Girl power – we need this!

So my 5 year old comes to me and asks.
- Why is it 280 boys in this book about the Olympics and only 26 girls? Why isn’t there any girls in Ben 10, yeah there is one in the movie but never in all the gadgets?
Then she writes “Unfair – guys” on the fridge. I love her for this!
But I still don’t really know what to tell her. How do I explain about this, like how do we explain to kids about all the big issues in life? Like dying – but at least dying is natural. One part of me doesn’t want to tell her – I don’t want her to think about it just yet. Think about it too soon. Somehow believe that she is less worth because she is a girl? But this can happen even more if I don’t show her how unfair it is. So we talk about it and we work for more girl power! And then I simply cross my fingers and hope that it will work.

How do you think about raising you girls and boys? How do we get them to become more equal?
How do we do this together?

 

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6 Responses to Girl power – we need this!

  1. Melissa@Julia's Bookbag June 28, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    I don’t have good answers for you but I can tell by this little girl’s face that you have a powerful girl already! Sometimes my daughter tells me that some boy has told her that boys are braver and stronger than girls.

    I told her that is ridiculous. There are always going to some girls who are smarter, stronger and braver than some boys and vice versa. Because people are different. But some people aren’t going to be smarter/braver/stronger simply by virtue of their gender. That’s the basic message I’m trying to get across to her.

  2. Vicky June 28, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    I’m not a parent, but I am a daughter who raised me to be strong, independent, and full of girl power. She wanted my sister and I to know that we can grow up to be whatever we wanted to be not in-spite of being a girl, but because I am a girl. I think my mom did that because of her role model (her mom, who was a working mom of six children as a nurse) and because of the experiences she went through. She always tells me of her days in college when she fought administration for equality on campus (men had no curfew, but women had to be back in the dorms by 10). And now she is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX here in the US, which lead to increased opportunities for women in sports. My mom (and dad, he is super supportive as well) never told me I couldn’t attempt something. I might fail, but I would always be given the chance to try it out.
    I also work and have worked with kids for a while now, as a therapist, youth minister, and camp counselor. Working at camp was awesome because everyone supported everyone. Also, there I learned that boys and girls have very similar interests, if you let them explore what moves them. I was a drama counselor for a couple of weeks, and every group that came loved the dress up part. Girls loved being princesses, super heros, construction workers, aliens, and everything in between. Boys loved being princesses, super heros, construction workers, aliens, and everything in between. Boys loved making farting sounds and grossing people out. So did girls (who I think were the best at making disgusting sounds because in a camp atmosphere the felt free of societal ideals). We also gave them tasks where they had to work together. Simple team building games. Give them a common goal that everyone has to work on. It brings them together.
    I think what also helps kids is having them find their talents and passions, but also help them learn about other people’s talents and passions. The simple, look for the good in others.

    Isabelle: thank you Vicky!! What a great mum and sounds like a fantastic camp! Thank you for telling about it it gives me hope and love!

  3. Sarah June 28, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Så himla bra och viktigt ämne! Och inte minst svårt. Jag har själv två pojkar och brottas dagligen med de här frågorna. Jag kan tänka mig att det blir ännu mer påtagligt med döttrar. Det viktigaste tror jag är att våga prata med sina barn om hur samhället är funtat, utan att försköna eller dumförklara. Sedan tror jag också att det är viktigt att göra aktiva val. Jag försöker läsa böcker för mina pojkar där de får identifiera sig med starka flickor, Pija Lindenbaums böcker funkar hur bra som helst och Pippi och så vidare. Men även böcker där alternativa “pojkroller” porträtteras, återigen är Lindenbaum hur bra som helst. Men jag försöker också vara medveten i andra saker, såsom klädval, inredning, leksaker etc. Men det är svårt. Jättesvårt. För vårt samhälle är uppbyggt på att flickor ska vara flickor, och pojkar ska vara pojkar. Överhuvudtaget tror jag att det är viktigt att bryta uppdelningen mellan pojkar och flickor, att uppmuntra lek över könsgränserna – vilket verkar bli starkare ju äldre barnen blir. Jag märker det verkligen på min sexåring, för min treåring är det mycket “naturligare” att leka med både pojkar och flickor.

    Heja dig som tar upp det här!

    /Sarah
    Isabelle: Ja det är ju verkligen så att man får göra aktiva val hela tiden samtidigt så är det svårt när allt nischas in. Klart jag är orolig eller tänker på det för della men även för Beppe. Hur får jag honom att inte heller fastna i det hela. Heja dig med!

  4. mette / ungt blod June 28, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Så uretfærdigt! I sometimes find myself changing the lines of childrens books! Like Snorkfrøkenen being insecure :/
    Isabelle: oh I do that all the time. And like swap that it’s not evil stepmums in all stories and weak fathers (like hans and gretchen or snow white or Sleeping beauty) I also leave out that all the princesses are beautiful and have nice dresses and I tell that they are smart instead. Haha I don’t know but I can’t stand it otherwise.

  5. Jessy June 28, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I’m not a parent (yet, someday!) but I already am thinking about this…
    I think Melissa and Vicky ^ have good advice.
    Teaching kids that everyone is good and bad at certain things, and that it has nothing to do with their gender, is so important…
    As for the books…try and find some that have more equality! (not over the top on the princess syndrome, but not too far towards boys are the only ones present…)

    Your daughter is smart stuff. ^^

    Thanks Jessy- she is smart! And books believe me I do but she gets presents and to be honest it not that easy to think about it all the time. Also all the companies they don’t want to risk making for example pink stuff for boys or blue for girls cause thay are afraid it will not sell. Drives me mad, cause then they are pushing it even further – they are telling everyone how it should be.

  6. Ashley June 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    My mother passed away when I was 12 and from then on out it was my father’s job to make me the empowered girl I am today. He definitely did a great job! I think it was because he never made me feel that because I liked “girly” things I wasn’t empowered. He just always pushed me to dream, have tons of goals and make sure they were my dreams and goals.

    I think you should help her write her own book where the girl gets all the gadgets There’s many websites (issuu (online), blurb, etc) that help you self publish for free. Maybe that way she can get it out the for other girls that feel the same way. Also, explain that it might not be that everyone feels like girls can do anything, but that just means she needs to show them they can.
    Isabelle: thanks Ashley for sharing! Sounds like a great dad sorry to hear about your mum. I guess it’s om of the things that is easy to do to minimize the “girly” stuff – that they are not as much worth as the “boyish”. Love the idea of a book and loved the “it might not be that everyone feels like girls can do anything, but that just means she needs to show them they can”. thanks!

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