Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

Why I Would Set My Daughter Up To Fail

My one year anniversary of starting this blog has come and gone. I got an email notification in my inbox, and my first feeling wasn’t of happiness… I as sad. I SHOULD be happy. I have met some wonderful people on here, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one of your blogs, whether or not I comment or you know I’m there. But at the same time, in late December 2013, I was in the same spot I had been in late December 2012; starting a new job, strapped for cash, a small child, and constantly stressed. Constantly exhausted.

On the one hand, we would have moved for the husband’s job, no matter what… but I was making moves to leave the contract I had been on, anyway. It was stressful and horrible and my two managers were fucking nuts. I was constantly talked down to. While male coworkers were heaped with praise, another female coworker had to deal with my manager asking her when she would get married, and to be careful about the “state of [her] eggs.” The job before that, I lost while five months pregnant. I’ve  walked into boardrooms and been told to keep my mouth shut, or been told that I’m not “demure enough” for a woman. Most successful women I know, have had to fight tooth and nail to get where they are. And I’m not male-bashing… half the time, they have to fight other women who, instead of SUPPORTING and lifting each other up, will burn you.

So, when I saw this, I wasn’t surprised. It seems that the discrepancy in pay between men and woman start with our allowances, or pocket money. Boys are often given more for just being boys. The reporters discuss how parents should be sure to pay each child equally, and not to discriminate.

But why?

You know what you teach girls and boys when you pay them equally? That the world is fair. That Disney is right, good always wins, and you will *always* get that last cookie from the box. And it will be delicious. But the world ISN’T fair, and what has Disneyfication of our world gotten us? The Kardashians. Honey Boo Boo. Closing schools, and a recession.

I say we should set our daughters, AND SONS, up for failure. Pay them differently. Then switch it next week, and make the other one debate or develop an argument as to why they should be paid more. Very few people are handed opportunities in life; most of us work and struggle and negotiate our ways through the world. Kids should learn that at home. They should learn that $4 as pocket money is ok, but why not TRY to get more? Even if they fail, they’ve learned to TRY.

Likewise, we put our little girls into ballet classes, but often the boys go into karate. Why? I was in ballet, and I can honestly tell you that I have never once been granted a raise based on my ability to pirouette. SET YOUR GIRL UP TO FAIL. Let her know that the world can be dangerous and scary. Let her know that there are people out there who may try to hurt her. Because it’s true. AND THEN tell her that she can take ballet, and that’s lovely, but she will also be taking karate because grown-ass woman (and men) don’t start fights, but they DO finish them. They take pride in themselves, and they take pride in doing the right thing by defending others who may be assaulted or bullied. 

But most people don’t. They set their kids up to “succeed” with equal pay and ballet and Disney movies where birds sing songs and crows are outdated racist stereotypes. Tell your kids that life isn’t fair. Let them know that goals are obtained through effort and negotiation and hard work, not because everyone is nice. Set your kids up to fail, so that they can learn how to work around it and actually succeed.

And now, I will get down off of my soapbox for the day.

Happy New Year, you guys!!!!!!!

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