I grew up visiting a medical office with only male pediatricians.
I grew up at a school where only men were principals.
I grew up in a church where only men were allowed to preach.
I grew up watching media where only men could anchor the nightly news.
I grew up in a country where only men had ever been president.
And even though I hoped women could one day hold those roles, even though I grew up reading stories of feminist foremothers, of trailblazers and pioneers, deep down, I didn’t truly believe that these dreams could ever become my reality. The message I received, loud and clear, was that that there was something in me—my femaleness—that made me insufficient.
Because I grew up in a world of barriers, glass ceilings, all boys clubs and good old boys.
I grew up with a world of “one days” and “somedays” and “not yets.”
I grew up longing for role models not just to show me that it was possible, but to declare that I was worthy.
I grew up hoping for a fairer future for girls and women, but not knowing when that future would ever arrive.
Today, the future arrived.
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Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, Kamala Harris’s election to Vice President is a massive milestone for all women and girls.
We have always been worthy. But today, Harris’ election validated that we are capable and trusted and welcomed, too.
Today, I celebrate so hard for all womankind. For the centuries of sacrifice. For the feminist pioneers. For domestic trailblazers who fought for progress in their own families. For the Black and Indigenous women who battled racial and gender injustice. For the generations of unsung heroes in the fight for women’s progress.
But today, I am especially thinking of my daughter. I’m thinking of our daughters.
Our daughters, who will grow up in a world where a woman occupies the White House as Vice President, and soon—of this I am sure—as Madame President.
Our daughters, who see a woman of color leading in the highest office in the land.
Our daughters, who will not just hope but know that literally anything is possible for them.
Our daughters, who are seen and present and validated and worthy.
The election of Kamala Harris ushers in a new era of women’s progress. It shifts the role of women to the center of the public conversation. It brings so-called “women’s issues” around health care, childcare and family economics to the center of the political conversation. And it provides a role model for a new generation of girls, for whom it will be perfectly normal, even expected, to see a powerful woman lead.
So today, I cheer for this great milestone. I swell with hope for black and brown girls who now see themselves represented in the highest office in our land. And I celebrate the woman who took the heat and risk to stand up for what she believes in, even when it must have been wildly uncomfortable for her to do so. Who has dedicated her career to pushing our country to live up to its ideals. And who will show millions of little girls around the world that ceilings were made for smashing.
And tomorrow, I long for a world in which there are no more milestones, and in its place, an expectation of opportunity and fairness for all. It will be a deeper, lasting, richer equality, for all of our daughters and sons.