Girl Power

This last week or so, I keep seeing things that
make me all weepy. Yeah, I’m a girl, and girls do that.
But there’s power in these images, these stories, and these
tears. This is for your girls, you, and even your boys.
Prepare to be awed.

Last night, a friend sent me
the post titled, “I am Malala.” This is the story
of the young girl shot point blank in the head by the Taliban for
advocating for the rights of girls to go to school. Here’s
the video of Malala’s family’s situation
well before this took place. Trust me, it is worth the 9
minutes, even if it shocks you or makes you cry. Her father thought
he was offering himself up to danger to stand up to the forces of
evil, but his daughter took the bullet. What this man and his
daughter teach the world, for her sake, for her friends’ sake, and
for the betterment of his whole country, is really
awe-inspiring.

;

Hours before
that, I was sitting in the ballroom of the Baldwin School taking a professional
development class. The class, by the way, was organized by
and for moms in social media who help
each other grow their networks and their businesses, which alone is
a testament to the creativity and power of thinking women. I
entered the building a bit put off by the wealth and entitlement of
the expensive private school education that the Baldwin girls
receive. But after taking a tour led by some of the senior
class, I can’t help but admit what a great world it would be if
all girls were
nurtured in the way that these bright, motivated girls clearly were
within their school. I actually came home thinking, now how
could I create that same environment of a close-knit community that
encourages the kids to become “thinking girls”… but without the
tuition? In fact, nearly all of the children that I
personally know here in America receive an entitled education,
compared to what the girls in Malala’s class- and girls in much of
the world- have access to.

Today, Daily Worth highlighted a new project,
being funded through Kickstarter, that offers the first engineering
toy specifically for girls. You have to go watch this video
for GoldiBlox, The Engineering Toy for
Girls
. Yep, I got weepy while watching. You
see, my girls love to read, and they are super smart (of course
they are). But I’m still afraid that they won’t even consider a
lifetime in the science and engineering fields. Why would
they? I didn’t even know what an engineer was until I was in
college. Despite my label of gifted as a youngster, despite
my involvement in problem solving clubs, despite my curiosity about
the world, no one ever mentioned a career where I might engineer my
world. Ever. I ended up in the language arts,
because I was a good reader. I would
gladly pony up $30 today to give my girls that option, covered in
pink and ribbon and accompanied by a book, but over 5,500 other
people beat me to it, and now I’ll have to wait to buy mine when it
hits the stores next year.

;

Just last week,
I was overjoyed (more tears) to hear that the practically medieval
law disproportionately affecting stay at home moms that
incredibly got passed and put into effect last
year is going to be revised. The CARD Act of 2009 included a
provision that kicked in last year disallowing stay-at-home parents the right to
their own credit
without the approval of their spouse if
they could not document their own income.
GRRRRR. What bull!!! But thanks largely to one woman,
Holly McCall, and www.MomsRising.org,
it looks like the CARD Act will be revised to make sense
for families. Even when society falls back to bad choices for
women and their families, we persevere, pull together, and make
things better for our daughters.

Having been
decimated by divorce, having been shaken by layoffs, having seen
friends who lost their whole self when their world was financially
devastated because of some man, I’m grateful to have this business,
started before my kids and carried on through two pregnancies, to
carve out my professional self. I am not an engineer, I am
not a politian, I am not an international activist, but I am a mom
who is modeling success in this world to my daughters through my
business. I have that right. I have that
privilege. And so do you.

You go,
girl.

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  1. Gina Badalaty’s avatar

    I am SO getting GoldiBlox for my girls! There is ONE role model in engineering for girls – don’t laugh – Tinker Bell, I realized as I watched the first movie, is just that. And my daughter with autism really enjoyed that – the girly parts, but the parts where she collected stuff and then built things out of them really got her going.

    There was nothing when I was a kid (I’m nearly 47). When I asked for a engineering or chem set, like my male cousins got, I was ignored. Instead I got crafts – which I suck at. And while it’s true my gift is writing, I’m darn good at math…super good actually, but even though I was skipped ahead a grade in math, it was never marketed to me as something I could do (other than teach) until much later. .

    And finally, a friend relocated to Canada and was disgusted to find that CARD Act legislation is the law of the land up there. She’s a novelist so considered unemployed…they won’t even give her a secure line of credit. Disgusting!

    Reply

    1. DarlaDeMorrow’s avatar

      TinkerBell? I haven’t seen the movie, so will have to give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

      About Canada’s disregard for those in the “invisible economy”? Wow.

      Reply

    2. Nancy Ross Vecchione’s avatar

      While I never wanted to be an engineer, I did (as a child, want to be a lion) (ok ok get up off the floor and stop laughing) (read my blog post called “Becoming Your Dream” in my Defeating The Squirrels and Other Life Lessons Blog.) I was fortunate. I grew up with a mom who told me I could be anything I wanted to be. And since some of my extended family were engineers, it was an option. It wasn’t an option I chose, but I always knew I had a choice. Oddly enough my older sister said she didn’t feel the same way. So maybe it’s just a ‘personal quirk.’ I don’t really know. I do know that my years spent in all girls schools were the best of my scholastic life. I was challenged in ways I never was in schools where there were boys in my classes. So, one day, when you hear some blogger turned in her blogging shoes and became a lion…well you’ll know who it was! I have to admit I love the idea of Goldiblox–and can’t wait until my nieces are old enough to have one. Since I grew up stealing my brothers Erector Set and Lincoln Log it should be a good fit for holiday or birthday gifts for my nieces. Great post Darla. Have to admit the Malala story had me in tears too. Glad to know I wasn’t alone. Thanks for the great post.

      Reply

      1. DarlaDeMorrow’s avatar

        I wanted to be a lion, too! Actually, almost anything with a tail. That was what I asked Santa for when I was 6. A Tail. Just make sure I get a copy of your biz cards as a lion.

        Reply