The most gratuitous use of power I’ve ever witnessed occurred about four years ago when my then 12-year-old daughter was “dating” this Korean kid in middle school. This boy was gaga over her, and he was nice, and so she liked hanging out with him.

It was a beautiful Saturday and we invited him to join us on a bike ride along the greenway. About an hour into it we were taking a break when my daughter said, “Hey Dad, John (not real name) can do the Gangnam Style dance.”

At this point part of me was embarrassed for both her and him. We didn’t raise our kids with prejudice, how could she even say that? But the fact was–this boy looked like a mini version of PSY.

Before I could say, “Oh that’s ok he doesn’t have to do it” the boy was off of his bike and doing the part of the dance where PSY is riding a horse. Perfectly. People stopped to watch it was that good. The only thing missing was a boom box with the song playing. “See?” my daughter said smiling. “Pretty good, right?”

Two things immediately occurred to me: 1) Girls wield immeasurable power, and 2) maybe it’s me who is prejudiced.



What Emily Dickinson Taught me About Branding

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.