"Girls! You think you know what we want. Pink and pretty it’s just like the 50’s. You like to buy us pink toys, and everything else is for boys, and you can always get us dolls, and we’ll grow up like them- false. It’s time to change. We deserve to see a range, cause all our toys look just the same, and we would like to use our brains. We are all more than princess maids..."
The only thing I would urge parents to consider when trying to inspire and cultivate "spatial skills" in their daughters is that there are a lot of girls that may use these skills and have no interest in engineering. Believe me when I say that I am all about girls using their brains! I am just saying that the fact that the majority of girls are into horses, reading and writing more than rockets and forts isn't necessarily a problem to be fixed.
My sister-in-law is an engineer of sorts. She has a computer science degree and works in a male dominated field as a programmer analyst. I am extremely proud of all that she has accomplished in defying the odds and I would be thrilled if SJ followed in her footsteps. I also have 7 other sister-in-laws and several adult nieces Most of them are nurses and teachers. The statistics for these jobs are the same as the engineering fields, but in reverse (way more women than men). Is it because we are stuck in the 1950's like the commercial boasts, or is it that something inside of men are more inclined toward building and something inside of women wants to nurture? Sure there may be more men inventing, but behind every great man is… a mother that got him out of bed every morning and read to him every night. Or perhaps a female teacher that challenged him and kept him on track, or a wife that makes more money then he does as the CEO of a company (I am not totally old school here).
I may not be an engineer, but I am certainly not a brain dead trophy wife. After having 3 children I know enough about breast feeding to be a lactation consultant and I've blogged so much about SJ's diagnosis I could write a book about genetic sensorineural hearing loss or first language acquisition. It's street smarts YO. Don't be hatin'. Okay, that last part was a joke, but I am serious about the part that says we do not need to demean or discredit girls for following a more traditional roll as a woman. I know that even mentioning the "tradition roll of a woman" doesn't fall in line with the more popular politically correct, abstract gender rolls of the 21st century, but I'm okay with that.
Just to make sure I have been clear I think the Goldi Blox toys look amazing and I would definitely get something like that for SJ if she were a little older. We love the educational toys, always have. I like what Debbie Sterling is doing because there is so much garbage out there marketed towards our girls. But when I read on Forbes that “Ideally every occupation would be 50/50, with both genders bringing different perspectives to the table.” I beg to differ. We don't have to make girls into builders to build and empower girls.