We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog posts about my summer travel photos… because I want to thank my mom after seeing this commercial.
My mom is a strong woman who studied (or wanted to study) all sorts of smart, manly topics like math and computer science, was a great chess player when she played regularly, and was ready to go toe-to-toe with boys who didn’t respect her talents. She is a chef who also works at a supercomputing facility and is working on hiking the whole Appalachian Trail. My mom led Girl Scouts on adventures and got into all sorts of trouble, and raised me on stories of Skira, the knight in shining armor who wielded a broadsword, wrestled bears, literally leaped from ship-to-ship to save the needy, and was impossibly tall and strong – and was a woman. She raised me with books about girls both real in life and real in imagination, from Joan of Arc and Marie Curie to Tatterhood and Sabriel. I could grow up never realizing that there is not a single woman in the Hobbit and very few in the Lord of the Rings, but knowing that Galadriel and Eowyn are two badass, plot-saving women who simply didn’t get much screen time in the books. I mean, killing the Nazgûl was something no man could do! And nobody made a big deal about that – Eowyn simply knew what was in her power as a woman. No one eclipsed Galadriel, for all her retreat from the world. They didn’t just sit around on their heels waiting to be saved, they had power and wisdom and pride to wield – and their own unspoken stories. My mom taught me to sew and cook and clean too though – and showed me Cimorene, who is a tough, feminine princess who can handle being maid to a dragon and fending off courting princes. Of course, when Cimorene wasn’t learning dancing and embroidery as a girl, she was talking the palace employees into teaching her swordfighting and magic… a good example for any up and coming princess.
So I just want to say thank you, because it wasn’t until I started working a salaried job that I really saw there are a lot of girls that don’t get raised by kickass moms, and don’t hear about the seven-foot evilslaying woman, don’t have permission to go toe-to-toe with the boys that try to dominate them, don’t get told to go into computer programming and math and science. I’m really glad I was not brought up one of them.
And if you want my favorite books to raise a girl on:
- Tatterhood and Other Tales
- Dealing with Dragons and anything by Patricia C. Wrede
- Heroines: Great Women Through the Ages
Those are a couple of the favorites that still have a treasured place on my bookshelf.
So yeah, my mom lives her life #likeagirl. :) I aim to do the same.