The possibilities of Firsts

There is something about my generation that has me feeling excited for being born at the time I was- we, the women of my times, have a chance to be a First Generation.

The first generation in however many who has a chance to be born of not only one but two freethinkers who have themselves been raised in the spirit of equality and free thinking. The first generation to not have to fight for their right to education because their mothers have been granted the same.

Compared to my grandmother, I’ve had it so very easy. My grandmother became a scientist when all that was expected of her was to look perfect and cook microwave dinners. All she got was work as an assistant because she wasn’t a man, in spite of her grades and credentials.

My mother became a scientist, too, even through the resistance of my grandfather who wanted for her to choose a “more appropriate” path. She was the one who broke free of generations-old restraints and blazed her path through the crusty world of academia while people a few years her senior were celebrating free love and release from the bonds of tradition.

Both these women gave me the freedom to choose- and showed me that there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you want it enough. But they gave me another gift, too, a gift that I believe has been repeated in a lot of people all over the world: The knowledge that we aren’t inferior, that we have the same potential and abilities as anybody else and that it’s just up to ourselves to make the best of it. I am part of a generation who has been taught that it is alright to speak your mind, that your thoughts and opinions are worthy of being heard- and I have been taught by a generation who has been raised knowing that there’s nothing unusual about this.

That freedom, that assurance that both parents need to work together to give, is what separates us from generations before us. We are the first in which these factors combine on a wider scale. We are the first generation.

Let’s make something of it!


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