When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I made the wacked-out choice (by today’s obsessive compulsive standards, anyway) to NOT find out the gender of my baby before delivery. (Spoiler alert: She was a girl — hooray!) I also made the same unfathomable choice (again, people thought I was nuts) to NOT find out the sex of my second baby a year later. (Another girl! Double hooray!)
Why did I do this? I knew that gender didn’t really matter when it came to a newborn baby’s care so I took that whole dramatic reveal off the table. I was so obsessed about this rebel move of mine, I included a chapter about the benefits of letting go of control and being open to a gender surprise in my new book for pregnant moms… A baby girl, a baby boy… whatever: It was going to be a BABY.
That said… I WANTED AND PRAYED FOR DAUGHTERS.
I love girls. Girls are great. Girls rule because we have girl power. Us ladies can do anything boys do — we can lead others and run businesses and workforces with incomparable efficiency, we can think and do fast, we can juggle a bunch of balls (whether they’re figurative balls or actual basket- soccer- base- and/or volleyballs!) and keep ’em in the air… we can we can we can. WE CAN. AND WE DO.
This isn’t news in 2017. Everyone knows it. It’s almost boring and cliche to talk about it like this anymore.
Which is why I felt so shocked about not being happily on-board about the recent, unanimous decision by the Boy Scouts of America to start accepting girls into their Cub Scouts program. Power to the women, but don’t take away from the groups that are already in place for young women. (I say this as a mom to a Girl Scout Daisy Troop member…)
As expected, I was enlisted to tackle this for my FAB Mom segment on CBS Los Angeles news. Hooray, but also: CRAP. Because how I really feel seems to be in the minority.
True, it’s a good thing if we’re talking about giving overextended parents more choices for kids’ activities (one drop off for sons and daughters). But: Stealing steam (and potential new memberships) away from one of the very few organizations left in our social structure that offers girls a rare, exclusive place to grow and develop their sense of self and leadership skills without distraction or intimidation is not okay.
Activities and organizations that offer mixed-gender camaraderie are more plentiful than places that do not.
And what about our boys? Our boys. Not everything they do should include girls. (And before you start beating me over the head with accusations about these kinds of all-boy clubs and organizations fostering anti-women culture… just stop. Perhaps those orgs need to restructure from the inside-out without the inclusion of girls. Read this fabulous piece I found tackling this Girl vs Boy Scouts issue and then come back and argue with me. Oh and then read this one too.)
Not everything has to be unisex. Not everything has to include everyone. Not everything must be restructured for the sake of being restructured. (Many say this move from the Boy Scouts is a desperate attempt to boost declining membership — I call truth on that.) Mix ’em up when appropriate, but don’t make a move that might be the ultimate and final demise of an organization that was created by women and been devoted to girls since before it was popular to do so.
Don’t make decisions that could take that away from us.
Every single mom I know feels an inexplicable depth of emotional and mental clarity when we get together with our girlfriends (ie: without men) — we feel better about ourselves, our struggles, our challenges. We know the irreplaceable value of an all-woman (b!tchfest?) sesh. If our girls don’t start learning that value when they’re young, how will they know how to seek them when they’re older?
Let us be. In today’s trendy culture of widespread gender-assault (there’s no such thing as boys and girls… only ‘people’), let young women have that rare opportunity to relate, commiserate, learn, laugh, lead and figure ourselves out so that we can find out who we are separate from men.
And let our young men do it too.
My on-air conversation here (I always like to discuss both sides on TV… but if only we had more than 2 and half minutes to really go deep):