By Ginger M. Sullivan.
Long before we ever have children, we have fantasies of what they will be like. When I was a childless twenty-something, my future daughter was unencumbered. She could choose her heart’s desire. At full range. Unlike me, she would not have to fight to be her true self. As part of the first female generation in my family line to not follow a traditional course, I had crossed the threshold. I had broken the glass ceiling. College beyond the Mason-Dixon line, a respectable intellectually-based career with my own salary, athletic accomplishments written up in the newspaper – these were now possibilities for my daughter, as opposed to being oddities for me. My daughter could bask in the endless possibilities I had hard-won. She wouldn’t have to like pink. She could run and play without stopping to always be the nurturing one. She could discover her talents without the risk of disappointing the holders of the mold of “what a girl should be.” She would be free to explore all of who she is without the subtle and not-so-subtle messages of limitation. The world was her oyster and I was happy to be the beacon of such opportunity for her.
Or so I thought.