Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Raising E to be Strong

We waited to find out if E was a boy or girl until she was born. The most important thing to us was to have a health baby, but I was pretty excited that E was a girl. I am a girl, so I felt I had a better understanding of girls (probably not true, but I blame the hormones). What I didn't realize at that moment was the additional challenge that raising a girl in today's world means.

I am happy that she lives in an era where there are a lot more opportunities than she would have had in the past, but it doesn't mean that there still isn't work to do. Sexism still exists and many workplace policies still make it difficult to have both a career and a family. The difficult part is that it is now more subtle than it has been in the past.

A quick glance at recent news includes US Women's National Soccer Team suing for pay equal to the men's team. (The worst part of this one was that the U.S. soccer federation was disappointed with the action (source).) ESPN W just put together a PSA with men reading Tweets directed at female sports writers. It is sad that it is 2016 and we still have issues like these.

Throughout my childhood and young adult years, my parents owned a hardware store and lock shop. I spent many years working there and encountered my share of people, both male and female, that didn't think I knew what I was talking about because I didn't have boy parts. (My mom had it way worse.)
I know that as E grows up, there will hard conversations and situations I am not looking forward to. Things are moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

For the time being, I am trying to surround her with good role models and remind her that she is amazing and strong. I also want to instill that women need to support other women. 

Supporting other women at the first home
Orlando Pride Soccer Game
Right now E has a fearlessness and determination that I love (even when they give me a heart attack.) I hope she can hold on to some of that as she grows up, because "well-behaved women seldom make history" -- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
Continue to do things your own way