Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

My Daughter's Future

My daughter is in fourth grade. Her elementary school decided to have a college day today, as I believe the high school is holding an actual college day with visits from colleges. In Sarah's school, they wanted the kids to wear college paraphernalia to celebrate college day. Sarah wanted to wear something from the college she plans to attend, although how she has any idea at 4th grade is beyond me. ;)

Future Smithie


Okay . . . Okay . . . perhaps I've influenced her a bit, but I would never pressure her to go to Smith just because it's my alma mater. I want her to go to the place that suits her needs and her goals. I want her to pursue her dreams, and not feel obligated to follow in anyone's footsteps. If that means taking time off before college, I' d support that. While I appreciate my time at Smith, I would never claim it was the perfect school. It wasn't even my first choice. But, since my first choice put me on a waiting list, Smith was an excellent alternative. There are, however, some things I would have done differently with my Smith education, and sometimes I still ask myself "What if?"

I don't want Sarah to live her life asking "What if?"

As she celebrated her shirt today, though, I began to think about her future.

What kind of future does my daughter have in a world of "rape culture" where victims are blamed and where public media figures can say that a woman should just be grateful toward an adulterous husband, because he's a man and men have the tendency to stray?

What kind of future does my daughter have when the image of a strong, brave girl is made sexy for marketing purposes?

What kind of future does my daughter have in a world where there are daily attacks on the rights of women to think for themselves, choose for themselves, control their own bodies, and earn the same amount as men for equal work?

What kind of future does my daughter have in a world where even other women don't recognize the importance and value of feminism, and where some women hypocritically challenge the rights of all people to equal treatment while living lives of privilege? (For an excellent discussion of why feminism is important to both men and women, visit "Feminism will no longer be needed when . . . " at Think Banned Thoughts.)

Luckily, despite all the struggles, I believe that change will come. With each story that frustrates and saddens me, I find another one to inspire me and give me hope. Change is slow, but I believe it will happen.

So the answer to the question "What kind of future does my daughter have?" is simple: she will have the future she wants and creates. My job is to help her get there with confidence, hope and joy.

That's a job I intend to take seriously.

Us three