This weekend while I was indulging in Sunday Football, my husband asked me a question that I thought was interesting to say the least. He looked at our 1-year-old daughter and said, “Do you think she will love to watch football?” Now my husband is an amazing man, (who does not like football) he is one of the least sexist people I have ever met, so this question struck me as very odd. I looked at him and said, “Why? Do you think it is too violent?” No, he said, “It was just a thought. I want her to love girly things too like ballet.” I looked at him honestly and said, “Why can’t she love both? I do.” That’s right, I am a woman who LOVES football. And guess what, there is nothing wrong with that. I personally think that having a love of things both male and female in orientation makes me a more interesting, well-rounded person.
I don’t want my daughter to see the world in gender-oriented roles. As I get older I see there are a ton of biases in this world. Whether it is gender, skin color, income, or sexual orientation. I wish my daughter could live her life without those lines. I want her to see the world as an open field, she can love who ever she wants and do whatever she wants to do. If she is a tomboy, a girly girl, or someone in between like her mommy, it should not matter. None of those things mentioned can stop you from achieving your potential.
In a perfect world I would not have to worry about these things but this world is not perfect. So here is what I am going to teach my daughter. For better or worse, it is what I have learned. This is a male dominated working society. Women are stepping up and taking our place and hopefully by the time it is her turn we will have it, but for right now men tend to have the upper hand.
It helps tremendously for you to know their language. Learn things that most men feel women do not have a good grasp on, politics, technology, football, sports in general really, beer and whatever else you can think of. I have impressed the heck out of men in higher up positions due to my knowledge of topics. They respect a woman who can hold her own in their “world”. It helps you move up to where you need to go. Though smart women intimidate men they also respect them. My dad use to tell me learn a little about a lot, it will get you farther then knowing a lot about a little. He is right. I can come up with the most random facts about things it shocks myself sometimes.
Keep your femininity. It is our secret weapon. You need to acknowledge who you are as a woman. Do not let society take that away from you. You can do this without appearing trashy or stupid. Being feminine on television often looks sexual in nature. That is not true. The definition of feminine includes the words graceful and prettiness. I personally have always found women who show their femininity to be stronger than they first appear. I know people may not like that I say this, but having that appearance of vulnerability can get you in the door so you can smash through the roof. I have learned, you do not need to be hard to get ahead.
Control your biases. When I meet people my biases come out. Everyone’s do, and if you are reading this and think you don’t have any you are lying to yourself. Whether it is something as simple as being taken aback when someone says, “Me and the kids are going to the park, wanna come?” or you don’t like what someone is wearing because it is too tight. It is a bias. You cannot control having them; it is truly part of human nature. However, you can control how you react to your natural biases. Do not let them stop you from getting to know someone. My favorite thing in the world is when I see someone coming out of Tiffany’s who is wearing sweatpants. I find it wonderful because you know when they first walked in there the staff rolled their eyes. Never judge a book by its cover, but always remember you will be judged by yours.
Lastly, be cultured. Give everything a chance; you never know what you are going to love! Whether it is Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton or The New York Philharmonic, it is possible to love it all. You might love the movie Anchorman and reading Shakespeare. You can love both football and ballet. Give it all a chance and let it all become a part of you are.
I want my daughter to have a shot at loving everything and anyone. That is my job as a parent, to show her the world is open and all she has to do is go out and find herself in its wonder.
The Perfectionist Mom
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