The She Negotiates University Commencement Speech: Woman is the New Man
Thank you parents, teachers, alumni and lifetime Ph.D. candidates for not inviting me to pontificate at your university graduation ceremony. I would be too dull and practical, and miserably bereft of homilies and quotes from dead people.
Parents, I thank you for supporting your daughter’s choice to get a liberal arts degree, and applaud you for your restraint in suggesting that your thinking, creative, dot-connecting x-offspring might never amount to a hill of beans without a degree in, well, anything else. Don’t worry. After counting turtles in Costa Rica and writing poetry in Paris, the MBA is next.
And I am so grateful that you’re just feminist enough to suppress your wish that your darling daughters would simply get married to circumvent the pain of working four times as hard to get paid 30 percent less. Better days lie ahead, and you’re sure of that because you just got back from a weekend intensive negotiation course somewhere just south of Esalen. Good on you.
Do I sound jaded? I don’t mean to be, it’s just that I’m standing here in my tasseled cap and blue gown with bell-bottom sleeves sweating with menopausal angst and wondering, what’s relevant? What’s real? What do we really want to say to our daughters that doesn’t sound like our own parents doubled down in a Hallmark card?