I've seen the look in Mark Zuckerberg's eyes these days. It's pretty hard to miss.
It's the look of a man who is so completely smitten with his infant daughter that he would move mountains to ensure that she lives in a world that affords her every possible opportunity. In fact, he's already pledged to move mountains of money during his lifetime to ensure that children throughout the world have equal access to education.
It's no surprise that he's working hard to advocate for women whenever possible. Most recently, he made headlines when he exchanged words with a most unlikely adversary: someone's grandma. Here's what was said:
Is that not the best thing ever? I just want to slow clap for him.
Speaking as a woman, we're not doing too badly these days, even despite all the political noise about wage inequality (which is a real issue that deserves to be addressed, by the way). Women entrepreneurs continue to gain momentum everywhere. We can be scientists, leaders, and all-around total badasses.
And yet, this conversation between Zuck and Internet Grandma is a perfect example of why there's still a lot of work to be done. It's a matter of collectively rewiring our most primal, knee-jerk cultural reactions to women.
I'm sure Darlene Hackemer Loretto believes in her granddaughters' potential. I'm sure she's praised good grades, attended science fairs, and encouraged them to aim high in their intellectual pursuits. And yet one day last week she sat down at a computer, logged into Facebook, and wrote that, probably without even thinking about it.
It seems somehow coded into our DNA to automatically discount women from wielding personal power. No matter how many opportunities we have on paper, power is still fundamentally seen as something we marry into, not something we own.
I'm glad Mark Zuckerberg sees the folly in that way of thinking, and even more glad that he took the time to call it out in the way that he did -- in a way that he must have known would go viral.
That's pretty smart. You know, for a guy.