Perspectives from a Mediator/Arbitrator

Saturday, May 27, 2006


My daughter no longer wants to be a superhero. She wants to be a nurse. I asked her if she wanted to be a doctor. She said, "no, only boys can be doctors". I, of course, corrected her - "I go to a female doctor". She still thinks that she can only be a nurse and I know that between now and any binding occupational decision I will be able to satisfy her that in our society girls can do anything that they want (okay there may be a few things like certain professional sports that may not be available (we will see). If when she is an adult, she wants to be a nurse - that would be great.
I just saw a commerical on television for an arthritis drug - I think it is Cerebrex or something like that. In the commerical you see a whole series of active people smiling and doing things and they keep saying over and over "ask your doctor!" The last frame the smiling person says "Ask your doctor, HE knows" Why could they not have had the person say something progressive like "SHE knows" or at least something that did not fuel the stereotype like "Ask your doctor, your doctor knows!"
We must all fight stereotypes and this was just the latest example that I have seen and it is reflected in my little girl's mind. I know that I do it and I see it all the time in my professional life but if we talk about it then we might slowly push the ball a little further down the field and sometime soon little girls will not have a preconceived notions about their future vocations.


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