Honey, You Don’t Have To Be A “good Little Girl “

My darling, you don’t have to be a good little girl, a docile, obedient and gentle child. Do what you want to do, learn to make your voice heard, not to be silent, to laugh out loud, to run, to point your finger at every star and imagine that you reach them all …  My beloved daughter, that no one tell you that you are ugly when you get angry,  that no one sets barriers to your dreams or molds to your identity.

This is something that on the surface seems logical and necessary, but which in reality creaks in many of our contexts, like the hinge of that door that some continue to neglect, intentionally or not. A simple example which occurred two days ago will suffice to illustrate this situation.

A cinema in Lovaina organized a night screening for women only, taking advantage of the release of “Wonder Woman”. A large number of little girls went there, carried by the social phenomenon that this character creates in children.

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

-Virginia Woolf-

This cinema chain therefore decided to offer bags bearing the inscription “ Cool things inside”. It was a good advertising strategy and the room, as you might expect, quickly filled up. Good, but the contents of this mysterious bag – which surely contained some great stuff – was absolutely unforgettable. When the little girls opened it, what did they find? Sponges, window cleaner, diet pills and a brush. This news continues to amaze people and draw endless insightful comments and criticism from virtually every segment of the population.

These are realities that we all know how to identify. These are faults from the past, dinosaur bones that appear from time to time in our society and which make the majority of the population react. However, it must be said that there is another type of reality, a buried reality, discreet and inappreciable that we do not see easily because it nourishes our language,  because it begins an invisible dance that invites us to address ourselves to ourselves. ‘a way peculiar to little girls and little boys, molding them almost by force, without realizing it …

The good little girl, the silent little girl

The good little girl stays quietly in a corner, without moving, and looks at everything around her but still enveloped in discreet silence. Meanwhile, in her imagination, the docile little girl escapes from her private, vast and wild world in which she lives thousands of adventures in secret and locked in her silence. The others, these adults who walk past her, compliment her on her pretty hairstyle, her dress and her attentive gaze. “How wise she is!”, They  say to her parents,  without addressing her, without asking her what she likes to do, what she hates in her life, what she reads, what are her dreams…

We don’t realize it, but the moment we are born we are evaluated and labeled. This free universe of adjectives, nouns of judgment and absurd hyperboles is gradually integrated into our brain after 9 months of life.

It may seem precocious, but according to “theory of mind”, this is the moment when the child begins to integrate the social behaviors that he imitates and when he also begins to interpret the behavior of the adult. .

If we strengthen from a very young age passivity, obedience, silence and the value of physical appearance in little girls, we prohibit or transform, according to our desires, many natural capacities. This is why many psychologists, pedagogues or educators so polyfacetic like Alfonso Montuori, ask that  we put into practice a type of education free from judgments and gender labels in order to strengthen the humanity and innate nobility of the child,  as well as the value of curiosity in relation to learning and self-knowledge.

My dear son, you don’t have to be “strong”

We spoke of the “good little girl”, of this little one who observes the world through her silence. Now is the time to think about those many little grown-up boys who were educated, in their childhood, with this orthopedic instrument called emotional framing and self-control and from which emotions and sensitivity had to be corrected as these crooked teeth that must be straightened as quickly as possible.

Tears are only for girls, and therefore, it’s best to swallow them quickly if you’re a boy:  you have to be strong, like a capless Superman who can take care of everything and never fail.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

In the boy’s world there are also deep wounds that we need to be able to guess and deal with. In fact, to justify this same line of trying to develop an ever more egalitarian education, a study came out not long ago to demonstrate something that we all (parents and educators) should have. in mind:  a boy’s brain is much more sensitive,  it is less resistant to stress than a girl’s and therefore needs an education that provides emotional reinforcement, security and protection throughout. throughout his childhood.

All this should invite us to reflect a little more on these sometimes implicit gestures that we allow to enter into our daily relationship with the little ones, where the  “you must be a good perfect little girl”  or the  “boys don’t cry” can. determine future behaviors that cause people to plunge into the black hole of frustration and dissatisfaction.

Moreover, and this is a curious fact, it should be added that we see the emergence of many personal growth professionals who train women so that they can, if they wish, , become leaders in different areas of the social, political and economic world.

Many have noted, like the famous coach Bonnie Marcus, that women who aspire to an important position in politics or in business initially perceive themselves as “selfish” people. Breaking this pattern of thought to show them  that striving for what they want is not selfish but on the contrary is quite legitimate is without a doubt the most difficult thing to achieve. Because being “a good person” does not mean being docile or conformist, it means being courageous and seeking to get what we want, what we want, whether we are a man or a woman.

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