Professor Gibson
Thought Bubbles

I Don’t Like That!

International Women’s Day is more than a global celebration; it’s a call for action, gender equality, and an opportunity to highlight women’s contributions to the world.

Today, I’m reminded of the powerful, simple, and profound questions children often ask. My 8-year-old daughter came home from school curious about International Women’s Day. Apparently, some boys in her class decided they didn’t like the day and tried to delete all the digital books dedicated to the occasion.

Her simple question about the day and what it represented sparked a significant conversation about the issues women face. We discussed discrimination, pay inequality, and so much more. Her candid response to these injustices was, “I don’t like that.” This statement, simple in its delivery, is deep and complex. It echoes what so many of us feel but have come to accept in society. We strive for a world where gender disparity does not exist, and at one time, we were outraged by the state of affairs. But years later, to some degree, we have come to accept what we feel we cannot control.

My daughter has always been curious about the world. She also has always had a good sense of injustice and inequality. At just three years old, she was challenging the status quo. She wanted me to teach her about all the U.S. Presidents. Yes, she was three; in many ways, she is also an old soul. She asked me point blank if a woman had ever been President. When I told her no, her disbelief turned into determination as she declared, “Well, I guess I’ll have to be the first woman president!”

This ambition speaks volumes to the dreams she is nurturing and the possibility of change she sees in the world. It is an optimism that I fear we often lose along the way.

My family’s legacy of strength and independence runs deep. My mother was an example of resilience and autonomy. She and my father, who admired and supported her strength, raised children who embody these traits. Similarly, my husband and I share a relationship grounded in equality and mutual respect. We always cheer for each other’s successes, regardless of who shines brighter at the moment.

Watching my daughter grow, I see the next generation of strong women taking shape. She stands on the shoulders of those who came before her—women who fought for the rights we enjoy today and those who continue to fight for the rights still out of reach. International Women’s Day is a reminder of the progress we’ve made and the long road ahead to achieving true equality.

As we celebrate today, let’s commit to fostering environments where our daughters can dream of breaking glass ceilings without hesitation. Let’s work towards a world where they won’t have to say, “I don’t like that,” to the injustices they observe. Instead, may they live in a reality where equality is not just an ideal but a reality.

Our daughters, full of clarity and determination, represent hope for the future—a future where the dreams of women everywhere are not limited by gender. They have the potential to take the world by storm.

As a proud parent, I issue a playful warning: the world better be ready, for my daughter is on her way. And with the legacy of strong, independent women guiding her, there’s no limit to what she can achieve.