Why Do We Need to Teach Our Girls to Be Brave, Not Perfect?
Today, one of my previous students, who is now under graduation, approached and asked me a question that made me write that article. She said she wants to complete her graduate studies and wants to apply for a Fulbright scholarship. However, she was afraid that she might not make it through the last level because everybody, from her friend circle to her relative, opposed her decision. As a teacher and well-wisher, I said what I was supposed to say: always listen to your heart and mind instead of people who hardly know who you are. Success and failure are depending on how much effort you put forward to achieve your goal. However, the question is, what makes her afraid of what she wants to accomplish in her life? But before asking that question, one should ask why she is worried about whatever choices she wants to make for her future development?
While thinking on this issue, I came across a video that resonates with my thoughts about the girl being brave in today’s time. The video was a TED talk by Reshma Saujani, author of ‘Brave, Not Perfect’ and the founder of Girls Who Code. She believes that we raise our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave. Both genders should be raised as bold instead of being perfect. Further, she highlights that Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s.
On the other hand, boys are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars, and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it. In other words, we’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.
Let’s review her talk and try to change our gender inequal child development mindset.