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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, Who Says Girls Can’t Propose?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in Daily Doses, Food For Thought Friday, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Who Says Girls Can’t Propose?

Dear Daughters, Eldest dear daughter had a great question for me the other day. You asked, “When you get married do the boys always have to ask the girls or are the girls allowed to ask the boys? In all the movies, and on The Amazing Race, it is always the boy that asks the girl.” I told you there is no law that says boys always have to ask the girls. However, in North American society, tradition or “societal law” says that boys propose and girls don’t. This proves how powerful traditions are and how sometimes we...

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Dear Daughters, Today is Pink Shirt Day!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Movements/Organizations, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today is the last Wednesday in February which means that today is…PINK SHIRT DAY! Back in 2007 a Nova Scotia student wore a pink polo shirt to school. He was then harrassed and received physical threats. In order to make a statement to the bullies that their behaviour was unacceptable, two students in the same school, David and Travis, wore pink shirts to school the next day and encouraged their friends to do the same. Since then, the last Wednesday in February has been known as Pink Shirt Day! Children and adults are...

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Dear Daughters, See Real Time Results for #NotBuyingIt Movement

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Marketing, Movements/Organizations, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Visit Miss Representation for real-time results of who is receiving the most call outs for using misrepresentation in their Super Bowl ads. If you want to participate remember to use the hashtag #NotBuyingIt to call these advertisers out on Twitter. Unfortunately here in Canada we are not seeing the same commercials in the US so we are unable to participate in the same manner. I am still following all of the tweets and seeing the results in real time. As of this writing, Go Daddy is in the lead with 861 tweets calling them out...

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Dear Daughters, Together we can stop sexism during the Super Bowl!

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Marketing, Movements/Organizations, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Tonight, Sunday, February 3, 2013, it is the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. According to Miss Representation, the Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the Us and 50% of Super Bowl viewers are women or girls. Visit MissRepresentation.org to join the #NotBuyingIt movement to call out media during the Super Bowl that misrepresents or degrades women and girls! Use hashtag #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to call out the commercials in real time! What you will be looking for is...

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Dear Daughters, I Cannot Believe My Ears…Isn’t it 2013?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Careers, Daily Doses, Food For Thought Friday, Past and Present | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, This morning at work was no different than most. Jordi Morgan’s Maritime Morning talk show was playing in the background while I entered endless amounts of data into a computer program. Words from the radio provided a nice, calming effect on me, leaving most of my cerebral power focused solely on the data entry…until he asked… In response to the United States’ decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat roles, Jordi asked his listeners if they feel that women should be on the front line with...

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Dear Daughters, Dalhousie Tigers Women’s Varsity Hockey Team Forfeits Remainder of Season

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Hockey/Ringette, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, I am not sure what happened at the Dalhousie women’s varsity hockey team’s house party in September but it must have been bad! The team captains were removed from their duties. Everyone on the team, except for the first year players, have been suspended from playing in the University league for the rest of the season. Since this does not leave them enough players to ice a team, the Dalhousie Tigers must forfeit all of their remaining games. An investigation by University officials began after one of the...

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Dear Daughters, Malala Yousafzai is released from hospital!

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Education, Notable Women, Past and Present, Women's Rights Movement | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Malala Yousafzai, who is now 15, was released from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England after spending the last 3 months there recovering from a gunshot to the head. Malala was only 14 years old when the Taliban shot her just above the left eye on her way home from school on October 9, 2012. Read Dear Daughters, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot for promoting education for girls. According to a BBC article entitled Malala Yousafzai leaves Queen Elizabeth Hospital  the young human rights activist is scheduled...

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Dear Daughters, It wasn’t that long ago boys and girls played on separate playgrounds

Posted by on Dec 22, 2012 in Education, Past and Present, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Last month we, eldest and middle dear daughters, enjoyed having your grandmother (my mother) accompany us to your art class, which happens to be held at the elementary school she attended in the early 1960s. The school, which was opened in the late 1930s, is teeming with history, and while you were busy improving your sketching and drawing skills, my mom and I were exploring. The walls of the school, which closed in the early 1990s and is now used as a community centre, are adorned with photographs of its former students and...

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Dear Daughters, 13-year-old convinces Hasbro to create a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Marketing, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says, Toys/Literature | 1 comment

Dear Daughters, When 13-year-old McKenna Pope found a gender stereotype staring her right in the eyes, she stared right back at it. McKenna’s four-year-old brother, Gavyn, asked for an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. When they went shopping for one, McKenna was disappointed to find that not only did the ovens come in only in pink and purple – societal decided “girl” colors – there were also no pictures of boys on the product package. McKenna felt that this sent a clear message – “women cook, men...

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Dear Daughters, Will there ever be a female President in the United States of America?

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in Careers, Past and Present | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today the United States votes for its President. Their choices are current President, Barack Obama, who was the country’s first ever black President, or Mitt Romney, a 65-year-old white man, who is typical  (a little older mind you) of who the country, until Obama, has always voted into power. Barack Obama was voted in once so it will not be a surprise if the Americans once again vote for someone who is not white – as long as that person is a man. The United States has never had a female President. We in Canada...

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