Simply put: the gender expectations we put on our children -- however inadvertent -- and how we communicate those expectations can have far-reaching implications. The fact is, all of us -- male or female -- feel joy, grief, pain, love, and happiness, and we should encourage children to acknowledge and express those feelings in appropriate, life-enhancing ways.
On Friday, the Sixers confirmed an ESPN report that they have hired former Duke and WNBA star Lindsey Harding as a full-time scout for the coming season. Harding, according to ESPN, becomes only the second full-time female scout for an NBA team. The first was current Dallas Mavericks assistant Jenny Boucek, who worked for the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006.
Americans say they look up to masculine men more than feminine women, according to a Pew study released this month. But it’s not just gender that dictates these beliefs. Racial makeup and political affiliation play a role: Republicans are more likely than Democrats to describe themselves as masculine. Black men and women are also more likely than whites and Hispanics to identify as “very masculine” or “very feminine,” Pew found from its survey of 4,573 people across the nation.
If we only teach certain stories from history — and if we leave out so many female pioneers – school-aged girls will only see themselves pursuing certain paths. They won’t have the examples needed to imagine other outcomes, for themselves or their female friends. It’s part of the reason why women represent 51 percent of the world population, but a mere one out of seven of our engineers. It’s why we continue to see female policymakers and advocates overshadowed by male counterparts. And why we risk limiting the insights and innovations today’s schoolgirls can bring to science, journalism, the military, and more.