Today the kids and I spent about five hours helping my daughter work on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. She is building a 50+ foot fence for a local nature sanctuary. It is a lofty project, one which several have tried to convince her that she is too weak or too small or too whatever to complete. What it really boils down to, is that she is a girl and girls are not supposed to work with tools let along build anything. After all, some would have her believe that the project would better fit a Boy Scout than a Girl Scout.
It is a shame that even today women are still looked upon as inferiors to the other gender. However, what those naysayers are unaware of is that my husband and I are raising equal opportunity children. A girl and two boys who are not aware that many in our society still believe that one gender is better qualified for certain jobs. They are being raised by a mother who was raised in a similar manner.
I too spent much of my childhood helping my dad split logs, mend fences, round up cattle and hunt to provide for the family. As far as my dad was concerned there were no “girl” jobs around our small farm. There were simply jobs to be completed, and if you were able bodied then you worked.
My daughter has been raised the same way. So when she was told by somebody of authority that she was too small and probably too weak to complete the project and then the suggestion was made to pick something easier, she became angry. That person was told, by my daughter, that in no uncertain terms she was quite able to complete the task. Later, she cried on my shoulder because she was crushed. She couldn’t believe that another woman would have the audacity to tell her to set her goals a little lower.
However, she quickly pulled herself together and simply stated, “Mom, I’m going to prove her wrong. She doesn’t know me and what I can do.”
In the first few days of her project, I was concerned that she may have to switch, but it wasn’t due to her ability to complete a fence. It was due to a lack of funding. The Rotary Club and the persistence of her technical advisor helped her solve that problem. Sooner then we could have hoped the materials were donated, more than $2000 worth of wood and hardware.
Now she is just days from completing the project and months from watching walking the stage to receive that highest of high awards in Girl Scouting. I am one very proud Mom.
Updates and Pictures are to follow in the near future.