Even now so much works against us, and not just the broad-stroke bigotries.Not long ago I was talking to a class of third graders.
When I wish them for Maria, it sometimes feel a little too close for comfort to the cult of the nice girl, who puts the needs of others before her own.
When she says "I don't care," I feel fragmented: the mother who knows it would be easier if she were easily led, the former girl who saw herself in the fun-house mirror of the opinions of others, and the woman, who cheers "Atta girl!
Maria's father says that the sheer tensile strength of her personality makes submission most unlikely.
But he doesn't know what I know about growing up female.
I want all three of our children to be good people, sensitive, empathetic.