My daughter started pre-swim team last week and was a little nervous because she would be in the big pool for a full hour swimming laps, as opposed to the shorter 30 minute introductory classes in the kids pool. Turns out it wasn’t the swimming time that ultimately racked her nerves, it was the fact that she was the only girl in the class of 7 other boys!
My wife often tosses around the phrase “Girl Power” and I find it pretty funny; she uses it playfully and in good fun. Lately I’ve been embracing it as well and feeling legitimate passion when I say it. You see I have two daughters and obviously I want them to lead happy, successful, fun and meaningful lives. The probability of accomplishing this mission increases if we can figure out how to raise our girls to be proud they are girls – I think girl power starts with pride.
Part of my inspiration for writing this today was the picture on the right here that was taken from a great article today in the NY Times business section titled Riding the Hashtag. Sitting in the kitchen reading the paper this morning I mentioned the article to my wife, a social media power user. She went to Twitter real-time and found someone had commented that no women were at the table. I didn’t even notice (which is probably meaningful in itself), but after having it pointed out, it certainly does seem odd. I’m sure Gary, the guy at the head of the table, has plenty of women working at his social media company and my intent is not to bash him or his company. I just look at the picture as a factual representation of what women face today: a world run mostly by boys.
It feels like there is a social movement today to empower women– Sheryl Sandberg has been a tremendous help and driving force with the release of her book Lean In. We’re becoming more aware of societal norms that inherently disadvantage women, and as parents of the future generation we can ride this momentum, educate our children, practice good parenting and raise strong proud girls.
I’d like to see more girls at the table and I’m certainly going to do what I can to ensure my girls are ready to pull up a chair. Ultimately, its their decision as to what they do in life, but as parents we have an opportunity to prepare them for a pool full of boys!
So let’s do it! Girl Power!