I caught a glimpse tonight, watching a children’s movie of all things.

I just glanced over at my daughter, who was casually sprawled on the top part of the couch drinking out of a cup.

I could see her. She was a teen. A full-fledged, young woman. Her features were so pronounced. High cheek bones, long dark hair. Those big, dark eyes.

She was sitting on the couch chatting with her with her friend who is here for a sleep over, only I was looking at grown women for that fleeting moment. I was in awe and terrified at the same time.

She was stunning and witty and she still did that thing with her hair that she does now at 8 years old  where she pulls a strand over, pulls it against her cheek leaving a line, and then releases it over and over.

She’s becoming a woman before my eyes and there isn’t a single thing I can do about it.

There are so many things I want her to know. So many things I’m trying to teach her as she grows older.

She still gives me that look of shock when I tell her women are not treated the same as men. Not paid as much. Not listened to in a board room, not given the raises, promotions, or even the venture capital to become successful entrepreneurs. It’s as if I’m telling her fairy tales and she’s awaiting the heroine to swoop in and whisk away all the bad guys and insert a world where all women code, are encouraged to do math,  and are treated equally. She truly doesn’t believe me. Or doesn’t want to believe me.

It’s as if she was blocking it out. She didn’t want to know just yet. She wanted to stay innocent just a little while longer.


But something tells me that glimpse of a woman I saw on the couch knew. And with any luck, was working with the rest of us to help change the ratio.

Who am I kidding, Hala already has.


  1. Lovely.

  2. My son, who is nearly 10 and going into 4th grade this year, gives me the same look when we discuss these same issues.

    We read “Riding Freedom” this summer because it is required reading and he could not grasp the idea that young girls and women were not treated equally (and still are not). He was so confused by the idea that it gave me hope…

    Talking about the history of women’s rights (and equal rights for all) as well as what has changed in recent history is so important to discuss with young children. They come into the world so innocent and ready to fight for what they want…

    Our kids are learning so much so quickly. It’s both scary and exciting to see what they do with that knowledge as they get older.

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