I keep seeing all these empowering posts and videos telling girls they can be President if they want, lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers – all of these high flying aspirational stressful positions can be theirs if they just work hard enough. The problem with that is they have to do it all despite an entrenched patriarchal society – aspirations are well and good and I applaud the effort to stick it to the patriarchy, but what about happiness, contentment?
We can be whatever we want.
Who actually knows what they want in time for it to be fully achievable? Sadly very few. So stop telling girls to be President – as if that is the highest level of achievement imaginable – tell them instead to think about what makes them happy, tell them to achieve balance and tell them to work together and support one another to achieve a successful life that isn’t based mainly upon a CV that meets the expectations of others. We cripple ourselves as a people trying to one-up each other and do what is ‘expected’, stifling innovation and advancement by conforming to one method of demonstrating ‘success’ and then becoming ill and stressed and unhappy and unfulfilled because nothing we do ever truly measures up. Do enrich your mind and try your hand at every opportunity that presents itself, don’t rely on others to show you the way, learn to trust yourself and know what it is that makes your heart sing and figure out the best way to do more of it.
If you really want to beat the patriarchy and this stifling ‘everything needs to fit in a box and have a set place’ thinking, if you really want to make it possible for true equality to begin, stop buying into the patriarchal media bullshit. Start the deconditioning at home: turn off the news and the TV, use books and art and games and the like to foster a sense of fairness and shared responsibility in your kids, regain a true community and start or join a homeschooling network with a curriculum based on knowledge discovery and problem solving. Working together and demonstrating respect, tolerance and dignity in action is the only way society will change enough to allow everyone to be whatever they want. Stop telling girls they need to be whatever they want and instead start showing them how they can discover what that is and the path they need to take to achieve it, because frankly, hard work is never going to be enough and work alone will not make them happy. And stop telling boys that they shouldn’t be like a girl because quite frankly, once women get a real clue and start throwing off the mental conditioning of shame, about looks, attitude and actions, then girls will truly become the future and everyone needs to start thinking like a girl: specifically a girl that is free of fear and constraints and has honed her ability to reason and understand how things should work as opposed to how they currently do.