A young girl in my Sunday school class asked me:
Slightly horrified, I gaped as all her friends looked at each other sullenly and agreed. They sadly nodded to one another and sat in quiet contemplation. Being as they were in my classroom and about a foot away from me, I felt it was my duty to pick up these poor disillusioned younglings.
Of course, in my mind, my intervention was almost divine and third-eye-opening. Unfortunately for me, it came out as a garbled mess of rushed words:
Flustered, I looked the four fourth graders dead in their eyes and waited with bated breath as to view their reactions. One said:
To which, I replied:
And let me tell you, the wonder in these young girls’ eyes was almost too much to handle. It was as if, for as long as they’d been alive (approximately nine years) it hadn’t occurred to them that they had such power even as woman in such a male-oriented world.
Nine years is a long time!
Why do we systematically tell such precious souls that they can’t achieve what they wish to achieve? These little beans had no idea that they could be whatever they set their mind to and worked hard for! Insecure women stem from these little girls who are constantly told that only men can do certain jobs and that women should take on occupations of the “gentler” notion.
But we can change this, y’all!
We can educate these young girls that they can be engineers, surgeons, doctors, astronauts, construction workers, boss ladies! They should never have the wonder that I saw in the eyes of my students last Sunday because they should have it instilled in them that they can do it all. It should not be a surprise but a normal everyday thing: Girls are amazing, and we can do anything!
The truth has to take root from childhood and these young ladies need more than their Sunday school teacher to teach them that. We need to bring this kind of encouragement not only into classrooms, but into family homes, playgrounds and anywhere we go. A future of strong female leaders are waiting for their time to bloom. We owe it to them to start nurturing that seed.
Because scientists aren’t just boys.
All artwork by Pebbles.