It is no wonder why girls are confused. Sorry, this is a post for girls because not having sons I believe boys are just gross. They always remain dirty, covered in something not recognizable and they always like sports. Kidding! Let’s face it though, boys and girls are different. How their role in society changes and evolves is important. From a woman’s point of view (because I’m a woman) our dreams and goals change more often than our male counterparts.
And I blame Disney.
Okay, not really. Here is what I realized the other morning. As the mother of young girls I tell them they can be anything they can dream. But they see the house dynamics. David does the “simple machine” and I do the laundry. I am sure other households are similar. What they don’t see at this young age is teamwork that has been established by playing to our individual strengths (FYI the circular saw is not one of mine).
The other morning Boo was watching her
newest obsession favorite program on her IPAD, Sofia the First. I love this show. First it has Tim Gunn so what’s not to love? But more the underlying theme is staying true to yourself. To make your friends get along and make allowances for one another. That you can be whatever you want to be, you just have to work hard to attain your goal. In this particular episode Sofia wanted to be on the princes’ horse team. She was being told that princes did X and princesses did Y.
Sofia would have none of it, sang a cute song and trained to be on the team. She can do anything, no matter who wants to count her out.
In the exact same room, watching Disney but instead of watching Disney Jr, the tween channel, Abby was watching Austin & Allie. This show has been about teams as well, that the boy and the girl work together to have careers in music. For the
lucky uninitiated the boy is the performer and the girl writes the songs that make him the star.
Behind every successful man is the woman, right? But they are equal partners working with their strength to become a success. Except in THIS episode Abby happened to be watching, the female lead was forgoing her own career to follow the boy on the tour.
First of all, where the heck are the parents that would let all these teens just get on a bus unsupervised for a tour? But more importantly, why is the song writer giving up her chance at of her own career to follow the boy?
It probably wouldn’t have hit me if not for Stephanie’s post about song lyrics. That without even realizing it we are sending our daughters a message that they are less-than. They need more (man, job, child, insert your goal for your child here).
That the two Disney shows were on simultaneously in my house and were giving two completely different messages was kind of kismet. That we were telling our preschooler she can do anything that a boy can do. Yet we are telling our tween that she needs to put the boy’s needs before her own or worse that his dream was more important.
After all, Austin wasn’t canceling his tour to stay and write songs with Allie. He (and their friends) encouraged her to come along on tour and forget that she had dreams too. The upside was that (thanks to Stephanie’s post) I was prompted to have a discussion with Abby. The downside was that after all this time we still have to have the discussion that men are your partners and not your king.
At least we are having the discussion….