I voted this week in my state primary. This is voting. Florida style…
I took along my oldest daughter who asked, “Who are you voting for?” I told her, “Hillary Clinton. It’s time for a woman to be President.”
I’m not saying a person should be president based on their sex alone. Not at all. I’m just saying that when someone is smart and experienced (which I believe Hillary is) – and they also happen to be a woman, then in my mind – it’s time.
Maybe it will be Hillary Clinton’s time.
Maybe it won’t.
But I do know – that very soon – we need a woman (Democrat or Republican) as the leader of the free world. I want my daughters to see and really know that a girl can grow up in this country and actually become president. That it’s not some crazy unicorn dream. And when it comes to the wage gap, sexism in hiring and other gender inequalities, it could make a difference to have a woman in the White House.
Because I’ve noticed things as my daughters grow and so do they.
Like the day my 3rd grader got her picture taken at school. She watched the boys get up and the photographer asked, “What sport do you play?” and then the photographer would place the appropriate basketball or football or soccer ball in the photo with them. She didn’t hear them ask one girl. Not one.
Why should you assume a boy plays a sport? Why should you assume that a girl doesn’t?
There are incredible female athletes at our elementary school… gymnasts, soccer players, softball players. This sends a message to our girls. We don’t think of you as athletes. We don’t think of you as good at sports.
I still find lines in my kids’ storybooks that use the word “girl” like an insult. You throw like a girl! You know what I do when I see things like that. I take out the fattest black Sharpie I can find and cross it out. And I explain to my kids why I’m doing it.
And it’s the famous #LikeAGirl campaign that recently made us all notice something that we should have all noticed before… the lack of empowering emoji for girls and women.
Unbelievably, if you look at over 1,000 emojis, women are only showcased painting their nails, dancing, or being a bride. Oh wait, there’s also a women getting a haircut and two others that look like they are Playboy bunnies. Yay!!
As Amy Butcher writes in the New York Times, “Where was the lawyer? The accountant? The surgeon? How was there space for both a bento box and a single fried coconut shrimp, and yet women were restricted to a smattering of tired, beauty-centric roles?”
Just think about how often our daughters are having fun with emojis. And as they play, these images are seeping into their developing brains.
Which is why it’s so important to make girls aware of this and take action when you can.
I called the company that took photographs at my daughter’s school. And they agreed that it was sexist and ridiculous to be asking only the boys what sport they played. They promised to not do it again. I hope it’s true. If not, I hope another mom or dad will stand up the next time. And the next time.
Because our daughters deserve better. Because one of them just might grow up to be President.