Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Useless crap

See, I told you I would be back to posting useless crap in no time.

I try really hard to instill into the girls that I come into contact with (my own daughter and the other Girl Scouts) that it is really important for them to grow up to be strong, capable women. Despite the fact that, you know, I'm insecure and a disaster, they really look up to me. They haven't been able to recognize a huge mess when they see it yet.

Last night we were working on a badge called, "Her Story". There are several parts to the badges and I try to do a few sections at each meeting, so the girls won't be overwhelmed.

The first thing we did was: MY TIME LINE.

I showed the girl's an example of a time line (from the book) and then showed them mine. It was a very simple concept. I wrote things such as:


Age 37: Go to Hawaii

Why? I don't know. Not that Hawaii isn't lovely, but I have no burning desire to go there. I think I just felt I had to put SOMETHING because really? I have no idea what I want to do next week, much less six years from now.

Each girl worked on hers individually and then turned them in to me.

They were interesting, to say the least.

My own daughter:

Age 24: Adopt a child
Age 25: Get married to a man with a moustache

Another girl:

Age 10: Go to college
Age 18: Have a baby

And a third girl:

Age 18: Get a full-time job
Age 20: Support my mom

Yeah. Just...yeah.

So, we moved on to the next part of our activity. I explained what "issues" are (basically I said issues are something that people have strong opinions about...I didn't say, "That girl has ISSUES!" or anything. That would just be crass I think) and asked them to think about issues that women have to face today. I wrote on a piece of paper: What is the biggest issue facing women today? And then I asked them to "interview" five different women of all ages and see what their responses are.

One girl asked if she could say what SHE thought the biggest issue was. I told her, sure.

And she said: Praying.

They asked me, and I said, "Women who are left with children to raise and have to live in poverty."

And they wrote on their paper: Women who live in Peoria.



For the final part of our activity, we talked about fairy tales and how the world has changed. I asked them for some of their favorite fairy tales.

"Winnie the Pooh!"

Clearly, we were veering off track.

I said, "Okay, let's take Cinderella!"

I briefly reviewed the story of Cinderella. Girl lives with evil/wicked step-mother, everyone treats her like crap, she's the maid, she sneaks out and goes to the ball, meets the dude, he loves her, she loves him, she runs away, loses her glass slipper (as an aside, wouldn't glass slippers be like RIDICULOUS to walk in? What is UP with that?), he finds her, they get married, they live happily ever after, blah, blah, blah.

I said, "How would that story be different today?"

Hands wave wildly.

"There aren't any castles around here"! (That was from my own daughter. I'm so proud.)

"There aren't any dinosaurs!"

"Can I have some more popcorn?"


I then explained that women today can have their own jobs and their own careers and they don't have to sit around on their butts waiting for some dude to come rescue them. I might have said that Cinderella could have called DHS and reported her Step-mother for violating child labor laws. I don't know. I can't be expected to remember everything I say.

They looked at me and nodded their heads and then my daughter raised her hand and said, "But MOM! I want to get married!"

and another girl raised her hand and said, "You can live alone, but what if you break your leg! You need someone to drive you to the hospital."

Gloria Steinem? That chick has nothing on me. She never had to teach nine year old's how to be strong, independent women.


Denise said...

LOL great post so true.

Brown Eyed Girl said...

Well they do in fact have a great role model.

Along with teaching them to be independent women..you have to approach that it is ok to want to be married they just have to keep their own goals. That is by far the most difficult task.

I go through it almost daily with my 21 yr old sister.

Somehow that generation thinks it has to be one or the other. That they either have to be huge "I don't need a man" feminists or they "cave" as she put it.

Quite mindboggling from a 21 yr old, I can imagine after 9 year olds you wanted a big margarita and you don't even DRINK!

Keep up the good work!

Alpha Dude said...

I am still laughing so hard I can't think of anything to say.




Anonymous said...

HaHaHeheHaHa....pretty funny stuff you have there.

Dreamer said...

LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

Very funny.

In the original Dutch version of Cinderella she had fur boots. If you have ever been to Holland you realize that the fur is a very wise choice for winter.

Amy W said...

Really? Those girls said some of those things? Funny!

M said...

As usual you make me wish I had you to be MY girl scout leader dammit!

It is a strange balancing act of you can have it all and sacrifice nothing. I'm still amazed that one has to make it such a big. freaking. deal. as a woman.

Additionally, please tell the cutie girl that she might want to reconsider the mustache requirement. The only man attractive with a mustache is Tom Selleck and, um, it's a wee bit too old for her. (and me. but he's a lovely looking man.)

Bethany said...

I try to do this with my girls, mostly because I don't want them to have the same nueroses that I have. Sis didn't really start to get it until she was about 14. Just keep it up, the more they hear it the more they will believe it. Plus it will take about 10x more telling to counter act the bad crap they hear.

My step daughter's mother told her a few years ago that girls were no good at math and that stuff should be left to boys. I freakin flipped!! She really took it to heart. It took me a long time to get that gender bs out of her head. I'm an accountant for Pete's sake! And that's just one small thing, they get negatives everywhere.

Super long comment just to say- keep telling them!

Susanne said...

Stopping by from the blog party. How nice that you volunteer your time with girls.

That Chick Over There said...

Hehe...Jason has a moustache.

frannie said...

can I please join your troop? pretty please?

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I'm party hopping! If you find a moment to jump in, come on over to my place!

Emma in Canada said...

Ah, out of the mouths of babes.

velocibadgergirl said...

You know I love you, right? Cuz I do.

This was me last fall, except I was trying to get 13-year-old Girl Scouts to understand that it was really, truly, utterly okay to not have a boyfriend and be head cheerleader, and that it was way better to be single than to have a boyfriend who doesn't respect them.

I felt like the cheesiest old fogey, even though I meant what I said.

PinkCat said...

Bloody great post.

Real Life in South Carolina said...

Girls are so funny. I love the:

Age 10: Go to college
Age 18: Have a baby

At least she plans on finishing college first!

And your daughter wanting to marry a man with a moustache...so CUTE.
Jason deserves a badge for that one!

Anonymous said...

I used to teach so I can totally relate to this. Sometimes I felt like saying "ok, forget this incredibly important life lesson I was trying to teach you, let's color!"

Unknown said...

Ok Cinderella today would be a man, and he would never clean the house and he would tell the step-mother where to step off,

then he would marry a brilliant gorgeous girl...like me, and give her two beautiful daughters, and then throw them out on the street, and then refuse to pay child support and blame the gorgeous ex wife for all his problems.

Oh wait, that's not a fairy tale. that's my life.

Thanks for offering to rough him up, but he would enjoy that and no one should have to endure him like that...

SJINCO said...

So very cute! I want to join your troop now...

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Boy, you sure write witty and thought-provoking "useless crap".

my4kids said...

To cute I love little girls at that age. Kenzie (or I should say McKenzie as she says she is to old for Kenzie now) tells me she wants to get married and she also wants to marry a man with a mustache (her daddy, papa,grandad, uncles all have one). She doesn't want kids though. She says they are to noisy, I wonder if that comes from being the quiet one from a house with 4 kids.