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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, Eugenie Bouchard is the Future of Women’s Tennis

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Other, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Despite her loss to Li Na in the semi-final of the 2014 Australian Open, we can rest assured that we have not heard the last of Eugenie Bouchard. At 31 years of age, Li Na’s experience dominated the 19 year old Canadian in the opening games of the first set, which Li Na won 6-2. In the second set, Bouchard found her groove and came on strong, demonstrating her athleticism and perseverance. Despite losing the second set 6 games to 4, Eugenie Bouchard won the respect of opponents and gained new fans worldwide. Watch the...

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Dear Daughters, Hayley Wickenheiser Named As Canada’s Flag Bearer for Winter Olympics 2014

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Hockey/Ringette, Olympics, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Hayley Wickenheiser, a member of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team since 1994, when she was only 15 years old, has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Women have been chosen as Canada’s flag bearer for opening ceremonies of the previous three winter Olympic games: Catriona Le May Doane, speed skating, 2002; Danielle Goyette, ice hockey, 2006; and Clara Hughes, speed skating, 2010. The first ever female flag bearer for Canada was Nancy Greene,...

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Dear Daughters, If It’s Superheroes for Girls It’s Gotta Be Pink, right?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Clothing, Marketing, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, On a recent shopping trip we came across something almost never found in the girls clothing section – something having to do with superheroes! They were t-shirts that said “I attend Superhero School”. We all loved the fact that you had access to something superhero for which we did not have to travel to the boys’ clothing section. Of course, seems all the marketers did was colour them pink to make them “for girls”. Well that and shorten the sleeves. Share this:Share on...

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Dear Daughters, Are There Girl and Boy Kindereggs?

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Food/Beverages, Marketing, Pink is for Girls?, Society Says, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Last night when I was grocery shopping a father was ringing out his groceries in front of me and at the last minute he decided he wanted to buy a Kinderegg for his young daughter. He asked the cashier if he could grab a “girl egg”. I watched as he went to the display of Kindereggs and grabbed the one with pink coloring at the top. The ones on display beside these “girl eggs” were wrapped in foil colored white on top and orange on the bottom. By process of elimination, I presume these are the ones the...

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Dear Daughters, Eugenie Bouchard Reaches The Semi-Final of the Australian Open

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Other, Women in Sport | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, A Canadian female is making history at the Australian Open. Eugenie Bouchard, who is currently Canada’s highest ranked women’s singles tennis player, defeated no. 14 ranked Serbian, Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals. She is only the second Canadian ever to reach a major semi-final. Carling Bassett did it at the U.S. Open in 1984. At only 19 years of age, Bouchard has many other accomplishments under her belt that are making her a Canadian tennis superstar. Her January 6, 2014...

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Dear Daughters, Will These People Intervene and Stop a Possible Sexual Assault?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Entertainment, Movies/Television, Rape Culture, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today I came across a video from the greenclips YouTube channel. It is a segment from the ABC television show called What Would You Do? In this segment people are tested to see what they would do if they saw a very intoxicated woman being lured away from a bar by a man. The good news is that most people did intervene, no matter what the girl’s attire or demeanour, but sadly, we cannot all count on the goodness of strangers to do what is right. Watch at the end as two married men, one of them an off duty cop, not only...

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Dear Daughters, Female Characters Today Are More “Feminized” and Sexualized

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Marketing, Sexualization of Women, Society Says, Toys/Literature | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Today I came across a telling comment made by Dave Pressler, who is a professional sculptor, illustrator and character designer. He says, “Any boy / man character can be a lump, a ball, or a bucket. The second it’s a girl we must feminize and give sexuality to the character.” You can read more about what he describes as his “biggest character design pet peeve” on his personal blog. To all those moms my age out there, do you notice a big difference in the toys we played with in the 1980s that are making...

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Dear Daughters, A Mom of Two Sons Raised Them to Value Women As People, Not Objects

Posted by on Jan 18, 2014 in Entertainment, Feminism, Movies/Television, Past and Present | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, star of Don John, is a feminist, thanks to his mom who made sure her sons were able to see people for who they really are, and not as they are dictated to us by society. See below for the segment of his interview on The Ellen DeGeneres show where he describes the character he created, and what his mom taught him about perception vs reality. Joseph Gordon-Levitt says, “Don Jon is about a guy who sees the world, and especially women, as just things, more than as people, you know, objects for his...

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Dear Daughters, If Sex Sells Why Don’t We See Scantily Clad Men in Advertisements?

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Marketing, Sexualization of Women, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, Below is a video of the talk Dr. Caroline Heldman gave at TEDxYouth@SanDiego on “The Sexy Lie”. She points out that 96% of sexually objectified images are of women. She defines sexual objectification as the process of representing or treating a person like a sex object, one that serves another’s sexual pleasure. She describes our society as one so inundated with sexually objectified images that most people cannot even identify an image that is sexually objectifying. So she came up with this test. While...

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Dear Daughters, This Disturbing Truck Decal Was Used to Boost Sales

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Marketing, Rape Culture, Society Says | 0 comments

Dear Daughters, As I was perusing the net this morning I came across a very concerning article on takepart.com entitled, Is This the Most Offensive Truck Decal You’ve Ever Seen? Let’s Hope So. See the decal for yourself, it is beyond offensive! This decal was the brilliant (sarcasm) idea of a small business owner looking to spike sales for his decal business in Waco, Texas. He wanted to create something that would grab attention. Guess he was of the negative attention is still attention camp! So he photographed one of his female employees in...

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