…the world would be run by girls.
Such was the observation of my wife after attending our son’s graduation from elementary school and the 6th grade. I concur. 80% of the awards and recognition for leadership went to girls. Actually, to about 30% of the girls. Mind you, I am not the least bothered by this. It was great to see these young women so active in the life of their school and community.
However, I do have a question: Will their leadership last?
There seems to be a pattern of girls falling back from their high performance in athletics and academia (my general impression and surely not always accurate). Why would there be such a change? Social pressure to focus on looks and boys? Boys catching up development-wise and creating more competition? Or, are we seeing a change in culture that will continue? I’m hoping for this last question to be true. When my wife was in school, there were few opportunities for girls to excel in sports. That has changed. A goodly number of the girls mentioned aspirations of being a professional athlete. When my mother was in school, I doubt many of her classmates aspired to be doctors and lawyers. These days, girls recognize that most professions are wide open to them. So, I hope we are seeing a continued culture change. I’m all for girls wanting to be married and to become mothers (all in DUE time) but I am also worried about how much pressure we place on them regarding looks and body image.
Can you and I do anything about the world of sixth grade girls? Well, let us all endeavor to encourage young women to focus on their intellectual pursuits and god-given callings. And let us cease giving support to those cultural entities (ads, TV, movies, print media, etc.) encouraging young women to equate value with looks.