some important messages my parents instilled in my sister and me. they still matter a lot.
  1. women should never have to compromise their strength, intellect or success for anyone.
    my parents always encouraged us to speak our minds and not dumb ourselves down for the convenience of others. we should never feel ashamed of who we are, how smart we are or what we think and feel. women can be powerful and successful and they should never have to hide that in fear of seeming too intimidating.
  2. you don't have to sacrifice a career for your kids and you don't have to sacrifice kids for your career.
    please note that this is obviously not true for everyone. many women don't have the privileges that I have to go into careers that will earn enough to afford child care. but my mom has worked full time her entire adult life and that doesn't mean she doesn't love me or want to spend time with me. it just means my mom also loves engineering and supporting her family financially. also, if my mom hadn't worked I probably wouldn't have been as close with my grandma or had foreign au pairs.
  3. working parents are amazing and stay-at-home parents are too.
    while my parents have always greatly valued us pursuing careers and financial independence, they have never looked down on stay-at-home parents nor undervalued the work they do. a parent deciding to stop working after having kids is a valid and sometimes necessary choice, but it's also important to have more than one option (because sometimes unexpected shit happens!) and some developed professional skills.
  4. looks aren't everything, but wearing makeup or nice clothes shouldn't be used against you.
    will we ever stop judging women by how they look, especially in spaces like school or the workplace? I've always cared about clothes and makeup but my parents never shamed me for it in any way because they know it doesn't make me any less smart or skilled. your appearance should never affect your credibility as long as you're within the realm of professionalism. I'm really tired of smart women being devalued for wearing lipstick or judged for "not trying" enough.
  5. changing your last name is a pain in the ass.
    my mom didn't want to go through the bureaucratic hell of legally changing her name and no one should ever have to if they don't want to. she was already established professionally and socially with her last name, so why bother? there are valid reasons to change your name, like a poor relationship with your father or just disliking your last name, but you shouldn't feel pressured to do something weird and rooted in sexism.
  6. hating on women who are different from you gets you nowhere.
    women are complex and women are more than one type of person. not all women are the same or share the same values and that's okay! you can hold onto your own principles and goals for yourself without hating on the next girl for her personal decisions. this one can be tough but it's probably the most important.