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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, No Self-Esteem? No Wonder!

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Entertainment, Magazines, Marketing, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters,   There is a video circulating the net demonstrating the power of Photoshop. The picture software is used to transform a model into a Barbie-type magazine centerfold. Is Barbie the beauty standard in our society? In the end the woman in the picture looks nothing like the model who posed for the photo. How will she use this in her portfolio? Seems to me they could have transformed anything into the model they ended up with. This video is just one of several media messages that go to show that in our society, women are...

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Dear Daughters, Watch Bollywood Actresses’ Viral Video About Victim Blaming

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Hypermasculinization, Rape Culture, Society Says | 0 comments

TweetShare Dear Daughters, Bollywood actresses have used reverse psychology to point out just how ridiculous it is to blame the victim of a sexual assault or rape. The video has gone viral and if you watch it, you will see why. Well done ladies! Share this video and help them spread the word! If you want to read more about victim blaming you might want to read: Dear Daughters, Let’s Help Leah Parsons Eliminate Rape Culture Dear Daughters, We Have Lost Our Way on the Moral Compass Dear Daughters, “Don’t Be That Guy”...

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Dear Daughters, “Don’t Be That Guy” Campaign Targets Potential Sexual Offenders

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Marketing, Movements/Organizations, Rape Culture, Society Says | 0 comments

Tweet Share Dear Daughters, One of our readers, Marion, who commented on our post Dear Daughters, We Have Lost Our Way on the Moral Compass, brought to my attention a campaign called “Don’t Be That Guy” in which potential offenders of sexual assault are targeted. This is a complete gender reversal role when it comes to sexual assault prevention. Our society has always taught girls and women how to prevent sexual assaults, essentially teaching us how not be to raped. This approach was ineffective since ultimately we do not...

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Dear Daughters, We Have Lost Our Way on the Moral Compass

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Rape Culture, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 2 comments

Tweet Share Dear Daughters, I realize that the morally appalling and extremely disturbing chant heard during campus orientation at Saint Mary’s University this school year was all over the news a few weeks ago. I never got a chance to write about it then but this is something I must include on Dear Daughters. It is simply something that must be talked about and it is something that everyone needs to hear. I graduated from Saint Mary’s University in the late 1990s with a Bachelor of Science Degree. While there I played on both the...

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Dear Daughters, Let’s Help Leah Parsons Eliminate Rape Culture

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Rape Culture, Society Says | 18 comments

Tweet Share Dear Daughters, Yesterday I watched Part 2 of the Dr. Phil segment which focused on a case where four high school football players, Matthew Bishop, Vincent Carto, Tyler Garren and Justin Ponder, were charged with second degree rape, all accused of raping the same 16 year-old girl. Dr. Phil said that he usually advises viewer discretion in segments that have strong sexual content but in this case, there is strong sexual context that he says should be required viewing for teenagers. It is all about social judgment and how your life...

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Dear Daughters, Excuse Me While I Talk to Miley First

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Rape Culture, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 1 comment

Dear Daughters, Please excuse me for a minute, I need to speak directly to another girl right now… Miley, Miley, Miley. I almost hate to write this as it gives you media coverage that you just do not deserve. By writing about your clothed (albeit barely) pornographic performance (there are no other words to describe it) at MTV’s VMAs, along with the millions of other bloggers, writers, journalists, etc I am adding to the Miley Cyrus frenzy that allows you to see your name going insanely viral all over the internet, in newspapers,...

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Dear Daughters, Sexy is being really smart, thoughtful and generous

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Ashton Kutcher, an American actor who is idolized by millions of teenage girls and women alike, defines “sexy” as it should be in his acceptance speech at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. Fast forward to 2:55 if that is all you want to hear him say. He gives some other really good advice too though if you have the  four minutes to watch the whole thing. Here is how Ashton describes “sexy”. He says, “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous....

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Dear Daughters, Is Purple for Boys?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2013 in Marketing, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today as I was shopping for your school supplies (the boring stuff that you don’t need to be there for), I witnessed some very interesting conversations. One was between two women who were buying scissors. I could not see the colors of the three pairs they had chosen but I heard the mom say, “But I have two girls and a boy”, to which the lady she was shopping with replied, “Purple can be for boys”. The mom did not seem convinced. I really should have stuck around to see what she decided in the...

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Dear Daughters, Pink Helped Propel Popularity of Women’s Hockey

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 in Hockey/Ringette, Pink is for Girls?, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, They say you learn something new everyday. Today I learned something new about the colour pink. Pink helped propel the popularity of women’s hockey. I remember watching the first ever Women’s World Hockey Championships, which were held in Ottawa, Canada in 1990. Instead of wearing red and white, Team Canada wore pink and white. The zamboni driver even wore a pink flamingo suit while cleaning the ice. I loved the hockey, hated the uniforms. Now that I know why they wore pink, I LOVE the uniforms. In a three minute...

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Dear Daughters, Another “exclusively made for women” product fails miserably!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Marketing, Other | 1 comment

Dear Daughters, Technology is constantly evolving, evidently much faster than humans. A company called Eurostar Group has designed a tablet just for women called the ePad Femme. What is it specifically that makes this device perfect for us anyway? The colour pink and “girly” apps of course! To see a picture of the ePad Femme visit this link So there it is. Our very own tablet! Don’t you feel special ladies? The first thing anyone will notice is the colour. Obviously if you are making something for a girl, it has to be pink....

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