Feeling discouraged about the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, I got to thinking about how different the world would be if more women held positions of power. Would Susan Collins have felt compelled to cave if she answered to women instead of to a group of old, white, entitled men?
While the slew of women now running for office gives me hope for the immediate future, I’m taking the long view. I look forward to a time when children grow up with a conception of history, science, and the arts as female as well as male domains; when the voices, ideas, and contributions of women hold as great a weight as those of men; and when children come away from school with the idea that women also influenced the course of humankind.
One way to buck the idea that only men impacted the world is to introduce your child, from early on, to women who have made a difference.
All children love music. Singing and dancing with our kids and playing recorded music in the car and at home is fun, but also provides important benefits. Research shows that music instruction for preschoolers positively associates with intellectual growth, initiation of social contact, and an emerging propensity for self-directed and group-directed learning.*
Music also introduces children to concepts about the world.
So what could be better than great children’s music even parents will enjoy, that also offers positive messages about diversity, gender roles, and different family configurations?
Let’s talk underwear.
When my daughter was little, she skipped the princess stage. She refused to wear dresses or the color pink, she dressed up as Superman for two Halloweens in a row, and she did not like girls’ underwear …
Language has the power to shape reality.
When we use “he” as our default pronoun to refer to people and animals that could be either gender, we create a world where girls and women disappear …
For a compelling story with a message of empowerment and standing up to bullies …
“Good guy/bad guy” play often excludes girls. Even when they participate in the play, they take on male roles. We want our girls and boys to grow up expecting that everyone can exercise power and - as a matter of course - be included in activities demanding strength and forcefulness …