Stellar Four* ( my favorite geek girl site) posted this which sums up for me the problems and how fundamentally, attitudes need to change. (Megan S. does a great job here, and her mom is very awesome too.)
This issue is more than a little personal for me. See, I'm the mother of a young girl. She is 100% a girly-girl: loves pink, glitter on everything, and being a princess. She also loves school, math is her favorite subject, and she's really getting into science. This is the way she is. (She also would be incensed if anyone told her that boys, especially her brother, were smarter than she was.) We spent the weekend experimenting with colors and made a volcano erupt. Then we watched The Princess and the Frog.
I've met moms on both sides of the spectrum - the ones who are teaching their daughters that appearance counts more than their brains, and ones who banish everything pink and princess-y. My personal opinion is that the answer lies in the middle. At home we promote the importance of learning and using your brain (that goes for girls and boys), and at the same time, if the girl wants to wear a pink twirly dress with sparkly shoes, fine by me. Hell, I'll bedazzle her lab coat.
I've gotten a few comments from moms who think that because my daughter loves princess stuff that she's going to turn into a damsel in distress. The funniest thing for me is that even though she wants to play princess, her version of a princess goes out to hunt monsters and dragons too (although it seems to be more a catch and release program). This ThinkGeek t-shirt fits her perfectly (and she loves to wear it):
|Notice the crown - yes it sparkles.|
You can be a girly-girl, enjoy painting your toenails, love clothes and shoes, and still use your brain. It's not an either/or proposition.
After seeing how much the kids loved the simple experiments we did at home, I picked up this book at the library:
I'm looking forward to turning milk to stone, using lots of baking soda and vinegar, and anything having to do with rockets. If I learned anything with high school chemistry and physics, making stuff bubble over or explode is the gateway to loving science (the kids went nuts for the homemade volcano).
*Seriously, if you have not been to Stellar Four, you should make haste. Very intelligent women, fun geeky and girly stuff. Awesomesauce.