I love Gloria Steinem. She’s my mentor and role model
I love Gloria Steinem. She’s my mentor and role model
All the universities and colleges are freaking out. Why? Because people all over the globe are sharing what they know for free on the Internet. Massive Online Open Classes (MOOCs) are taking over. In fact when UBC offered its first MOOC in May 130,000 people signed up! So really the only thing that Universities and Colleges really have (of value) is a license to grant certificates and the brilliant minds of professors who can finally stop lecturing over and over and be freed to do research or work more one on one with students. Professors could stop filling the bucket and truly ignite the flames of learners everywhere! [News source: Vancouver Sun, 4 Nov 2013]
You MUST see this funny advertisement video. Its about little 3 girls who are tired of pink boring toys and engineer an amazing contraption! TOO FUNNY!
“Nobody sees a flower- really- it is so small it takes time -we haven’t time- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keefe, artist
I am surprised more has not been written about the shaming of Rob Ford’s wife by her husband. I had assumed he was single since I could not imagine any woman being with him. Like so many women she was placed in vulnerable and powerless circumstances and clearly must have developed tolerance for abuse. It’s horrible for all women to see her stand beside her husband (her provider? her protector?) as he uses words that degrade all women. It made me cry to see her shoulders slumped as his bulk attacked all of us psychologically. See this article:
Here is why I am writing a book on raising girls in our highly sexualized society. This is my story.
This book started about ten summers ago, on our family vacation. My wakeup call came on sunny peaceful afternoon dockside at the lake. My relaxing read was shattered by the ear piercing squeals of my two tween daughters jumping up and down wildly on the floating raft as my husband circled in the water below, like a shark. As they jumped with arms flailing they taunted their father over and over with the age-old phase of power: “I am the King of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal.”
Now, unlike most mothers who might have glanced up and chuckled, I lurched forward, threw my book aside and cupped my hands to my mouth. “It’s QUEEN of the castle, not king of the castle! QUEEN, not king!” As they turned their childlike faces to me and tilted their heads like puppy dogs, I felt this deep sadness pour over me. “How could I ever teach my beautiful and free daughters about all of the things that I have come to know over so many years? How could I protect them from the harassment and sexism and bias that I experienced, not only as a lawyer but as a mother and even a harassment investigator! Where could I possibly start?”
That small moment lead to years and years of reading and researching, and ultimately a book (in progress). Although I really just wanted to write a book for my two daughters about how to be more aware and thus resilient to our female-demeaning culture, when I discovered the current research on girls I quickly changed course.
I realized that as a past policy lawyer, researcher, author and mother I was in a unique situation. Instead of writing to young girls about how to be tougher. I had the skills, interests and opportunity to write to parents and teachers about the various ways our whole culture holds girls back. From sex-role expectations and beauty pressure to violence and pornography. From sitcoms and daily news to music, and novels. About the right to vote and about motherhood.
And to be entirely frank, at the end of the day, here is what I really want:
My book is not a fluffy feel-good book filled with pictures, and pop culture. It is a solid book backed by current research and the insights of many thought-leaders. It is a book that will help all girls develop long-lasting skills and ways of thinking that will serve them well into adulthood.
My girl-raising book is my gift to mothers and daughters and for others who want more for their daughters. I believe that girls and women hold great wisdom and strength. I believe that mothers desperately want to heal from past harms and create a world where their daughters can grow into amazing women. END
This is worth the watch.
“We have the gift of life, and if we do not use it fully, we create an imbalance in the world, for others must support us with their energy.” Tarthang Tulku, Skillful Means
Sad really that boys do not want to read girls books. What is it they find so boring or uninteresting? Why do girls enjoy reading about boys but not the reverse?
Here is my updated summary of the book I am writing. I am almost done and looking for an amazing publisher. I am sure it will be a best seller! (in all modesty!)
WHAT YOUR MOTHER DIDN’T TELL YOU: 150 STRATEGIES TO RAISING GIRLS IN OUR HIGHLY SEXUALIZED WORLD
A BOOK IN THE WORKS (A QUICK SUMMARY)
by Maureen F. Fitzgerald, PhD [12 Nov 13]
Why read this book?
Although there is a lot of talk these days about “girl power,” the statistics clearly show a different picture. Hidden deep below the smiling faces of young girls remains stories of loss of self-esteem, depression, self-abuse and perfectionism. And worse yet, girls don’t complain. They hunker down, work even harder, seek counseling and in some cases, take their lives. We tell them “it’s just a teen-girl thing” and they will get over it. But they don’t. Girls continue to struggle well into their adult years.
So, what’s really going on? What’s really causing clique-exclusion, mean girls, popularity contests and eating disorders? Most of us think that girls are to blame. They point to hormones, relational aggression, immaturity, jealousy and even promiscuity. They think that girls make bad choices or hang out with the wrong crowd. Girls, we are told, lack resilience and need to develop self esteem and better boundaries to prevent problems. These myths are causing girls not only work themselves sick but make them feel like they are going crazy trying to reach impossible standards of perfection.
The real culprit, that we fail to see, is a deeply hidden secret. Girls suffer, not because they are genetically incompetent or weak, but rather because we as a society tell them day-in and day-out that they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Girls are not good enough to simply be smart. They must be athletic and brilliant musicians as well. They must be beautiful, slim and sexy. But not too sexy or they will be slutty. And not too smart or they will be seen as “full of themselves.”
These conflicting and confusing messages become loudest just when girls enter the vulnerable teen years. As they look around girls become acutely aware that males have privileges that they do not, that they live in a male-centered, and where only the popular, sexy and brilliant girls survive. So it’s no surprise when girls work overtime at becoming something they are not, eventually lose themselves and try to control their world by competing for attention, zoning out or taking dangerous risks.
This book tackles the so-called “girl problem” and turns it on its head. It shines a bright light on the real culprit: a whole culture and belief system that holds girls back – a culture that actually dis-empowers girls.
Dr. Fitzgerald guarantees to change the way you see the world and provides you with a new set of lenses (maybe not rose-colored) that you can share with girls so they too can see the multitude of damaging and degrading messages – from magazines, television, movies, and even parents and teachers – telling them they are not good enough and must be something “more.”
With an intelligent and compassionate voice, Fitzgerald offers the latest research and concrete advice on how to raise girls to truly be confident, courageous and powerful. She combines her own experience as a lawyer, gender expert and mother to describe the many pressures and expectations placed on girls and how they are rooted in outdated beliefs.
You will learn strategies, to not just empower girls, but to help daughters, sisters and fathers make the world more hospitable for girls.
How to read this book
This book has the following three parts.
Part One is about noticing and challenging Girl Expectations. Focusing mostly on the childhood years, this part explains why the issues facing girls have been keep underground and how to begin to see what really going on. It alerts parents to their own personal biases and way we treat girls and boys differently and de-value things that we label “feminine.” It teaches how to notice the hidden cultural rules including sex-roles and stereotypes and how they actually disempowers girls – often causing them to fight back or crumble. It alerts readers to massive propaganda that keeps us all thinking that it’s just a teen girl thing and that girls will somehow grow out of it. But they don’t.
Part Two is about recognizing and dealing with Girl Pressures. Teen girls face shockingly high expectations. From beauty, body image, academics, sports and even their friendships. We teach girls that to be successful and happy they must be beautiful, sexy and pleasing to males. Parents learn about the corrosive power of day-in-day-out images that consist of a full diet of female hating, violence and silencing. Girls escape to the world of school and face another hidden curriculum, bullying, cliques and peer pressure – girls simply trying to gain a sense of control and power. It’s no surprise when girls camouflage or act in risky ways,
Part Three is about enhancing girls’ Resilience and Self Esteem. The secret to dealing with the barrage of negative messages is not simply to develop tougher skin. It’s about helping girls love themselves as females in a world where they are often seen as second-class citizens. It’s about noticing the way that entire industries, not a few mean-hearted individuals, make girls feel ugly and ashamed of their own bodies. So speaking up is almost as important as keeping away from the harm. Self esteem is also about value the feminine, menses, intuition and relationships. A resilience tool kits also includes speaking authentically and resolving conflicts peacefully without feeling weaker.
What’s in it for you?
After reading this book you will see your daughter in whole new light – within the context of her pressure-filled and highly sexualized world. You will learn:
As a mother, you will likely begin to notice more things about your daughter. You may begin to speak to her differently or hold her differently. You will likely begin to talk to her about things that you have also experienced, as a woman, like power imbalances in relationships and how to speak up when others would rather you stay silent.
Over time, you will have a much richer relationship and may feel more like a life-guide as you begin to make sense of your own life and are able to tap your own wisdom. And if all goes well, you will be able to truly empower her so that she can make her own wise decisions and life choices, long after you are gone.
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“I felt Maureen handled the entire situation with extreme professionalism. The group session was an incredible experience for many staff members. It brought some long term issues to the forefront in a safe, controlled environment. All staff seemed to have a high trust level with the facilitator.” - Circle participants’ feedback
“You are like a can opener for the mind. Not many people can challenge my thinking like you do. I usually process information rather quickly, but it took me much longer to digest what you said. What a wonderful treat.” - Chantal Caron, Personal Coach
“I very much appreciated the practical and logical perspective you brought to the topic. The exercises you used helped me to narrow down my interests and goals into a vision and mission statement, which has always been a bit of a challenge for me. You bring the rational and the sensitive together.” - Marketing specialist
“Maureen Fitzgerald is a dynamic and intelligent presenter who, through her workshops, has helped countless budding entrepreneurs and consultants develop powerful mission statements. This book now makes it easy for many more to guide their careers, indeed their lives.” - Roxanne Davies, Successful Contracting and Consulting, Vancouver
“The workshop received the highest score on the content, presenter’s sense of humor and participation with delegates. The presentation was called, “Very practical, dynamic leading but a fabulous presenter with a great sense of humor.” - Conference Organizer
© 2013 Maureen Fitzgerald, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
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