Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sparkle Fingers

Here’s a follow-up to my earlier post (June 6, 2007) about cultural differences in raising boys and girls.

At Montrose Harbor two Saturdays ago our family participated in the WonderGirl 5K Run, the culminating event of the year for Girls on the Run Chicago (GOTR). This program works with small groups of girls in schools around Chicagoland. At my daughter’s school, GOTR met twice a week for 10 weeks training for the 5K and completing activities promoting discipline, healthy eating, Girl Power, teamwork, and friendship building. I am impressed with this program, and watched over the weeks as the girls got to know each other better and built up their physical endurance. But both my girls and I reacted negatively to the girlie-princess-talk aspect of the program. For example, “sparkle fingers” to show support and enthusiasm for each other. And tiaras were given out on race day.

Who honestly believes that sparkle fingers are going to motivate anyone at the end of a 5K run?

Why—as a culture— do we talk to our daughters this way?

1 comment:

Johnny Yen said...

Yeah-- where's my tiara...

Seriously, it amazes me how much, after talking the good talk for decades about equality, we still generate gender stereotypes in our society.