A Letter to My Sons on the Day the Glass Ceiling Shatters

Dear Jim and Brian,

In a few hours Hillary Clinton will accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Of course I'll be watching - but you already knew that.

You knew that because you grew up with a mom who never missed an election or a convention - including 1992 when you were seven and ten and I left you doing your homework at the kitchen table to go find the man at the card table in front of the corner grocery store and re-register as a Democrat after hearing Pat Buchanan's "Culture Wars Speech" because I refused to go to bed that night a registered Republican. But I digress.

As this historic moment approaches it is inarguable that the shattering of this particular glass ceiling will have a powerful and particular impact on the American women and girls who will be watching. Speaking for myself, it will have not only political but personal implications as an historic moment in the long battle to overcome the systemic sexism that still plagues our nation. I've got the DVR set and the Kleenex ready.

But this is not just about me. It is not just about the millions of other women who have struggled down through the generations dreaming of a day like today. And it is not just about the girls who will grow up with incarnational evidence that they actually can grow up to be anything they aspire to be - yes, even President of the United States.

The glass ceiling that shatters today is about all of us - including you. It is about the opportunity you have to use your platform of privilege as straight, white, men to use the power that privilege gives you as an antidote to the rabid, sexist rhetoric that contaminates our public discourse in general and this presidential election campaign in specific.

It is about owning the words of Emma Lazarus -- "Until we are all free, we are none of us free" - and recognizing that the shattering of this glass ceiling is another step toward freeing both women and men to become all they were created to be; another part of the journey toward making liberty and justice for all not just a pledge we make but a reality we live.

And it is about embracing the core values you were raised with by the mom who left you doing your homework that day in 1992 - values that have nothing to do with gender, race, class, creed, orientation or identity: values of respecting the dignity of every human being; of loving your neighbor as yourself; of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you; of liberty and justice for all.

My hope for you, my sons, is that you will always remember this historic day. My hope is that when you have children of your own -- whether you have sons or daughters -- you will pass on the same values we've tried to pass on to you and you will tell them about the day Hillary shattered the glass ceiling. And I hope you will remember to call your mom. (Just not while Hillary is speaking tonight.)

Love you,