Girls, Self-Esteem, and STEM

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I had an email a few days ago from a reader who was searching for blogs and posts around gender stereotypes. The reader wanted to reach out and share a graphic which takes a closer look at the lack of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) studies today in the U.S.

It’s a great graphic (you might want to click on the image to view it in full view, though it’s pretty clear as the scaled-down size too).

The graphic shows the importance of a healthy level of self-esteem.

self_esteem

Source: “Girls in STEM” | EngineeringDegree.net

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Unfortunately, I think a lot of tween and teen girls are encouraged to value their looks above all else (from their mothers, their peers/friends/frenemies/enemies, the mass media, etc etc), which is actually why I chose to go the opposite direction in my early teens.

I mean, I had very nice friends who didn’t judge me by my looks, but I couldn’t find much in glossy magazines and the mass media which encouraged me to be something more as a female apart from “how I looked/dressed/what I wore/how much I weighed/what body type I was/how my hair was styled/what type of make-up I used.”

At one point, I just said “f*ck it I don’t need this” and wandered off to find something that was a little more substantial towards developing a personal sense of identity.

Ten years since I was 15 years old, I continue to see the same old shit nonsense being replayed and rehashed in the mainstream media. The only difference is that social media really allows anyone with something to say to be heard.

So if you have something good to say, say it!

We need more people to “say the unsayable.” ~ Margaret Thatcher (played by Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady — great movie).

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FURTHER READING:

* Literary Heroin: A Twilight Parody | jessINK

* “Real Love Versus Romance” | jessINK (informal essay by Jess)

* Gender Stereotypes (Sins07 Guest Post by Jess | Oct 2010)

* Male Emotions in the Media (Jess’s guest post for Femmedia | March 2012)

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