Off the Press
May 29, 2012
By Christina Lords
Score one for Team Spy Goggles
I’m just getting settled.
My napkin is neatly square across my lap. My delicious (and admittedly far from nutritious) meal has been presented before me: 10-piece chicken McNuggets, golden crisp fries and a Diet Coke the size of Montana.
Then it starts to happen. I can sense it before I even see it.
The stomping feet. The guttural groan followed by the high pitched wail. All followed by the clincher — every father’s weakest moment when it comes to his little girl — “BUT DAAAAAD!”
A temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums is about to go down in the front lobby of Issaquah’s Gilman Boulevard McDonald’s. Unfortunately, I’ve got a front row seat.
Not ready to deal with this little monster’s impatience, I cringe and offer up a groan of my own. Then this no more than 3-year-old girl says something that strikes a chord in me so strong, all I can do is smile.
“I don’t wanna be a princess!” she wails, tipping her head back in agony as crocodile tears stream down her cheeks. “I want SPY GOGGLES!”
She wants the boy toy for her Happy Meal instead of the girl toy.
Chalk up a point for our team.
I don’t know who in this young girl’s life has influenced her journey to this train of thought, but if you’re reading this, let me offer up my sincere congratulations and heartfelt thanks.
Stop crying, the dad said, because every girl has a choice to be anything they want to be — a message every young girl, even in 2012, needs to hear loud and clear.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women comprised 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force in 2012. They’re projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018.
Many jobs that were considered nontraditional (where women make up 25 percent or less of the workforce) for women in 1986 — including physicians, surgeons, chemists, judges, lawyers, athletes, coaches, umpires and mail carriers — were thankfully off that list in 2006.
While there is still so much more work to be done to ensure women have equal opportunity and equal pay (women still make 77 cents of every dollar a man makes in the same job) in positions such as detectives, architects, chefs, machinists, fire fighters, pilots and a litany of other occupations, we’re slowly but surely getting there.
More opportunities than ever abound to provide opportunity, including financial scholarships, for women in critical areas of study, such as science, technology, engineering and math through organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and the American Association of University Women.
I went to college and am doing what I love today because my mother had the “you can be anything you want to be” conversation with me when I was just entering elementary school, much like this father reaffirmed with his daughter in McDonald’s.
It may seem like an overly obvious sentiment to share with a young girl in this day and age, but nothing could be more important than encouraging young children to follow their dreams — no matter their gender.
Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.