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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

About

About

Hey there! My name is Terynn and I am the proud 42-year-young mother of three dear daughters (born 2002, 2004 and 2006) who are the inspirations for this blog. We live in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada. If our hometown sounds familiar you are likely a Sidney Crosby fan, a Trailer Park Boys fan or have heard of Rehtaeh Parsons, the 17-year-old girl whose tragic death has thrust victim-blaming into the spotlight.

Growing up playing sports and not being a lover of Barbies and dresses, I constantly experienced challenges simply because I was a girl. I felt pressured to act and look a certain way simply because I was a girl. I didn’t like it then and I certainly don’t like that these same challenges and pressures still exist for my daughters.

The defining moment…

In 2012 I found a book in my daughter’s backpack. The back cover was blue and the front cover had an illustration of a boy sailing on the ocean in rough waters. It was entitled Stories for Boys. When my daughter saw me with the book, she blushed and quickly placed it back into her backpack. She confided that she was embarrassed that the book she had chosen from the school library was “for boys”. That was a defining moment for me. Although we had had many discussions about the ludicrous societal expectations and rules based on gender, I knew then I had to make it abundantly clear that she had nothing to be ashamed of. Girls can read adventure stories.

This is when Dear Daughters was born!

What I Want Readers to Learn from Dear Daughters

I want to show that strong, confident, successful women have always and will continue to exist in all areas of life. I want to introduce the struggles (new and old) faced by women and how close (or how far) we are to eliminating gender bias in the world. I want everyone to remember that every woman is somebody’s daughter. I want to show that gender bias occurs on a daily basis, and often we are unaware it is happening.

What I Don’t Want Readers to Take Away from Dear Daughters

I do not want people thinking that this is a male-bashing, men-are-no good-and-we-don’t-need-them-at-all type of blog. It is quite the opposite really. The hypermasculinization of boys and men in our society plays a huge role in the gender bias towards girls and women. We need to fix the ridiculous societal expectations and rules we have in place for boys and men just as much as we do the ones for girls and women.

What challenges do girls and women face on a daily basis?

1. The sexualization of their bodies and the importance that is put on their appearance. Girls and women are viewed as objects and/or possessions, increasing the likelihood that they will become victims of sexual and/or physical abuse and then ridiculed and blamed for what happened to them (victim-blaming).

This Film Shows What it Would Be Like to be a Man if Today’s Roles Were Reversed
7 Super Bowl Commercials That Don’t Get It #NotBuyingIt
A Short Video Demonstrating How Media Fails Women

2. The tendencies of people to try to “protect” girls and to impose limitations in their lives. Girls and women are not encouraged to be active, competitive and/or aggressive. They are constantly stereotyped and encouraged to fulfill caring and nurturing roles.

I Cannot Believe My Ears…Isn’t It 2013
13-year-old Convinces Hasbro to Create A Gender Neutral Easy Bake Oven
Your Votes Are in on Girly Girl

3. Being second-class citizens. Being a girl or doing anything “like a girl” is a negative thing.

“Like A Girl” Shouldn’t Be a Bad Thing
Mythbusters Tests the “Throws Like a Girl” Insult

4. Inequalities – Less pay for the same work. Denied or limited access to education. Arranged marriages. The list goes on and on.

14-year-old Malala Yousafzaui Was Shot For Promoting Education For Girls
It is Hard to Believe Women are Still Denied Access To Education in the Year 2012

Where to find me

When I am not writing, I am coaching soccer and ringette, playing hockey and serving as chauffeur to my three dear daughters. You can follow Dear Daughters on Twitter @DearDaughters, me on Twitter @writerbychoice1 and Instagram @writerbychoice and Dear Daughters on Facebook at facebook.com/DearDaughters.

Dear Daughters, Aren’t You Supposed to be Able to be Anything on Halloween?

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Holidays, Marketing, Sexualization of Women | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Aren’t You Supposed to be Able to be Anything on Halloween?

Dear Daughters, Isn’t Halloween the one night of the year that promises young girls and boys that they can be anything in the world they want to be? Isn’t it the one night that allows us to forget societal standards and stereotypes? I guess not. Sexy was back again this year for young girls and women. 101.3 The Bounce, a Halifax Radio Station, asked their listeners if Halloween should be sexy, scary or funny. The majority, and by majority I mean 75-90% of the listeners, thought Halloween should be sexy. Don’t judge...

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Dear Daughters, It Goes Against My Religious Beliefs to Teach Blue-Eyed Children. Should I Get to Keep My Teaching Job?

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, It Goes Against My Religious Beliefs to Teach Blue-Eyed Children. Should I Get to Keep My Teaching Job?

Dear Daughters, Based on two recent and very controversial cases in the media where religious beliefs are being cited as reasons to refuse services to people I have come up with two fictional scenarios based on each of the real life cases. I feel that the fictional scenarios below are simple, allowing readers to keep focus on the real issues at hand. They also eliminate any personal beliefs about the true life issues involved allowing readers to remain objective while participating in a respectful and thought-provoking conversation. Please...

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Dear Daughters, A Question For Our Readers

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, A Question For Our Readers

Dear Daughters, Below is a scenario I would like our readers to consider: Two 16 month old babies are playing at a public pool – one is a boy and one is a girl. It is 29 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit). Both babies are wearing only swim diapers. The lifeguard approaches the parents of the baby girl and asks them to put a swim shirt on her. The lifeguard does not ask the parents of the baby boy to do the same. Do you think the baby girl should have to wear a swim shirt? Why or why not? Please leave your responses in the comment...

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Dear Daughters, It’s A Different World of Soccer Now

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Soccer/Football, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, It’s A Different World of Soccer Now

Dear Daughters, You are growing up in a different world and I am happy for you! Watching the 2015 Women’s World Cup, I know the world is changing for the better for you. You play for Cole Harbour Soccer Club where the boys and girls get treated the same. All Cole Harbour soccer athletes have access to the same standard of training, equipment, and coaching as the boys. You play on the same fields and you are allotted the same times of day to train and play (when I played women’s hockey the women always had to practice or play at 3...

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Dear Daughters, Imagine If We Posed Bruce Jenner As We Did Caitlyn Jenner On The Cover of Vanity Fair

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Entertainment, Magazines, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Imagine If We Posed Bruce Jenner As We Did Caitlyn Jenner On The Cover of Vanity Fair

Dear Daughters, Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner and it seems this means she must be sexually objectified. I mean, have you seen the cover of Vanity Fair? Why would I expect anything less than the first photo of Caitlyn Jenner to be sexually suggestive? And why would I expect her to have clothes on? I should know better by now shouldn’t I? Check out the cover of any magazine and you will see woman after woman in similar poses with similar amounts of clothing on. At the very least you will see cleavage. The photo of Caityln Jenner...

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Dear Daughters, Shopping in Sextions Sucks

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Clothing, Marketing | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Shopping in Sextions Sucks

Dear Daughters, Summertime is here again! It turns out the three of you have done a lot of growing! Not a pair of shorts that fit you to be found in our house, so it was off to the mall to find shorts and t-shirts and… stores full of gender stereotypes! Really? How hard is it to just organize stores by sizes and let people choose for themselves? Our first stop was Old Navy. We wandered to the far right corner of the store or the “girls’ sextion” where the only shorts we could find were not made of enough material to...

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Wordy Wednesday – Sextion

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Daily Doses, Marketing, Wordy Wednesday | 0 comments

Wordy Wednesday – Sextion

Dear Daughters,   I came up with this word while texting a friend about our shopping experience this weekend (you can read about them here at Dear Daughters, Shopping in Sextions Sucks) and I think it should be used while writing about all retail stores until they stop promoting gender stereotypes. Share this:Share on...

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Wordy Wednesday – Cleavage

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Daily Doses, Sexualization of Women, Wordy Wednesday | 0 comments

Wordy Wednesday – Cleavage

Dear Daughters, Okay so it is Thursday, not Wednesday, before I got this posted but it is worth the wait. Today’s Wordy Wednesday word is cleavage – mostly because I used it in my post Dear Daughters, You’ll Never Guess What This Ad Is Selling yesterday . According to dictionary.com cleavage is many things: 1. the act of cleaving or splitting. 2. the state of being cleft. 3. the area between a woman’s breasts, especially when revealed by a low-cut neckline. 4. a critical division in opinion, beliefs, interests, etc.,...

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Dear Daughters, You’ll Never Guess What This Ad Is Selling

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in Marketing, Other, Sexualization of Women | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, You’ll Never Guess What This Ad Is Selling

Dear Daughters, At the beginning of the ad we see a woman, from the back, walking down the hall dressed in only a bra and panties. And by walking, I mean moving with a runway model type swagger – hips swinging back and forth, with one leg placed just so in front of the other, encouraging maximum hip swagger. Before she reaches the top of the stairs she runs her fingers through her long hair, moving it all to the front of her right shoulder. There is then a close up shot of her left hand running down the stairway railing (she must have...

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Dear Daughters, Men Are Wearing Miniskirts!

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Movements/Organizations, Rape Culture, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Men Are Wearing Miniskirts!

Dear Daughters, Men in Turkey and neighboring Azerbaijan are wearing miniskirts – but not out of a desire to start a new male fashion trend. They are donning miniskirts out of a desire to raise awareness of the rape culture that exists in this world. To raise awareness against violence against women and against victim-blaming. They do this to honour Özgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student who fought off a rape on a minibus in Mersin on February 11, 2015. Her burnt body was found on February 13, 2015 and the minibus driver has since...

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