The story goes that when I was born my mother cried. She didn’t cry from joy, but out of the sorrow that I was yet another daughter and not a son. This isn’t that shocking considering it’s the Korean culture and that my father’s family name would end with me with him being the sole surviving male of the Won family.
I don’t know if my dad also cried that day, but what I do know is that he has never made me feel inadequate for being born a girl. Just the opposite actually.
Growing up he would take me to Dodgers games, camping, and feed me red meat with horseradish sauce that made my nose crinkle. But he also loved buying me dresses, and cultivated my quieter, bookish side. He would often tell my sister and me that he would choose us over a truckload, no, a million of boys.
And now at the eve of my 30th birthday, his card to me states that I’ve done things that surpasses what most men would do and for that he is so proud of me.
So fathers, tell your daughters that they can do and be anything. Tell them that you would pick them over a gazillion boys because they will internalize that message and one day become stronger than they even believe themselves to be.