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I Can

Crystal Burke

"Blake" Mya Peterson

Go ahead, tell her she can’t.

Tell your baby girl with big baby-blue dream-filled eyes that she can’t.

Hold her tiny hands and look at those perfect pink bows in her hair and

tell her she will never be good enough.

Tell her. Tell your little girl that she can’t reach her dreams simply because she is not a boy.

Go ahead, tell her that. Just like you told me.


You told your daughter to shoot for the moon; nothing is impossible.

You told her she could be anything, do anything, and achieve anything she sets her mind to.

You encouraged her to dream big, as big as the star-filled sky,

and not to let anyone convince her that she can’t.

But you lied.

Do you even remember what you told me?


When your daughter grows up and blossoms into a beautiful woman, will you tell her?

Are you going to pull her head out of the clouds and

shatter her dreams into shards of broken glass?

Are you planning on crushing her hopes of becoming the first female president?

Can you admit to her that you think girls can’t ever amount to anything more than a pretty face?

Will you tell her, just like you told me?


Your ideas of big strong boys are outdated, old-fashioned, outrageous, and offending.

Girls are capable of more than your small-minded brain can handle.

Women can be strong, smart, sufficient, and successful.

It’s time you realize what a girl can be capable of.

The limitations you set on females are ridiculous and demeaning.

We are far more than a doll face, lipstick, and heels.


Do you want someone to rip away the ground from your daughter’s

running feet as she trains for the next Olympic record?

Should someone else push her down as she’s working on

becoming a brilliant scientist or engineer?

Will you agree when your own daughter is limited by the standards society sets for girls?

Do you want someone to do to her what you did to me?


So go ahead, tell me again that I can’t.

Tell me that because I am not a boy, I am unimportant, insignificant, incapable, and unworthy.

Tell me my dreams are unreachable and unrealistic.

Tell me because I am a girl, I can’t.

And then watch me, because I know I can.

And I promise you, I will.

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