Today is Take Your Daughter to Work Day...did anyone else bring the little ones? Munchkin actually has a pretty busy day: she is on two conference calls and has a lunch meeting:-P. For now she is making the rounds, popping into people's offices and chatting with everyone she can find, and then later she has a little bit of homework to do. Hopefully she doesn't get bored, but I can run her home if I need to. There are two other kids in the office today, so I think she will be fine...
Yea, I know it is really "Daughters and Sons" but I don't really care about that half of it. And no, it's not because I have a little girl running around at home...it's because there are no shortage of voices encouraging boys to do whatever they want to when they grow up.
This obviously is going to get me off on a whole other tangent...and one of my favorites! I am sure that ALL of you have read the link marked "My Favorite Post" over on the right (hint, hint) and really all I want to do today is rehash some of that:-) I wrote it in October, and I don't really feel like I can say it much better today.
The only thing I want to add is that it seems to come off a little harsh on nurses and teachers, which certainly wasn't my intent. I never intended, nor do I intend, to imply that there is anything second-rate about either. My only point is that too often we start to tell girls at very young ages that those are the ONLY professions they can aspire to, and that we should show them more than that.
Oh, and "landing a good man" is NOT an aspiration.
Anyway, with that, here is an excerpt from that post that I really like:
It is a societal embarrassment…a complete and utter fucking embarrassment… that 90% of engineering majors are guys and 90% of nursing majors are girls. TEACH YOUR GIRLS THAT THEY CAN LIKE MATH AND SCIENCE. Teach them that Paris Hilton is a fucking clown who hates herself, and that their heroes should be people like Meg Whitman or Boss Foxy.
I don’t mean the rudimentary “Oh, you can do whatever you want” talk. We all got that. I mean a lifelong reinforcing that there is a whole big world out there and that choosing which part of it to conquer is her fucking birthright. If she ends up as an elementary school teacher, then so be it. But if she does that because she never really knew what it meant to major in math, work for Lehman Brothers, get and MBA from Yale and run a hedge fund, then you failed her.
In fact, if you have a daughter, IMMEDIATELY go out and buy a copy of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful women. It just came out and should still be around. And if it isn’t, email the magazine and ask for a copy. Or take ten minutes, sit down with your daughter and tell her “You can be one of these women, and I just wanted to tell you that I will help you if you want to.” It is a brief act, but it is a big one.
And don’t skip the “Highest Paid” list, either, since that is kind of the point, too.
Tell your daughters to aim high. Tell them to expect great things of themselves. Tell them to WANT great things of themselves. And never fucking apologize for standing up and saying “I want that, and I am gonna work my ass off to get it.”
It will make her happier, it will make you happier, it will decrease the chances of her getting into a shitty relationship, and it will make the world a better place.