glorious new careers, there’s a fairly high statistical likelihood that they will soon be bearing children. Continue reading