It’s everywhere I look.
Online, I can search for games that encourage my daughter to solve problems, think critically, explore anything and question everything. I can look for movies to inspire my daughter to live her dreams: to make things happen. Offline, I can pick up books about real girls doing real things—really amazing things. Academically, I can enroll my daughter in programs to remind her that engineering, math, sciences, the world is hers for the taking, or the making.
My daughter is beautiful, intelligent, creative, kind; she’s amazing. She can be anything she sets her mind to be. I tell her these things —I have been telling her these things since before she was born—yet, my daughter doesn’t believe everything I tell her. As a mother of a daughter I am fortunate that the world seems to support my efforts. And so the world (at least my corner of it) validates my words through programs, organizations, portals, and other venues.
But what about my boys?
While I don’t look to the world to validate my words, what is the world telling my sons? Are they to imply that the lack of boys’ programs means boys don’t need reminders to question limits of technology, of structures, of their very worlds and thoughts? Are they not to strive to be chemists, politicians, academics because there are few programs actively looking for them?
I know opportunities have not always existed for girls. Around the world, my country, my state, my county, my community—girls have not historically had the same opportunities as boys; many still don’t.
I don’t want the programs for girls to go away.
I also don’t want the world to forget that there are boys too. Not every boy looks to history, books, newspapers, the world and says “oh, he’s a doctor, I can be one too.”
Still, where are the books, games, shows, programs and organizations to remind my boys that they can be anything they can dream of being?
I’ve never been one to look to my world to define my limits: I wasn’t raised that way and so I won’t raise my children that way.
Still, by not supporting our sons we may be teaching them something we aren’t prepared for them to learn.
So, while I don’t look to the world to validate my efforts:
Please don’t forget my sons.