Sunday, April 10, 2016

Age or Gender? Either is a Problem

Orange Street News publisher Hilde Kate Lysiak responds to critics who tell her she is too young to be reporting news and should instead be "playing with dol...


I do not take issue with the criticism of Hilde's actual report. Criticism is standard fare for journalist. 


However comments such as the following make my brain want to explode.
          "9 year old girls should be playing with dolls not trying to be reporters."
          "I'm disgusted that this cute little girl thinks she is a real journalist. What happened to tea parties?"
This has less to do with age than it does with "cute little girls" veering away from their social and gender imposed roles. How dare she choose to be Barbara Walters instead of a Disney Princess (awaiting her Prince).
My dear powerful girls you can do what you want to do, be what you want to be, and go where you want to go. It is not your job to make others feel comfortable with your decisions or adequate about their own. 
In the words of Hilde Kate Lysiak:  "There. Is that cute enough for you?" 


Learning is about encouraging interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, and taking risks.  These qualities should be nurtured not diminish.  Our children have all of these qualities when they enter the world, yet somehow we manage to choke it out of them.  
Informally when we tell them you can't, you shouldn't, you're to young/old, etc.  
Formally, saddest of all, when they enter school and are put on a one-size-fits-all conveyor belt of education that offers them little choice or voice and makes them compete against each other in the process.  
It matters not what one's particular talents and gifts to humanity may be or could be.  School is where you will be ranked, sorted, and tracked based on an antiquated system that compare similar, yet uniquely different, individuals exactly the same.  Is it any wonder that our children enter school eager to learn then leave (graduation or otherwise) believing that learning, thus education, is a drudgery that must be suffered through.  
Our children need us to help them in search of their destiny not determine it for them.