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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, Wendy’s Got It Right!!

Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Tonight we visited Wendy’s (Cole Harbour) and ordered three kids’ meals. Typically we are never asked what toy we would prefer as I think they usually only have one available. Well, tonight they had two toys available and I was so very pleased when the cashier asked, “And would you like the Tonka Truck or the Care Bear toy?” I almost could not believe my ears but happily relayed the choices to you, my dear daughters. Two of you chose the Care Bear toy and one of you chose the Tonka Truck. She then...

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Dear Daughters, McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys Are Not a Trivial Matter

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Joshua Riddle of YoungCons.com wrote the following words in response to Antonia Ayers-Brown’s blog post that we wrote about in our previous post, Dear Daughters, We Are Not the Only Ones Who Do Not Appreciate Being Asked If We Want a Boy’s or Girl’s Toy With Our Happy Meals “A crazy feminist over at Slate is writing about how upset she is that McDonald’s gives boy toys to boys and girl toys to girls. These people dream of a world where men are no longer men and women are no longer women. God made us...

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Dear Daughters, We are Not the Only Ones Who Don’t Appreciate Being Asked if We Want a Boy’s or Girl’s Toy With Our Happy Meals

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Antonia Ayres-Brown is a high-school junior in New Haven, CT who wrote an interesting article on On Slate.com about her experiences with McDonald’s and those Happy Meal toys. She entitled it, McDonald’s Gave Me the “Girl’s Toy” With My Happy Meal. So I Went to the CEO. You can click on the link to read the article directly from Slate.com or you can read below. Here is what she says, “In the fall of 2008, when I was 11 years old, I wrote to the CEO of McDonald’s and asked him to change the...

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Dear Daughters, McDonald’s Markets SpiderMan Happy Meal Toy by Colour

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, En route to the soccer field from the rink, we stopped in at McDonald’s for some Happy Meals. Only a couple of weeks ago the toy choices consisted of Skylanders or My Little Ponies and you were all very hopeful to receive My Little Ponies with your supper. When we were asked the usual and most disappointing, “Is that meal for a boy or a girl” question, I responded with the usual question of my own, “What are the toys?” The toy was SpiderMan. I then asked why it mattered if the meals were for boys...

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Dear Daughters, This Film Shows What it Would Be Like to be a Man if Today’s Roles Were Reversed

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Hypermasculinization, Rape Culture, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, This French film entitled Oppressed Majority puts men in our shoes. Sometimes people don’t understand things are not right until they experience them first hand. Watch and see what it would feel like to be a man in today’s society if men’s and women’s roles were reversed. Share this:Share on...

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Dear Daughters, Boy Makes Parents, Not Children, Uncomfortable Dressing as Sleeping Beauty

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Clothing, Marketing, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, On March 6, 2013 the author of a blog called The Meta Picture posted a picture of her then nearly four-year-old son, Chester, dressed as Sleeping Beauty. He had been invited to his friend, Chloe’s prince and princess-themed birthday party. Chester chose to go as Sleeping Beauty. His attire included a Sleeping Beauty dress and a clip in his beautiful blond hair. You can see the picture of Chester on The Meta Picture blog. The children at the party found nothing wrong with the fact that Chester chose to dress as Sleeping...

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Dear Daughters, Why Can’t They Look Like That?

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, I love that you still have open minds, not yet closed by society’s limiting stereotypes, labels and nonsensical rules. Last night, youngest dear daughter, you drew four pictures (see below) and shared them with me (and allowed me to share them with our readers), each time asking a simple, yet very powerful question. “Why can’t brothers look like that?” “Why can’t sisters look like that?” “Why can’t mommies look like that?” “Why can’t daddies look like...

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Dear Daughters, I Can’t Believe The Change in Women’s Hockey

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Olympics, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, As the women’s hockey competition comes to an end today at the Sochi Olympics I think back to less than 30 years ago when I first took to the ice to play this fantastic sport. It was during the winter of 1985 and I was 10 years old. I was the only girl on my team. My friend, who was also 10 years old, was the only girl on her team. From what I remember, we were the only two girls playing hockey in Cole Harbour at that time. I remember playing a team from Cape Breton in a tournament that same season or next and they had...

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Dear Daughters, One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, I wanted to share our lovely discovery with our readers. At the end of the toy aisle of our local Dollarama sits a box of posters. Children can choose from posters of animals, nature scenes, a sports car and…a scantily clad woman in a sexually suggestive pose? Really? Share this:Share on...

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Dear Daughters, It is Important to Have Role Models

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Olympics, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, While watching the Olympics last weekend you have discovered how important it is for us to be able to see women achieving greatness. After watching the Dufour-Lapointe sisters – Maxime, Chloe and Justine – and their teammate, Audrey Robichaud, often times referred to as “the other”, all make it to the top 12 of their Olympic moguls competition, you all decided on something. You decided that you wanted to go to the Olympics together. You were inspired by these three sisters even before Justine went on to...

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