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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, MythBusters tests the “Throws Like a Girl” insult

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Daily Doses, Women in Sport, Wordy Wednesday | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, MythBusters tests the “Throws Like a Girl” insult

Dear Daughters, In our post Dear Daughters, Like A Girl Shouldn’t Be a Bad Thing, we watched the Always commercial where boys and girls are asked to do things “like a girl”. The results were very telling. On the same theme, Mythbusters put the “throws like a girl” insult to bed. They found nothing to suggest that girls naturally throw balls more poorly than boys. With no technical training, males and females threw with almost identical techniques. When comparing males and females that have both had technical...

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Dear Daughters, Emma Watson brings us the He For She movement

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in Feminism, Movements/Organizations, Past and Present, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, By now most people have heard, or at the very least have heard of, Emma Watson’s brilliant United Nations speech on the HeForShe movement. According to the HeForShe website “HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.” If you have not yet listened to Emma Watson’s gamechanging words, watch the video below. Here are some great quotes from her speech: “No country in the world can...

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Dear Daughters, Boys Don’t Like Ponies?

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Marketing, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, We were very lucky to have had a special five-year-old visitor for two weeks. Mark loves Skylanders and everything superhero. He arrived in our house thinking My Little Ponies were only for girls…that is until he learned more about them. Ironically during his visit the Happy Meal toys at McDonald’s were Skylanders and My Little Ponies. At first he chose Skylanders. When I inquired as to why he made that choice his reasoning was not because he liked Skylanders, it was “because ponies are for girls”. So...

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Dear Daughters, The Whole Truth to Being Yourself

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Daily Doses, Food For Thought Friday | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Be yourself! Don’t let people tell you what you should like, how you should behave, what you can “be when you grow up.” You decide! I am sincere when I encourage you to base your decisions on personal preferences and not on what society deems “proper for a girl”. I am sincere when I tell you not to make decisions solely to please others. Making decisions with the intention of making someone else happy ensures that you will be miserable. Essentially, you are lying to yourself. And we all know that...

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Dear Daughters, Given The Choice…

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Marketing, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, On the weekend your two young cousins visited the Moncton Zoo and were each given $10 to spend any way they chose in the gift shop. Kudos to their parents for allowing them to choose based on personal preferences. Your four-year-old male cousin chose the pair of binoculars he is pictured holding below. He walked around the gift shop clutching those for the longest time with every intent on buying them, until he discovered a camouflage pair that were exactly like a pair his five-year-old cousin had. He quickly traded the...

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Dear Daughters, “Like A Girl” Shouldn’t Be a Bad Thing

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Daily Doses, Marketing, Other, Wordy Wednesday | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, You likely have already seen the Always commercial called Like A Girl. If you haven’t, please watch now! It is eye opening. After watching the video it becomes obvious just how strong the societal message that doing anything “like a girl” is an insult. When girls were asked to run like girls, why did they not just run like themselves? Who would know better how to run “like a girl” than a girl? If we want to know how a dog runs we don’t observe leopards, we watch dogs. So why would the girls...

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Dear Daughters, No Hesitation To Buy SpiderMan Cookies

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, As we were shopping for snacks for a lovely day at the lake with our good friends, we came across a sweet deal…75 cents for a box of cookies. I grabbed 2 boxes since there were going to be 7 young girls there: the three of you, my dear daughters, ages 11, 9 and 7, and your great friends, (sisters you have known for 10 years) ages 11, 9, 7 and 5. I am proud to say that the fact that they were SpiderMan cookies did not deter me from buying them even though they were going to be consumed by girls. I am sad to say that 5...

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Dear Daughters, Girls Can Change a Flat

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Daily Doses, Food For Thought Friday | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today I learned that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that I should not be able to change a tire. As I backed out of the driveway for work this morning I knew I wasn’t going to make it far. Something was not right and it felt like a flat tire. I was right. The left rear tire was so flat, the part of it sitting on the ground looked like liquid. Everything happens for a reason right? I like to think that this flat tire was keeping me off the highway this morning because I just wasn’t supposed to be there, or...

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Dear Daughters, I’ll Take the “Pwincess”

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Entertainment, Marketing, Movies/Television, Other | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Just a few days ago at one of our favourite local family restaurants, I witnessed three young siblings functioning exactly how I hope society will function someday. The eldest boy was probably 9 or 10, the middle child, a girl, was about 7 or 8 and the youngest, a boy, was probably 4. Together they were sifting through the restaurant-provided colouring pages. Although the two older siblings selected their pictures quickly, they patiently continued to sift through the pictures for their little brother so he could make his...

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Dear Daughters, Buying My Little Ponies With Money From Your Superman Wallet

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Comics, Entertainment, Marketing, Other, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, We went to Wal-Mart yesterday where you, youngest dear daughter, purchased a My Little Pony set with money that you pulled from your Superman wallet. According to the current gender stereotypes, these two things would never be owned by the same person. Funny what happens when someone is given the chance to choose for herself. Share this:Share on...

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