“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” — Charlotte Witton
To my future daughter,
On November 8th, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in a close presidential race. Clinton is by all accounts, smarter, more qualified, harder-working, more gracious, humble and loving, and a more dedicated public servant than Trump. Yet, last night, the American electoral college system elected Trump to be our next president.
CNN correspondent Van Jones summarized it beautifully; “You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ And then you have this outcome.”
America voted against the candidate who has upheld the standards Jones summarized throughout her lengthy career and her entire campaign. Instead, America voted for a man who openly and continually speaks negatively of women, people of color, immigrants and Muslims. He has repeatedly threatened women with sexual assault, silenced their voices, and currently has outstanding charges against him for rape and sexual assault. He is our next president.
On November 8th, America was tested. We did not succeed, but, honey, we did not yet fail. One of the hardest lessons women have learned, again and again, is that success for us does not come as quickly or as easily is it should. We must be twice as smart to be taken half as seriously. But honey, this is not difficult. It takes time, but it is not difficult. It takes tears, and anger, and frustration and heartbreak, but it is not difficult. Your grandmother, great-grandmothers, and all the amazing women who have come before you may not have yet succeeded, but they certainly have not failed you.
Please never take this for granted.
Always remember the bravery, strength and aptitude of your grandmother, who upon telling her college advisor she wanted to be a veterinarian, was told to “save that job for a man”. Honey, she didn’t. She graduated from veterinary school. Two years early. Top of her class.
Always remember the grace, kindness and hard-working spirit of your grandmother, who while working full-time and raising our family, woke at 2am everyday to commute an hour to work, work a full day, and be back in time to pick your uncle and me up from school. She did it all with a smile on her face. She was unstoppable.
Always remember what your grandmother taught me, for, God willing, I will one day I get the chance to pass those lessons on to you. Your grandmother taught me that women are strong, smart, gracious and kind. She taught me to not be a bully, to do my homework and be prepared. She taught me to be unstoppable.
Most importantly, your grandmother taught me to love you, long before I ever meet you. And honey, I will never give up on you.
To my future daughter, what I ask of you: don’t be a bully, do your homework, be prepared, and never give up. God willing, in your lifetime, it will mean something.
Originally published at medium.com