So I’ve never really done much with this blog because, honestly, it’s been too ‘general purpose’ – blogs need a theme, and I needed something much more specific to focus on than ‘stuff in my life.’
A few months ago a friend asked me a question that’s been rolling around in the back of my mind ever since. I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but the heart of the question is something that has been eating at me ever since my daughter, now almost four, was born. He asked, roughly, “If I have a daughter, how do I get her interested in things like STEM fields and gaming and geeky stuff instead of pink sparkles and glitter and princesses?”
Oh boy, is THAT ever the question I wrestle with daily. I am not a girly-girl. My rifle coach in college told me once that I must have “failed girl school.” Granted, that statement came during a bus ride to a shooting match, where I was currently one of only two women on the Navy rifle team, and had just mentioned that I don’t really like diamonds or most jewelry in general. So we were definitely in outside-stereotypical-social-norms territory. I do like some traditionally ‘feminine’ things, but overall you could definitely call me a feminist and a tomboy and an obnoxious pragmatist. I also prefer the ideology of ‘live and let live’ and ‘to each her own’, so to sum up: pink and princesses are not my thing, but I’m certainly not going to try to tell other people it can’t be their thing.
So I think that question gives me the perfect blog topic to focus on. It’s something I think, talk, and post about a lot – what messages will my young daughter be getting as she grows up, and how can I prepare her for both the ugly and the wonderful in the world while letting her grow into the woman she wants and deserves to be? More and more lately I find myself questioning the media’s messages to women, looking closely at legislation that affects women, and in general talking with whoever will listen about all these things that outrage me, give me hope, make me feel like a crazy raving feminist, or just turn me into an angry mama bear. In a world where young women face unbelievable challenges that most of us never had to deal with, what can I do to help her navigate? I’d like to address those topics here. I’m sure my facebook friends at least will appreciate me moving most of this discourse over to a blog anyway 🙂