Monday, March 18, 2013

A girl can be a scientist and a princess...

love the way that humor can make truth more accessible.  I happen to have a daughter who loves math and because of that, I am becoming more aware of the dynamic that there is a huge gender gap in science, math, and engineering.  Big Bang Theory happens to be one of my favorite satire comedies...mostly because I am a nerd, married to a geek, raising an engineer (10 year old ds), a math loving girl (8 year old dd), and a chess natural (6 year old ds).

I love the way Chuck Lorre examines the culture of technology and human relationships.  I also appreciate the way in which this show brings social issues into the cultural light for discussion.  Over and again I am struck by how much his artistic expression resonates with me.

The fight for gender equality is a marathon, not a sprint.  We have come a long way, even if there is still a distance to travel.    It is okay to want to be a princess and have a career in the sciences, and now a little girl can actually achieve such a career.  That work has been done already, but now we need to open our minds and our educational eyes to help girls with such aspirations get to where they need to go.  We also need to be mindful of our communication with girls who dream these big dreams.  We need to support them without sending the message that to go into more masculine professions, they have to let die the feminine girl within. 

Girls can become a scientist/mathematician/ engineer who still moonlights as a Disney princess in her imagination.  Though as a mom, my hope is that my daughter will want to be Mulan/Rapunzel/ Merida...not Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty/Snow White.  But then, that’s a whole other blog post...

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