Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
In elementary school back in the 1960’s, school was sometimes a drag. We were in the long brick building next to the tall brick building. The classes were not air conditioned. We sometimes had 28 kids in a room. The highlight for me was those days the teacher would tell us to pull out our science books.
I loved science. Science was so relevant to everything around me.
Science filled me with questions and most of all answers. Had I been better at math maybe I could have gone on to work in the field of science. That would have been awesome.
But math was just not my thing.
I also remember that if we had to skip a subject, because of a program or special event, science, social studies and of course art were the ones we skipped. So those were not on the front burner for academics.
Now we need people, and hopefully girls and women, to go into science, technology, engineering and math. The opportunities are endless. Movies are being made to show how important women are in all sorts of technical fields.
And lo and behold, STEM doesn’t seem to notice color either. YES!
The push is on to catch up to other nations who have moved these studies to the front of their curriculum. We have a lot of catching up to do!
We are telling little girls this could be their future. Why not?
In order to make this happen I think we all have to start very early with the things we say to our girl children and the attitudes we take with them.
Of course the first thing that pops into your mouth and your head when someone shows you a photo of a child or grandchild is “oh she is pretty!”
Pretty isn’t going to cut it anymore. Too many Kardashians, not enough Ruth Bader Ginsburgs.
We need to be describing little girls in different terms.
One term I just can’t get on the bandwagon with is “fierce”.
Fierce to me means she isn’t smart enough to assess a situation and figure out a solution without threatening someone or taking a punch.
I am searching for words to tell those little girls.
One is confidence, the other is self assured. It is awfully hard to tell a baby or tiny girl she is self assured. She needs to be raised to be those things.
She needs to be taught empathy, and kindness and perseverance. This can be done at home.
As we send these little girls off to conquer this brave new world where STEM will be something they can and will excel at, we need to fuel them with different descriptive words.
In my opinion, we need a lot less girls who have multiple baby daddies who are fierce. But we need a lot more young women who are self confident and self assured to get us safely into the future.