On Sunday October 14. 2018, I received the greatest honor of my life so far: becoming a godmother to my six-week-old baby cousin. On labor day, the day my baby cousin graced my world with her arrival, my friend Helen and I went shopping, as one does when everything's on sale. I remember looking for the perfect outfit to get her.
And then I saw it: camo leggings and a pink long-sleeve shirt that says “The Future is Female” in golden glitter.
It’s just a shirt, right? It’s just a catchy phrase straight out of Twitter printed on the front of a newborn's outfit.
Only, it’s not.
It’s what I need for my goddaughter and all the little girls born into this unjust world to understand. I want her to wholeheartedly believe in the fact that she is the future, even if she’s told otherwise. I want her to know that she is of added value to the world. I want her to grow up confident knowing she could be someone by doing something that matters to her, even if it might not matter to other people. I want her to break every glass ceiling, and empower her friends to do the same until there are no more glass ceilings to break.
As a godmother, it's my duty to show her that she is the future. It's my duty to speak up and voice her opinion when everyone around me tells her to sit down and be quiet: the future is being heard. It's my duty to set an example for her by showing her that she can attend a prestigious university and pursue her passions, even though she might hear that "Men are better at STEM" or "Who cares about what degree she gets, she can just marry any rich man": the future is education. It's my duty to show her that she can speak her truth and stand up for herself : the future is courage. It's my duty, and everyone else's, to show her that she will be believed when she says what's on her mind. It's our duty as progressive individuals living in the modern world to applaud her for being fierce and ambitious. The coming generations of driven young women is our duty.
Sophie, when you're old enough to read this, I want you to know that you will be loved and appreciated by everyone around you. You and your big sister Ana are already such characters; both of you have that sparkle about your bright blue eyes. Don't let anyone take away that fascination you have for the world around you. Embrace it! When we grow up, our appreciation for the world tends to fade away. We get used to everything. I don’t want you two to get used to anything. I want you to appreciate what and whom you have around you. Above all, I want to you to appreciate yourself and love yourself as much as your family loves you: unconditionally and infinitely.
You are your own future, and no one else's perception of it.
The future is female, and it's brighter than ever.