The little girl came from a large family, mostly brothers. There were so many things she wanted to do alongside them, so many games she wanted to play that they could... and so many voices in her head saying "You can't do that. You're just a girl." So many doors locked, so many gates barred... "Boys are stronger." "Boys are smarter."
She laughed at the silly voices every time. "Let me pass!" she insisted. And she passed. And that was that.
When she wanted to leave her childhood home and marry, the voices said, "You can't, not yet! You still have responsibilities here." But she knew it was time to start living for herself. The voices sought to block her departure.
She set the wedding date and packed her bags. "Let me pass!" she insisted. And she passed. And that was that.
All through the middle decades of the 20th Century, when it was the woman's so-called "place" to raise the children, cook, and clean, she did all that and much, much more. The voices implored her to remain in her station, and not do volunteer work, not manage her husband's income, and not do minor refurbishings of their home. "You're doing far too much!" reprimanded those ever-present voices. "Stick to your assigned position as a wife and mother!"
She shook her head and laughed as they stood in front of all she hoped to accomplish. "Let me pass!" she insisted. And she passed. And that was that.
When her husband died, the young widow was perfectly suited to continue raising her children as a single mother, having coordinated so much of their lives to this point anyway. And her guidance continued long into their adulthood. She would always be their mother, she reasoned. They would never "catch up" to her; she would always "outrank" them. The voices said "At their age, you shouldn't help them anymore! They're adults!"
She countered with "But they're adults I'm responsible for bringing into this world... and you're in my way. Let me pass!" she insisted. And she passed. And that was that.
In time, her eyes grew weak, as did the legs, the ears, and even the mind which was once so sharp. When advanced age threatened to rob her of the independence she'd lived by for so many years, she knew that her work was done. And the voices, though not as strong as they used to be, still droned on. "You have to keep trying! Your loved ones will miss you! You can't just give up!"
The old woman smiled one last time. "They'll get by. So shut up. This, like everything else, will be done on my terms. Let me pass!" she insisted.
And she passed.
And that was that.