From the age of about four or five I wanted to do something amazing with my life. Sure, I wanted to be a mother too, but that was a single small portion of my grand life plan. As I got older and learned about the women’s movement and read hosts of biographies about women who achieved in spite of the establishment, I felt a keen thrill that I could do anything.
Growing up, most of the girls I knew shared this “dream big” attitude. In recent years I’ve heard a disturbing amount of young girls and women say things like they want to grow up, find a man, and have him take care of her.
I was talking with a young woman today who said, “I didn’t even realize I was smart until half way through high school.”
I think I just stared. How can someone not know whether or not they can learn, retain, and use higher reasoning skills with ease?
If people treat you like a pretty, pretty princess whose most complicated thoughts revolve around coordinating your wardrobe, you will believe that’s all of which you are capable.
Let me be clear that an intelligent woman can be beautiful and coordinate her wardrobe. So, maybe it took me a few more years to learn those skills, but I was busy learning important stuff, like calculus and chemistry, and how to not “hit like a girl”.
Pink asks, “What happened to the dream of a girl president?”
That was on my nine-year old to-do-when-I-grow-up list. I’ve got the scientist and writer part down. Never say never. If I decided unraveling the mysteries of cell signalling and creating literary worlds is as much as I wish to tackle, I have two daughters, whom I will make damn sure, know they can aim as high as they want.