What our kids see ….

I realise I over think this sort of thing, because Kennith tells me “you over think this sort of thing.”

This idea links back to the girls being princesses idea.  Pretty, pampered, immaculately dressed and waiting for their prince to waft in on a horse and hopefully with a large engagement ring in his hip pocket.

Two thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head lately are – “Do my children see enough black people doing a range of jobs for them to believe that black people/non white people can do a range of jobs?”

… and ….

“Do my girls see women in a range of positions for them to believe that women can do anything?”

The issue is not whether you believe a women {insert non white person} can do anything, but whether you see them in every facet of your daily life, so that the fact that they are the dentist/doctor/teacher/paramedic/secretary already tells you that they can do anything, and do everything.

I think it is one thing for someone to stand and tell you “women can do anything” but one tends to think in terms of what you see, and then you aspire to that.

I am not suggesting there are rare and exceptional women who will aspire to be the president and an astronaut and a hundred other things that women have not been, but I am thinking here more about what we show our girls every day.

I don’t want Georgia (or Isabelle) to think they can be a teacher or a nurse or a doctor because those are the positions that they see women filling. I want them to really believe and feel they can be the president, head of the IMF, head of FIFA and build a bridge because that is the positions they see women in each and every day.

Someone asked me the other day why I am trying to change the world, why not just go with the flow.

I am actually not trying to change the world, for the world’s sake – but I am trying very hard to ensure that my girls have a clear idea of what the world has to offer, and their view is not tempered by what is presented to them.

I get seriously annoyed when I look around and see the images that my girls must take in each and every day.

Over sexualised women (and girls) in television and in movies – girls who constantly tout they are doing it for self-expression and for girl power, but then why do they look like strippers and gain mileage on how sexualised their image is?

Adverts, music videos and most media personalities seem to buy into this “over sexualised image” – the short and tight skirts, the hooker heels and dancing as if there was a pole or at the very least a paying customer nearby.

I do think part of it is that we as adults no longer take note of these images, because they have become so pedestrian.  But the reality is that this is flashed before our children- our boys and our girls – and told that this is considered the “norm.”

I really do not think I am trying to swim against the current, but I really do not want to sit on my hands and then wonder in 10 years time why my daughters are dressed like strippers.

Or maybe I am over thinking this ….

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8 Comments

  1. Tania

     /  March 12, 2013

    I tend to agree with Kennith. Emily loves horses and swimming. Granted she is now only but just 5 years old. We tell her to find her prince with a horse or more & a large swimming pool & plenty of servants. We want her to be independent and do anything she wants to do, career wise, we also want her not to spend 20 years of her adult life working so hard that she misses out on an opportunity for a prince with horses and servants and swimming pools. I don’t see how the magazines and television deter girls from becoming more than strippers. Don’t over think. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Fatima

     /  March 12, 2013

    This post made me think about a great article someone sent me recently – it’s slightly off topic but still related to what you are saying, it’s about how we should talk to young girls in a way which doesn’t focus on how they lookr. When reading it I realised that whenever I meet a little girl I always interact with her by complimenting her on how pretty she’s looking/what she’s wearing. The point this article makes is that when we do that we’re sending these girls the message that their appearance is most important. The author suggests a way of chatting to little girls in a way that engages them intellectually instead, talking about books etc. Definitely worth a read:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html?fb_action_ids=10152654079910370&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210152654079910370%22%3A10150213381479786%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210152654079910370%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D&utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

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  3. Tammy

     /  March 12, 2013

    I would have glossed over this post a few months ago. Then out popped my daughter and suddenly all I can see is princess-prettiness-power and it freaks me the hell out.

    We only employ female staff on the farm, and I’m the one that manages them. I’m hoping both my kids will benefit from seeing women driving tractors, digging ditches, fixing fences, running the show.

    Reply
  4. The Blessed Barrenness

     /  March 12, 2013

    Great post Celeste! I worry about the same things for Ava. I want her to know that she can do and be anything she wants and never to be limited by the fairytale we’re all inadvertently fed as little girls.

    Reply
  5. I don’t have daughters, but I do have nieces and your overthinking is valid! It worries me the way a couple of my nieces portray themselves on facebook, always scantily clad – argh!

    Reply
  6. Laura

     /  March 11, 2013

    It is for this very reason that I actively seek out and engage female/non white service providers wherever possible and give my under 10 year old neices dumper trucks and tool sets for Christmas/Birthdays and nephews, tea sets! Be the change you want to see in the world! Hell, I even got married by Reverend Nancy, one of the Anglican Church’s first female “fathers” some 15 years ago!

    Reply
  7. You are not over thinking this. I think you’ve raised some valid points here.

    Reply

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