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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, You Don’t Have to be a Grownup to Change Things

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Hockey/Ringette, Marketing, Other, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, You don’t have to be a grown up to change things. We have Lexi Peters, a 14-year-old hockey player, to thank for changing the NHL series of video games produced by EA Sports. For the first 11 versions of this video game, players had only one choice of characters – males. There were no options to create female characters. Instead of accepting this as “just the way it is”, Lexi wrote a letter to EA Sports expressing her desire for the option to create female characters. EA Sports not only integrated this...

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Dear Daughters, I’m Tired of Being Asked “Is that for a boy or a girl?” When it Comes to Happy Meal Toys

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in Food/Beverages, Marketing | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, As you are well aware, I think McDonald’s employees need to stop asking if the Happy Meal toy is for a boy or a girl. What they should be asking is simply, “What toy would you like?” There are likely not too many children in North America you can name who haven’t ordered a Happy Meal from McDonald’s and received one of the infamous Happy Meal toys. The Happy Meal was first introduced in Kansas City in 1977 and by 1979 became a symbol of the McDonald’s menu. In the first Happy Meals, children...

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Dear Daughters, check this sign out welcoming girls and boys to register for hockey

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Hockey/Ringette, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, In the middle of August when I went to the library at Cole Harbour Place I saw this sign as I was pulling into the parking lot. It made me very happy. It is for hockey registration and it says girls and boys welcome. Cole Harbour Bel Ayr Minor Hockey is the association my younger brothers (your uncles) and I played for when we were younger. I do not know too much about the Cole Harbour hockey organization right now but I do know they have some all-female teams when the numbers support them. It is my understanding, however,...

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