I recently read an interesting, yet disheartening, article  about group of US researchers whose investigations/experiments that indicated ...

Oh the Places You Will Go!

Thursday, March 02, 2017 BookBairn Blog 14 Comments

I recently read an interesting, yet disheartening, article about group of US researchers whose investigations/experiments that indicated that "girls start to see themselves as innately less talented than boys do when they are only six years old." Doesn't that sound frightening?! It is suspected that exposure to media and influences of teachers, parents and other children are the cause of these little girls change in notion of themselves.

It is hugely disappointing to think that the effects of the cultural notion that genius is more likely a male than a female quality are emerging so early in the mindset of little girls. It made me question what we can do to change this perception. And for me the answer lies in sharing positive role models of intelligent, powerful, successful women to our little girls. Counteracting this out-dated 'notion' through their stories.

I intend to share more of these stories with BookBairn. Books with strong female characters, with realistic female characters, with girls who do, with 'mighty girls'. I will over the coming months and years show BookBairn that by being a girl she has the whole world at her feet (despite what some politicians want you to believe!). You will be able to find a selection of posts under the label 'mighty girls' on the blog (there's only two at the moment - but I'm working on it!).

She needs to know about Matilda and Hermione and Nancy Drew and Jo March and Elizabeth Bennett and Mary Lennox and Rosie Revere and Lyra Belacqua and Ada Twist and Madeline and Eloise and Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables and Heidi and Scout Finch and Alice (of Wonderland) and all the others!

But she also needs books to show her that boy or girl you can be whatever you want to be. The world is at your feet whether they be clad in trainers, or wellies, or sparkly pink glittery shoes, or football boots. Oh the places you can go!

A 'Storybook Classic' that embraces this philosophy is 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' by Dr Seuss. The rhyming tale tells the story of a child who steers through the mishaps and misadventures that life can lay down on the path to success, to happiness, to fulfillment. In typical Dr Seuss style, this story shares the craziest creatures and zaniest illustrations with his unique blend of rhyme and rhythm. It is the most delightful (yet tongue-twisting) story to read aloud. BookBairn positively bounces along with the beat!

But most important is the message in the first few lines:

"Congratulations!
Today is your day,
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go."

(I wish it didn't say 'guy' in the final line - but I read it as 'one' to BookBairn - otherwise it just reinforces the male stereotype I'm fighting against. Even Dr Seuss can't be perfect I suppose.)

To BookBairn: we can't wait to see you soar! You can be anything you want to be: writer, scientist, mother, artist, poltician, architect, pilot, musician, linguist, Olympic contender, explorer, trapeze artist (if you literally want to soar!). Daddy and I will support you, love you and cherish your talents and your weaknesses. We will help you, guide you and let you go (though this will be hard). Yes, you are a girl, but you are not only a girl. You are a little timebomb of potential! Go on... explode!

Tick tick tick,
Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

Just had to share this colourful Dr Seuss rainbow to celebrate
his birthday - 2nd March!


14 comments:

  1. Go girl!!! Live on and make us proud of what you'll become.

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  2. Even though my boys are much older now, this is one of the books that son1 has held onto. We still read it together occasionally #readwithme

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    1. Such a lovely book that doesn't lose it's meaning even as children grow up from toddlers to kids to teenagers to adults!

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  3. Dr seuss speaks wise words!!! Lovely and thoughtful post. Thanks for linking up with #ReadWithMe

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  4. Totally agree with you. Girls and boys need to see each other as equals. It's very hard to break stereotypes.
    I love all Dr Seuss books - good work with word change :-)
    #readwithme

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    1. All about creating a level playing field for our boys and girls!

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  5. Dr Seuss has been a favourite for years here. This is a great post :) #ReadWithMe

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    1. Thanks Michelle! It's amazing how many people love Dr Seuss!

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  6. such a depressing stat :-( I hate the gender stuff with a passion and am so desperate for my three to see themselves all as equals. So far they've not displayed any gender bias to anything.... how long it will last I don't know
    #readwithme

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    1. It's so frustrating isn't it?! Since I've become a stay at home mum I've been all the more aware of some of the challenging stats for women and little girls. I'm sure it will become even more interesting when our little boy comes along and I see him being treated differently. But like you I have every intention of treating them the same though also being aware that they are individuals and loving them as such! x

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  7. What a wonderful post, I'm sure the Bookbairn will amaze you.
    #readwithme

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