For the little girl who wanted to play with trucks but the teacher said no, those are for boys.
For the girls denied making a gun rack, shelf, or fire-place poker in industrial arts, instead forced to make a poached egg and apron in home economics.
For all the girls called tomboys, and wondering why.
For all the kids who have heard: you play like a girl, cry like a girl, act like a girl, throw like a girl and knowing from a very young age, this was bad. Very bad.
For all the women hired to wait tables, hike up their skirts, and unbutton their shirts.
For all the girls forced to sit on the sidelines and watch the boys play.
For all the teachers, nurses, secretaries, wives, and moms who were told that was all there was.
For all the girls who had their dresses hemmed, strapped, and altered to attend a dance.
For the girls who wanted to join boy scouts to build fires and climb mountains instead of learn-to-sew badges or a shopping mall scavenger hunt.
For the promising girl denied the opportunity to apply – just apply – to engineering school.
For the little brothers, big brothers, dads, uncles, grandpas, and privileged men who struggle to address the injustices served up daily to women they love.
For all the girls told to get an M-R-S degree in college.
For the daughter enrolled in baking & pastry when she wanted a hands-on class.
For young grad told she was so pretty, she should put her picture on her resume.
For anyone who had their bra strap snapped, ass grabbed, breast nudged, or shoulders rubbed.
For all the aunts and grandmas far ahead of their time, but not far enough to have opportunity to say Madam President.
For the high school girl headed to engineering college, asked: why are you going to a dude school?
For all the girls afraid to walk home at night. Or during the day.
For all the athletes waiting to play until the boys finished.
For all the secretaries, editorial assistants, administrative assistants and associates applying for one job, yet hired to do another.
For every girl wondering what they did wrong.
For everyone raised on Free to Be You and Me, and have been waiting for Girl Land to close.
For every typing test any woman has ever taken.
For every girl with shorts that didn’t reach her fingertips and shoulder straps not wider than two fingers.
For all the girls who dreamed, ‘when I grow up,’ and was met with scoff, scorn, eye rolls, a flat-out no, or worse, laughter.
This is why I voted for her on this world-changing Election Day
I voted today.
Like many Americans, I voted against hate, racism, fear, misogyny, violence, intolerance, guns, and greed.
I also voted for women.
For that woman. I’m with her. Because she’s with me.
She’s with all women, of all colors, races, religions, sizes, ages, and abilities. For all of us who have heard no too many times, for too many years. Too many lifetimes.
It’s time our voice was heard, and hopefully, someday, there will be somebody we recognize listening.
Kathy @ SMART Living 365 says
Hi Kate! YES! I voted for the same reasons. Thank you for putting it into words. ~Kathy
Kate Mayer says
thx for voting for the girls!
I am so glad I grew up in rural upstate NY with a boatload of cousins working in my grandfather’s hay field. We were all doing the same hay bale lofting, truck driving and manure management, dishwashing and babysitting. My brother and I were pretty stoked to be making aprons and cookies in home ec and bending metal in shop class at school. Guess our little town was pretty progressive. Ha!
Also happy to have had “Free to be You and Me” ON MY PHONE when the girl down the street was having a little stage fright for her lemonade stand-style dance show. She thanked me by giving me about 100 maple leaf stems. Thanks to your writing for bringing me these sunny memories. Old and new.
And for highlighting history in the making this way. Awesome.
Kate Mayer says
i’m putting it on my phone asap!
Gabi Coatsworth says
Me too! Hillary was an imperfect candidate but dammit, she as OUR imperfect candidate. Her struggles were our struggles, she understood the battle for equality of opportunity. Thanks for posting this as your best Of 2016!
Kate Mayer says
thx for reading! #wearewomenhearusroar