Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Think Bigger Picture

THIS is what I love about Girl Scouts... I've been silent for a few weeks. I'll blame busy schedules and too much fun. It isn't that I haven't had thoughts about various topics, but it took one close to my heart to make me speak. 

This article came out in the NY Times. First, I need to say "Bravo!" to the 10 year old girl who noticed something many others have and many have done research on. But, she is a girl after my own heart, because she decided it needed to become a patch program. I love patches... but, I LOVE this idea even more. 

Go read this and then come back for my thoughts: I’m 10. And I Want Girls to Raise Their Hands.

This isn't said in the article, this is my take away... in 2017 in the USA girls/women are only limited by our own fear. It isn't that girls are told not to raise their hand... I do believe some teachers pass over the girls, but that's a whole other fight. It starts with girls. We need to raise our hands. We just don't do it for reasons listed in the article... fear, embarrassment, overshadowing. (and my opinion.. unfortunately, many times, the ridicule and embarrassment is because of our own gender pressures!! stop being mean girls!). 

This concept needs to start at a young age, but you're never too old to learn and apply something new to your life. If you want equality, then you must take the risk and raise your hand... put yourself out there... leap... stop whining  it isn't fair (yes, I said whining... no it isn't far-fetched to understand that griping to our girlfriends about how we were passed over for the last career advancement or employment opportunity isn't whining... ) and do something about it (and remember not to be mean girls! use your mind and present yourself professionally... you'll have better results. It drives me nuts when a grown woman resorts to tactics beneath her intelligence to get her way... it's mean, it's unprofessional, and no one takes her seriously.. this doesn't just apply in the office, either)

I can wholeheartedly say as a female tech, it isn't easy... it isn't always fair... it isn't "right"... but you stand confidently and represent and pave the way for the next generation. It isn't all about you... think bigger picture. Yes. It gets old. Yes. It makes you so frustrated you want to scream. Yes. It can feel like a continual fight to be given the level of respect you deserve. But, at the end of the day... it is worth it. Hopefully it's easier for my daughter and for yours. Then, easier for their daughters. It's a process and it won't change overnight.

I'll also add... stop shaming young women for making decisions about their lives they feel are the right move. We need intelligent women in the work force, but we also need them at home shaping the minds of the next generation. What she feels is the right place for her, is the right place for her. No matter if you agree with the choice or not. It's okay to be a mom who works outside the home. It's okay to be a mom who stays at home with her kids. It's okay to be a wife who devotes her life to her family and friends. It's okay to be single and chase your dreams... Married women can chase their, too, btw. We need to respect the choices we all make and understand until you walk in their shoes, you don't know what the perfect fit for anyone else is... most of us are still searching for our own perfect fit. Cut each other some slack. Support the decisions. Value the friendships. Respect one another.

and check out this program:


  1. Hi, this is a very important concept to teach our girls, but after volunteering in my son's 5th grade class I've noticed that the boys need to learn this lesson as well, but not in a different way. In the mixed gender group that I worked with, all the girls would patiently raise their hands and wait for me to call on them while the boys just shouted out what they thought without raising their hands. They just spoke their minds as they pleased, but the girls would not speak unless they raised their hands and I called on them. So yes, we need to encourage girls to share their ideas and speak up, but we also need to teach boys that it's not ok to talk over people and to be patient when sharing their ideas. Boys need to learn to raise their hands too and WAIT before speaking over others. BTW, I am a mom of both a boy and a girl, so I am not anti-boy!

  2. My troop of 6th and 7th grade Cadettes had a great conversation about this last month. The girls echoed exactly what Wendy commented on above -- that the boys in the class just blurted out answers even if girls were raising their hands. Or, if a girl was answering and a boy interrupted (which they said also happened all the time), the girl would be the one to stop talking because "it's rude to try to talk over someone else." UGH! They're not the ones being rude! It was really frustrating to the girls all around. I challenged them to continue to raise their hands -- and keep them raised -- even if a boy blurted out the answer. After a while doing that experiment, the girls decided they would talk to their teachers if they weren't being called on. Way to self-advocate!

    The other awesome thing that came out of our long conversation was that girls decided they said "sorry" way too much. They said it in lieu of "excuse me" or "my bad" on the playing field. They said it to preface a comment in school that simply disagreed with a peer and they even said it if they were speaking up after someone else had already interrupted them. The girls pledged to work to only say "I'm sorry" when they really meant it -- after hurting someone or wronging them in some way.