As a mom to a little boy, soon to be little boys, some people may wonder why I think it’s important to include positive female images in my sons’ lives. Why would the mom of a darling little boy who already has calloused knees and a desire to drum on everything care that her sons read about Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, or Wonder Woman?
|Ms. Jane Goodall- A woman who followed her heart and changed how the
world viewed primates and what made humans human.
Self-esteem issues among young girls is a two sided coin. We can tell them until we are blue in the face that it’s more important to be smart and strong and opinionated but at some point or another, they won’t care about be the smartest or the strongest. At some point, most little girls want to get attention from the little boy that they like.
The smart girl, the one who can beat you as Chess and discuss the laws of Physics, she doesn’t get asked to the Prom very often. The opinionated girl who will disagree with your interpretation of Poe’s later works and carry her own books because she doesn’t trust you to not drop them, she probably doesn’t have a date on Friday night.
It’s not that these girls are any less valuable. It’s that we have a raised generations of boys who won’t realize until much later in life that these are the qualities they should seek. We let media and peers teach our boys what makes a woman attractive and we create a feedback loop that undoes all the work we do on little girl self-esteem in primary school.
And so, as the mom to a little blonde haired, blue eyed boy, I am going to be intentional about changing this cycle on our end. I want my son to take a young lady to Prom who cares more about what’s in her head than on her body. I want my future daughter-in-law to be smart, and strong, and to argue the sonnets with my son over dinner.
I will be intentional to surround my son with great stories of awesome women. Women who changed the way we view the scientific world. Women who did things they were told no woman could do. Women who followed their passions and changed everything. I will surround him with the stories of these women so that one day he will look at that special young lady and fall in love with all of her, not just her outer shell.